“Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
I love that Jesus refers to the Father as “your” heavenly Father, and not “my” heavenly Father.
In other words, He wants us to know that we have the same access to the Father as He does. He is OUR heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that we have been grafted into the vine, and we are heirs to the kingdom of God, sons, and daughters of the Great I AM.
This is a lot to soak in and ponder. We are sons and daughters of God! We have a heavenly father!
There is one more thing in this verse that grips me as much as it’s attention to our sonship.
If you study the original Greek used here in the New Testament, it brings out the subtleties of meaning in Scripture that otherwise go unnoticed.
And there is a perfect example of it in this passage. In Matthew 5:48, two different words are used with slightly different meanings for the word we interpret as “perfect”.
One depicts God’s perfection that is “infinite”. This word describes Him.
But Jesus uses a second word to describe us. It demonstrates what we should aspire to in regards to “perfection”. Interestingly it is more finite and limited in nature.
The implication is that Jesus’ command to us His followers to be perfect, is attainable for us (on one of our good days). In other words, we are exhorted to be as perfect as we can be in our finite ability as humans, even as our Father is as perfect as He is in His infinite self.
It’s been said that ”We are being asked to eat like our Daddy, and not to eat our Daddy’s dinner.”
As we grow and mature in Christ, our capacity for His food and His ways will grow. Our becoming like Him in character comes as we seek Him and abide in His presence.
Follow after Jesus and the Father, like a child who emulates their daddy’s character and priorities. And do so with a heart and adoration for the one you aspire to be like. Walk as Jesus walked. Be like Jesus, and you will be becoming perfect like your heavenly Father.
“Like an onion: except that as you go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.” CS Lewis