The teachings of Jesus: Nothing less than perfection

The end goal seemed like a good place to start in delving into Jesus’ teachings – which Jesus spelled out in Matthew 5:48, that “you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” To Jesus, nothing less than perfection for his disciples will do. 

It seems like a tall order for either me to fulfill, or Jesus, because what he inherited in me is a far cry from his Father’s perfection. But he takes us on as his disciples to help us become perfect by his Father’s standards.

He’s like a highly skilled diamond cutter, who can tell by looking at a rough diamond what cuts need to be made for that particular diamond to shine to perfection. 

And Jesus isn’t scrimping on the cutting either. Now that we belong to him, he’s settling for nothing less than the cuts necessary to make us shine to perfection too. And where we might feel satisfied with our progress, he isn’t. He won’t be satisfied until he’s got us to the perfection he’s after.  

Or as John phrased it in 1 John 1:7, he “purifies us from every sin.” The Greek word for “sin” in that verse is hamartias (ha-mar-tee-us), meaning a structural defect or fatal flaw, which ties in rather nicely with the rough diamond analogy, because a defect or flaw in the diamond could lead to it splintering when being cut, and never being the beauty it could have been. Well, Jesus isn’t going to allow that to happen. He sees every defect and flaw in us, and he’s not about to let them destroy what he sees in us, and the final perfection he has in mind.   

And he’s chipping away at us as far as he can go before we die, never for a second letting our weaknesses and flaws distract or discourage him. His goal remains fixed, to make us into something beautiful that his Father can say of us too one day: “This is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” 

In other words, it’s a perfection in us that his Father will love forever, want to live with forever, and live in forever too, as his eternal home. And a home fit for the Father isn’t a nicely renovated house with a few cosmetic improvements; it’s a brand new palace, a thing of beauty, without a flaw. And to Jesus nothing less than that for his Father will suffice.  

One thought on “The teachings of Jesus: Nothing less than perfection

  1. This reminds me of the idiom, “A chip off the old block,” in other words, a “chip” off the same piece of stone. The meaning is: “someone who resembles their parent in character or appearance.” The “old block” is reminiscent of the “ancient of days,” the “chief cornerstone,” who is our Lord Jesus Christ.

    When Jesus chose his disciples, he selected the “chips,” the “pebbles” or “little stones.” This is the meaning of the Greek word “Pétros,” the name Jesus gave Simon Bar-Jonah (John 1:42). “Pétros” is “properly, a stone (pebble), such as a small rock found along a pathway” (HELPS Word-studies), or “small stone,” which stands in contrast to “pétra,” a “cliff” or “boulder.” All those who profess Christ, are “chips” off the old “block.” These are the “chips” Jesus is using to build His temple. ….. I really love analogies and word play. Don’t you? 🙂

    All jesting aside, Jesus isn’t going to leave us as rough little “chips,” these little “diamonds in the rough.” Oh, no!! After all, He is building His “masterpiece”—His glorious temple—with these little “chips.”

    First they have to be “cut” to fit together—“in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21). Like “diamonds in the rough” they have to be “cut” just right to show forth their “brilliance”—that radiating light that “reflects” the glory of the Lord. This “little rock” is cut into many facets, each facet reflecting a “fruit of the spirit.”

    The “Master Gem-cutter” is going to cut away and turn “hatred” to “love,” “jealousies” to “joy,” “selfish ambitions” to “peace,” “contentions, dissensions” to “longsuffering,” “envy” to “kindness,” “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness” to “goodness,” “idolatry, heresies, sorcery” to “faithfulness,” “murders, drunkenness, revelries” to “gentleness,” “outbursts of wrath” to “self-control.”

    Whew!!! ….. That’s a lot of cutting away to do……

    Finally, “a white stone” is given to him who has “overcome” (Rev 2:17). This is the purely cut “diamond” made to fit perfectly to the “temple” which is Christ’s “body”—AND which brilliantly “reflects” all the “hues” of God’s radiant glory. What an AWESOME building that is…..these “chips” become “diamonds,” “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:20)


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