Tuesday 9.45 PM Jan. 20
All….a couple of points:
1. Debbie said that she was reading our # 2 comments about the word “irenic” and, as you may have seen, it asked if you knew anyone named “Irene?” The nurse sitting next two her was named Irene and Debbie shared that funny question with her and got a chance to witness to her. 🙂
A question arose about this verse:
Matthew 5:46-48 (NIV)
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Of course our Lord is not expecting sinners to be perfect. It’s a translation challenge because the word for perfect is the Greek NT word “teleios” that means “complete” or “perfect”but especially means “mature.” In other words we are striving to be like our Heavenly Father and as we mature in Christ we will become more like He is. Remember that earlier in that passage Jesus said that we may be “sons of our Heavenly Father” [or “children”] So that is the ultimate goal. Not that we be perfect and sinless, although we will be made perfect in glory…but that we seek to be consistent in our heart attitudes with God Himself. After all, what would Jesus have said after he called for self-denying love in verses 43-47…”Be pretty good as your Heavenly Father is pretty good!” ???? No. Jesus is saying strive to be congruent with your Father in Heaven.
We should think of this comment from Jesus as saying “Be the same as your Heavenly Father in His attitude about blessing those who do not deserve it. Imitate that attitude perfectly!”