28 February 2011

Be Perfect, as Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect (Matthew 5:48)

In the very last of the 430 works Schlatter wrote, a devotional book aimed at undermining rising Nazi nationalism, he comments on Matthew 5:48:
'In this case I am bound, and in this case I am loosed. Now I must obey God, and now I can do whatever I want,' the Jew said. Jesus tells him, 'No!' The heavenly Father is perfect. He does nothing piecemeal, and he does not tolerate anything done halfway. But you dissect God's commandment into many small fragments. It does not seize all of you, does not control your thoughts and volition in their entirety, and does not subject your life in its entirety. This results in your doing things halfway. With your 'half' life you are your own master. One moment you fear God; the next you are godless.

Jesus set his disciples free from this kind of 'religion.'
--Adolf Schlatter, Do We Know Jesus? (trans. R. Yarbrough and A. Kostenberger; Kregel, 2005), 159

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