"BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT."

When Jesus said, in his sermon on the mount, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," he placed a high standard before his followers, a standard seemingly impossible of attainment, from the human view-point, and yet one entirely in keeping with the Master's teaching and with his own demonstration of spiritual understanding and power. Again, in the same sermon, he rebuked the sense of anxious thought for that which is merely temporal, and bade his followers seek first "the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;" indeed, throughout his ministry we find him enforcing and pressing home the teaching that no lesser endeavor than the attainment of that perfectness which is of the Father is permitted to pass as the ideal of Christianity.

There is no hint, in this demand for perfection, that any concession will be made, any excuse accepted. Whatever the obstacle that seeks to interpose itself, to hinder or prevent the desired accomplishment, it must be overcome. When, after that indubitable proof on the mount of transfiguration of the divinity of him whom they knew as the great Teacher, the Master, Jesus the Christ, the disciples failed to accomplish the healing of the epileptic boy, doubtless some of them excused their failure with the thought that anyway they had done the best they could with the case. It will be observed, however, that their work received no commendation from the Master; there was only the implied rebuke that were their faith even "as a grain of mustard seed" nothing would be impossible to them. It will also be noted that Jesus showed them that this so-called best could be improved upon, and demonstrated the truth of his declaration by his own healing of the boy.

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TO THE LINE AND TO THE PLUMMET
December 9, 1911
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