New American Standard Bible
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
King James Bible
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Darby Bible Translation
Be ye therefore perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
World English Bible
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Young's Literal Translation
ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father who is in the heavens is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Be ye therefore perfect ... - The Saviour concludes this part of the discourse by commanding his disciples to be "perfect." This word commonly means "finished, complete, pure, holy." Originally, it is applied to a piece of mechanism, as a machine that is complete in its parts. Applied to people, it refers to completeness of parts, or perfection, where no part is defective or wanting. Thus, Job JObadiah 1:1 is said to be "perfect;" that is, not holy as God, or "sinless" - for fault is afterward found with him Job 9:20; Job 42:6; but his piety was "proportionate" - had a completeness of parts was consistent and regular. He exhibited his religion as a prince, a father, an individual, a benefactor of the poor. He was not merely a pious man in one place, but uniformly. He was consistent everywhere. See the notes at that passage. This is the meaning in Matthew. Be not religious merely in loving your friends and neighbors, but let your piety be shown in loving your enemies; imitate God; let your piety be "complete, proportionate, regular." This every Christian may be; this every Christian must be.
Remarks On Matthew 5
1. The gospel pronounces blessings on things far different from what the world has thought to be a source of happiness. People suppose that happiness is to be found in mirth, in wealth, in honor, in esteem, in freedom from persecution. Christ says that it is to be sought in the reverse. Often people are most happy in poverty, in sickness, in persecution, when supported by the presence and promises of a merciful God. And if God appoints our station there, we should submit to it, and learn therewith to be content.
2. We may see the evil of anger. It is a species of murder. If secretly cherished, or exhibited by contempt and injury, it must bring down the displeasure of God. It is a source of misery. True enjoyment is found in meekness, peace, calmness, and benevolence. In such a firmness, and steadiness, and dependence on God as to keep the soul unruffled in the midst of provocation, is happiness. Such was Christ.
3. We see the evil of indelicacy of feeling and sentiment, and the strictness and severity of the law respecting the contact of the sexes Matthew 5:28. And yet what law is more frequently violated? By obscene anecdotes and tales; by songs and gibes; by double meanings and innuendoes; by looks and gestures; by conversation, and obscene books and pictures, this law of our Saviour is perpetually violated. If there is any one sentiment of most value for the comfort, the character, the virtuous sociability of the young - one that will shed the greatest charm over society, and make it the most pure, it is that which inculcates "perfect delicacy" and "purity" in the contact of the sexes. Virtue of any kind never blooms where this is not cherished. Modesty and purity once gone, every flower that would diffuse its fragrance over life withers and dies with it. There is no one sin that so withers and blights every virtue, none that so enfeebles and prostrates every ennobling feeling of the soul, as the violation of the seventh commandment in spirit or in form, in thought or in act. How should purity dwell in the heart, breathe from the lips, kindle in the eye, live in the imagination, and dwell in the conversation of all the young! An eternal, avenging God is near to every wanton thought, marks every eye that kindles with impure desire, rolls the thunder of justice over every polluted soul, and is preparing woe for every violator of the laws of purity and chastity, Proverbs 7:22-23; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 2:18.
4. Revenge is equally forbidden. Persecution, slander, a spirit of litigation, anger, personal abuse, dueling, suicide, murder, are all violations of the law of God, and all must call down His vengeance.
5. We are bound to love our enemies. This is a law of Christianity, original and unique. No system of religion but Christianity has required it, and no act of Christian piety is more difficult. None shows more the power of the grace of God; none is more ornamental to the character; none more like God; and none furnishes better evidence of piety. He that can meet a man kindly who is seeking his hurt; who can speak well of one that is perpetually slandering and cursing him; that can pray for a man that abuses, injures, and wounds him: and that can seek heaven for him that wishes his damnation, is in the way to life. This is religion, beautiful as its native skies; pure like its Source; kind like its Author; fresh like the dews of the morning; clear and diffusive like the beams of the rising sun; and holy like the feelings and words that come from the bosom of the Son of God. He that can do this need not doubt that he is a Christian. He has caught the very spirit of the Saviour, and he must inherit eternal life.
LibraryThe Eighth Beatitude
'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'--MATT. v. 10. We have seen the description of the true subjects of the kingdom growing into form and completeness before our eyes in the preceding verses, which tell us what they are in their own consciousness, what they are in their longings, what they become in inward nature by God's gift of purity, how they move among men as angels of God, meek, merciful, peace-bringing. Is anything more needed …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Second Beatitude
The Law of Love
"Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
"You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
2 Samuel 22:31
"As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
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