Jesus was speaking to the outer man when he said, “Be ye perfect. ” He was really telling human beings that they ought to be perfect because the Father within them already is perfect. It seems to me that the only way we can translate the meaning of these words is to accept them in their simplicity and interpret them as though they actually meant what he said. For Jesus never wasted time in idle talk. The more you study the simplicity of his style, the more you discover that it reached to the very foundation of being itself and that among all the great teachers of the ages Jesus had reduced his spiritual philosophy to a few simple, fundamental facts from which he taught and from which he lived. He actually believed that there is a spiritual center within everyone and that when the intellect, the will and the feeling make a complete surrender of littleness, fear and doubt, it will discover something at the center of its own being that is big and adequate and already whole.
This inner center of our being is what is meant by the word Christ, the Anointed or the Illumined. And this is why one of the followers of Jesus said that we should put off the old man, which of course means all our fears and follies and put on the new man, which is Christ or “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ means God-in-us. It means the Divine Son at the center of every person’s life.
This is indeed the healing Christ. And if Jesus was right, we are both safe and sane when we believe there is a perfection forever established, a kingdom of God forever at hand and the possibility of good which is available right now.
But Jesus was more than a great spiritual thinker. He was practical. He was confronted by people then, as he would be now, who were sick, impoverished and unhappy, by those who had lost hope, the enthusiasm and joy for living. It was to these common people that he spoke. It was to them that he ministered. It was to them that he talked.
Jesus taught in the fields and out on the desert and as he walked by the wayside. He taught in the crowded street corner and by the shores of the lake. He said if we would let go of fear and doubt and gain faith, then we should discover something that we had never even dreamed of. We would discover that there is a perfection, a completeness, a wholeness at the innermost center of our being.