I couldn’t be farther from perfect. I am less perfect today than I was yesterday and tomorrow my bid for perfection will be further in peril than it is today. Not because I desire to do wrong or to commit error, but because my misdeeds continue to mount do I confidently proclaim my inability attain that to which I am called. Perfection, the indisputable champion of all possible aspirations remains steadfast as the nemesis of all those whose desire is to do good, be good, and remain in good standing. How can it be that Jesus gives us this command here…to be perfect?! Really Jesus?!?! Perfect?!?! As this verse caps the section of the sermon on the mount that continually commands sacrifice and benevolence, we are asked to be perfect. In my mind, this charge is supremely perplexing and most comprehensively frustrating until I remember the miraculous transference of righteousness that comes from Jesus having paid our debt. Since our son is whipped clean by the worm of Jesus…his righteousness has become ours! Because God is wholly just and intrinsically good, the payment that Jesus made with his blood satisfies the old covenant requirements for remission of sin. In so doing God has required of himself to see us as righteous before him…blameless and spotless…yes,even perfect. So Matthew 5:48 is more likely an invitation and charge to rely on Jesus more than it is a call to a rigorous and brutal policing of self.
Thank you God that you have rescued, redeemed, and made righteous those who have sinned against you…yes even a wretch like me!