So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 NABRE
The quoted verse is included in Jesus teaching called the Sermon on the Mount. Preceding this verse Jesus has given his disciples a difficult teaching. There are six different examples of surpassing the righteousness of Christ. Do not take a false oath. Offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes your right cheek, turn the other one to them as well. If someone wants to take you to court claiming your tunic, offer them you cloak as well. If anyone should press you into service for one mile, go with them for two miles. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. After giving these shocking recommendations Jesus says, “So be perfect just as your heavenly father is perfect.” Jesus is calling His disciples to be perfect in love, imitating God as seen in all six of these examples. To be perfect these are the six principles that we must follow. Perfect for Jesus is in relationship to the other. How we treat others and how we respond to how others treat us. Jesus teaches to always treat others mercifully, giving them the benefit of the doubt and making them aware that as a follower of Jesus whatever they do will not be met with violence, retribution or any kind of challenge, it will only be responded to by love. This is how God responds, in fact Jesus gave us an example of several of these when he was being challenged the night before the crucifixion. He did not fight back, did not protest, he offered his humility and forgiveness.
To show the kind of mercy Jesus is requesting we have to be completely trusting in faith. It is unlikely the word non-violent existed in Jesus day but this is the message he is teaching. Bring peace to every situation.
Are you able to hold your emotions? Can you be perfect as Jesus challenges you to be?It is unlikely the word non-violent existed in Jesus day but this is the message he is teaching. Bring peace to every situation. Click To Tweet
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