“Finally brethren, if there is any excellence…dwell on these things.”
— Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Unlike the words Paul has used so far, excellence is not an attribute in itself. Rather, it is a degree of quality. Here Jesus is reminding us not just of his own qualities, but of the high and excellent degree of his qualities.
Jesus is not only true, but the truth. He is the ultimate truth and the source of all truth. He is the light and the life of men. He is not only honorable, but the standard by which all honorable things are measured. He is not only right by happenstance, but he defines rightness and has carefully planned it. He is not only pure, but he is the most excellent pure. He is not only without defect, but infinite and incorruptible. He does not simply possess beauty, but he is beauty and loveliness itself. He creates attraction and passion and romance. No one can choose to commend him at will, but he demands to be commended by his greatness. He is excellent and the most excellent of all.