To be as Perfect as our Heavenly Father - We have to be set free!
Jesus wanted His followers to be different from other believers around them. So He gave them this instruction--“Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.” Hearing this I'm sure they balked a little on that one--and asked: Isn’t our heavenly father–God? Isn’t He all-powerful, all knowing and all good? How can we even attempt to be like Him?
When we look at ourselves, we can see how selfish, arrogant, and blind we are in our own concerns, and narrow-minded in many areas of life? Knowing this, we want to turn to Jesus and ask--“can’t you give us something easy, something that we can do?"
Instead, Jesus gives this helpful hint about how God the Father is perfect. “He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” God the Father avoids differentiating--He just pours His love over everyone-the people we like and those who are “thorns in our side.” God just gives and shares equally and the same.
Jesus hopes we will imitate Him for in being like Jesus we are as perfect as our heavenly Father. Jesus preached our forgiving those who need forgiveness, showing mercy to those who hurt us, and making fresh starts when relationships are broken-exactly as the Father does in the same situations.
However, to do this we need to be free of what prevents us from acting like Jesus, and becoming as generous as God. We know we need self-control, and this doesn’t come easily. We realize we have to be free of grudges, prejudices and biases. After all, wasn’t Jesus free enough to die for each of us even though we didn’t deserve that gift? Jesus simply freed us anyway and then rose from the dead inviting us to follow Him to heaven. Jesus sets the goal--"be perfect as His Father is perfect” and then He set out to show us how to achieve it.
What Jesus wants from His followers is that we make a promise to strive for that perfection by shaking free from the shackles that hold us back from that perfection. When we are free, we “can make the sun rise on the bad and the good, and rain fall on the just and the unjust in our lives” exactly as Jesus and His Father do every day. When that day dawns, we will be exactly the followers Jesus seeks!