3/10/15 How To Be Perfect

He sees looks of confusion on the faces of His disciples and stops.  “Rabbi, we don’t understand,” shouts someone in the crowd, “You are angry with the Pharisees because they place too much importance on keeping every minute aspect of the law.  But now You say that is the very purpose for Your coming?”  Jesus looks at them with compassion and explains, “The Pharisees neglect the most important aspects of the law – the commandments to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  In doing so, they keep those laws that they feel are most important, and many of them use those laws to increase their own power.  They have no love in their hearts.  Without love, they cannot understand the purpose of the law, and so they can never keep it perfectly.  They also invent their own new laws based solely on traditions they feel are important, but having no authority from the Law Giver.  And so they are hypocrites, accusing and punishing people for breaking the law when they themselves do the same.  And they are like false prophets, proclaiming lies in the name of God.  Even the most obscure commandment in the law is important, and anyone who teaches people otherwise is a liar and will be smallest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But if you strive to keep all the commandments, starting with love in your hearts for God and His creation, and teach others to do the same, you will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But not even the Pharisees can do this, because you are all human, and no one is immune to temptation.  Since God is Holy and requires perfect fulfillment of the law for any who would live in His presence, the only way to accomplish this is to send you a Savior, who is fully human but also fully God, and able to be tempted but to resist, to live the perfect life that you cannot.  This is why I tell you if you put your trust in Me, you will be saved from your sins and be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 5:19-20

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