Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
“Even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Though fittingly employed at the close of this chapter, the word “perfect” is more immediately connected with the last few verses. Dealing with that strange inference of the Pharisees, that because we are commanded to love our neighbors, we are therefore required to hate our enemies, Christ presents the true idea of love, the perfect conception of love. He demands such a love as can make what is opposite to it, as well as what is akin to it, its object. The apostles teach that perfection is the idea, the aim, to be kept in the soul of the Christian, there to work as a perpetual inspiration to the seeking of perfection in the life and conduct. St. Paul presents the distinction between full-grown men and little children. The full-grown men are the perfect; they have reached the fullness, the standard, of Christian manhood. A man “perfect” is one who has attained his moral end, the standard according to which he was made; one in whom every Christian grace has reached its ripeness and maturity.