"IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT"

An incident recorded in the Gospel of Matthew describes a young man who came to Jesus to ask for specific enlightenment on the subject of eternal Life. One would gather from the narrative that knowledge of, and concern for, the demonstration of the Ten Commandments had been instilled into the young man from childhood. Acquaintance with the Mosaic law had evidently not satisfied him, for he asked the Master (Matt. 19:20), "What lack I yet?" To this Jesus replied, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."

The essence of the teachings of Jesus was his insistence on Love as the motive power of all action. By his life, teachings, and works he showed that the mere acceptance of a code of conduct is of little value and that any such acceptance must be translated into deeds. The theorists, whose lives were examples of words without deeds, merited the condemnation of Jesus, who said (Matt. 23:27), "Ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full ... of all uncleanness."

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RECONCILIATION
July 21, 1956
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