Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Be ye therefore perfect
This verse has been to known to create quite some anxiety among the faithful. Most of us find it difficult enough to just be good, let alone having to worry about being perfect. However the meaning that we associate to the word “perfect” is somewhat removed from original Greek word that Matthew chose for his gospel.
The term rendered “perfect” in most English translations is τέλειοι (teleioi), the same word used in the Septuagint for תָּמִים and meaning “brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness.” … Applied to people, it refers to completeness of parts.
Ultimately we hope to achieve perfection in the next life, but for now it would appear that it is enough to strive for completeness.
Wilt thou be made whole?
Consider how this need for completeness aligns with Jesus’s oft-repeated offer to make incomplete people whole. Something is lacking in each of us, and Jesus fills that hole, thus making us whole.
And when incomplete people are made whole they rejoice. Consider the example of Philip and the eunuch. That eunuch was frustrated by his own ignorance, and Philip taught him the gospel and baptized him, filling that lacking. Having been made that much more complete, we are told that the eunuch went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
This idea is certainly in-line with my own observations. I just completed sharing about my personal experiences yesterday, and what stood out to me was that my joy came when I felt most complete. Being healed, or enlightened, or given purpose…these are all ways that God makes us whole. And we feel great joy in that.