Is that what the verse requires-utter perfection? The word often translated “perfect” refers to the maturing disciple who is reaching for the goal; the person who understands the requirements of goodness and grasps for that high standard; the person full-hearted toward others, brimming with mercy and wisdom.

Being perfect here is not a matter of scrupulous conformity to rules, as legalists might insist. It is not a matter of error-free intelligence concerning the wall of God, as rationalists might insist. It is not a matter of theological precision, as if God could be perfectly understood.

To be mature and merciful, reaching for the goal and growing in the faith, eager for life with God and steady in life with other people-to be living the whole of Matthew 5-that’s what we can and ought to be.

MATTHEW 5:48 – 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

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