During our conversations yesterday afternoon on the subject of Easter, we remembered various significant teachings of Lord Jesus. Later in the evening I returned my attention to two of these teachings, taken together, although earlier we had considered them separately.
The first is from Matthew 5:48: “Be therefore perfect, just as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.”
Lord Jesus is not inviting us to a pious mediocrity, to be ‘good enough’ —He is making explicit that our goal is maximal perfection, the full illumination of original divinity. Recognizing our present limitations, it is perhaps difficult to envisage how we might be able to obey such an instruction.
The second teaching, which gives us the key to this dilemma, appears in Luke 17:21: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Perfection, our “Father who is in Heaven” is already within us. It is not necessary to search for it here or there. It is our nature. Perfection is not something to be newly accomplished, but rather an intrinsic quality that we can manifest.
Lord Jesus is not encouraging us to ‘reach’ perfection, but to ‘be’ perfect —to manifest the illumined nature that is our heritage.
My peace and perfection abide in our hearts!