But that’s impossible…

Have you read the Sermon on the Mount lately? You should. Go read it now. I’ll wait. Hey, while you’re there, think about what would happen if you literally did everything Jesus said there. Okay, go read it.

I find it interesting that so many readings of the Sermon on the Mount (and all of Jesus’ ethical teachings) come to a place where they essentially say, “Well, Jesus didn’t really mean that, he meant this,” and replace his hard teaching with something we are more capable of performing. The tendency is always to make it something people can actually do that somehow approximates the impossible standard Jesus called for. The unstated assumption here is that Jesus must not have understood what it was like to be human – forgetting that he was fully human himself – and also fully God and thus able to understand what he doing and teaching.

I think Jesus was very intentional in setting his impossibly high standard, because central to being Jesus’ follower is coming to know that, “with humans this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” You can only be a disciple of Jesus to the extent that you are dependent on the Holy Spirit.