About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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written 2004

Understanding The Hard Words Jesus Said

We all know that Jesus took the punishment for our sins. Godís anger was poured out on Jesus through His death as a criminal. One Man was punished so that all men could escape Godís anger. As a result we are saved from Godís anger and have forgiveness for our sins. Yet the story does not end there. God sees Christians as perfect and righteous in His eyes. How can this be? Did this come about as a result of the death of Jesus? No.

Jesus lived the perfect sinless life while He was on earth. This had never been done. Godís holy nature demands that we live the sinless life and that we be totally righteous. God humbled Himself by becoming a human like us. In His humanity, although being fully God, He lived a perfect life. As a result, One Man lived the perfect life so that all men could have the chance of being righteous in Godís eyes, even though we are far from that condition. Simply put, Jesus lived the perfect life for us.

If Jesus did in fact live the perfect life, which He did, then all that He said was perfect and was motivated by perfection. This means that it was impossible for Jesus to say any words of compromise. It was not in His nature to say, "O, I know you are only human. I understand. I will let you off. Donít worry about the little sins, just work on the big ones". No, He could not say such things. He had to say, "be perfect as I am perfect" (Mat. 5:48). No compromise of perfection could be found in His words, or even in the way He said those words

This is the reason why Jesus said so many hard to follow statements. He said such things as, if you lust after a woman in your heart, you have committed adultery with her (Mat. 5:21-26). He also said, if you get angry at your brother, it is like killing him in your heart (Mat. 5: 27-30). And one of the strongest things He said was, "be perfect as I am perfect".

Did Jesus think that we could be perfect. I donít think so. He knew what was in the heart of man. He had to say these hard words because by being perfect Himself He could not compromise in the things He said.

I believe this is the reason why we see all the hard saying of Jesus. He had no other choice. He could say nothing else. Does He really think we have the ability to be perfect, even though He tells us to be perfect? I donít think so. He knows ours hearts. That is why He lived the sinless life, so that He could view us as sinless, even though we are not. His Holy Spirit can make us more holy, but we will never be perfect in this life as Jesus is.

Many times in the past I have struggled over why Jesus said some of the things He said. I have now come to realize that He said those hard statements because He had to. I also know that I cannot live up to these words. I also know that He lived the perfect life for me so that He could count me as being perfect. This does not give me an excuse to sin, as some accused the Apostle Paul of saying, but rather it makes me more thankful to Jesus which helps me to allow the Holy Spirit to have more of His way in my life. This is the good news of the gospel. Paul lays this thinking out clear as a bell in his book

 

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