Why did Jesus say "Be perfect"?


I need help. In Matthew 5, Jesus said this:

5:48. Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

But He is the only one that can do so. Why tell us sinners to be perfect then? I don’t understand. What is the explanation? As long as I am not perfect in loving my enemies then what? It’s really got me despairing of pleasing God. :frowning:


He wants us to imitate, as closely as we are able, His divine perfection. (And each time we fail, we should seek His mercy and begin again.)


I think that Christ is calling us all to strive for an extreme degree of holiness. There is no real difference between our capacities and the capacities of the Catholic saints, some of whom did reach a degree of perfection in life. See St. Maria Faustina’s diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul and God’s conversations to her as a “sinful soul”, “despairing soul”, but also “perfect soul.” I once thought that maybe we beat ourselves over the head too much if we strive for perfection given that it is stressful, it seems scrupulous, and etc. Yet, I read that William Wilberforce spear-headed the campaign to end slavery in the British emprie. He did this rather than joint the religious ministry. If you read his autobiography, he was extremely hard and critical of himself. He also faced persecution from others from being “too religious.” I once read a saint who said be gentle on others, hard on yourself. I just doubt that we will reach sainthood or an extreme degree of holiness without striving for perfection and regretting each venial sin. I am certainly no perfect individual as I sin frequently but it doesn’t mean that I can’t strive and that year by year I become closer to the person that Christ, Mary, and Joseph ultimately want me to be. :heart:

Diary of St. Maria Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml


Our love can be perfect if it is the Love of God our Father that we share with each other. Love comes to us from God eventhough we are all sinners. Because we are sinners we need to share Gods Love and forgiveness with eachother at all times. The love we share with a sinner is as perfect as the love we share with a Saint. I think this is how it works.

Don’t drive yourself crazy. Just Love God with all your heart.


Jesus isn’t the only one. Mary for starters was perfect.

Bear in mind, too, that there are different types of perfection. A thing can constitute perfection when it is the best OF ITS KIND.

A plastic cup can be a perfect plastic cup, compared to imperfect plastic cups. It’s not the same thing as a perfect crystal glass. But then if that crystal glass is IMperfect then the perfect plastic cup is more perfect, no?

Then too, perfection also relates to how well something fulfils the function it is designed for. A plastic cup is perfect to drink out of at a picnic or kid’s party, a fork or a shoe, or a crystal glass (even if it is a perfectly designed fork, shoe, or crystal glass) is in fact very IMperfect in this context - it doesn’t fulfil the purpose like a plastic cup does.


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