“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5.48 RSV)
As many of you know I have spent nearly 30 hours doing surveys, making observations, studying word usage (including Greek) and looking at Scriptural testimony and now I have finally reached the place that I can interpret Matthew 5:48- especially 48a or “You, therefore, must be perfect.” Below is my interpretation that I will be turning in to class. It may not seem like much but it took a lot to get to this paragraph. I hope you enjoy and may it be uplifting to understand that perfect may not mean what it at first seems.
General Conclusion of Matthew 5:48a:
The meaning of “perfect” is that one should have complete love or all encompassing love for all people just as our heavenly Father does and always has as seen in the extreme measures he goes through to be with His creation. One should not take this as being perfect or without fault but rather as someone who’s love is complete. Complete love is love that is shown for all people at all times despite geographical locations, cultural, racial, religious or socioeconomic differences. This love can come through actions of prayer, respect, service and as seen in Matthew 19.21, the selling of one’s possessions and giving the money to the poor. It can also be understood that complete love is only achieved through Christ, by following all that He leads us through (Col. 1.28, Matt. 19.21). By seeking out Christ and living like Him one can begin to love in a holistic way that is complete in nature and therefore making one’s likeness more like that of God.