We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. James 3, verse 2.
When was the last time you were perfect? Jesus lived a perfect human life. He committed no sin; ever. Not one “no” when He should have said “yes.” Not one selfish thought; not one second of lust; not one action thought or done out of malice. Jesus proved a perfect life can be lived. It can be done. Why haven’t me or you done it? When was the last time you were perfect?
Here endeth the preaching. Time to get down from the pulpit because, in chapter 3, James is grace in your face. He talks about taming the tongue, then the better ways of wisdom. He doesn’t get in our faces with preaching, perfectionism, and poking us with a stick of anger. Instead, he gets in our faces with grace, with Jesus’ grace, reminding us that Jesus lived a perfect life for us, for you and me and everyone you can think of. Remember that verse 1 reminded us that those who teach are accountable. Now read verse 2 again. Isn’t this a more gentle reminder that those who teach, do?
Jesus taught us to be perfect. Not to try: to be. “Remember the Titans;” have you ever seen that movie? Denzel Washington plays a high school football coach in a racially divided school, and he demands perfection from his players. Not the old college try: perfection. Loss-less perfection. Perfection in each play, in each game, in each day they learn to live together. He demanded perfection and taught his kids to achieve it. Jesus demands perfection and taught us the way to be perfect.
I don’t look at Jesus as the vengeful, fire-breathing Jehovah, master of the universe and all-power lord of time, space and dimension…but He is that God and those things. These are things I know in my mind and my heart, but I also know that the root of that all-powerful deity is love. That love, to remain love, demands holy perfection. His love is holy, blameless, without blemish, without fault, and it’s so powerful that He wants to share it with us. He wants us to share in Him, to join with that love. Yet He rightfully, righteously refuses to compromise on the love, demanding our perfection so as to not poison His. Without perfection, we can’t share in the love. Without the love, He wouldn’t be Jesus.
How did He make it all right? By choosing to selflessly die in our place. THAT is perfection. When was the last time you were perfect? Simple: when Jesus died to make you that way. That’s what James wants us to remember.
Perfect Savior, I praise You for Your perfection. Forgive my imperfections, and restore me to You.
How does Jesus make YOU perfect? Not me, not your friends, not your pastor, kids, or family: you.
What do you think of when you think of Jesus?
Do you think it’s possible to live a perfect life?