Can you ever fulfill what Jesus claims in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7)?
Yes, you can!
If you follow step by step the guidance Jesus is giving.
What is the first step?
Look at how Jesus begins his sermon!
Does he say what I have to do, and what not?
No. First he explains how to receive: Mt 5:3-10.
To receive the blessing is the way to begin the life with Jesus, and to finally fulfill all his commandments that seem so far beyond what I can do.
He even says (Mt 5:48): “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect“. Isn't this a complete illusion?
Not if I follow the way as Jesus is guiding us.
The way that will eventually lead to perfection begins by receiving God's blessing. This is the first instruction Jesus gives in this long sermon. He does not say: do this and that – rather he says: receive the abundance of blessing my Father has prepared for you.
How can I receive the blessing. What can I do?
Jesus explains (Mt 5:3): I will receive as I become poor in spirit. With the heart that is poor, empty, longing to be filled, that is humble and looking up to the Father, excitedly expecting – with this heart I prepare myself to receive all blessings from God that will lead me to live the life as his daughter and son, the life that Jesus lived.
Looking at Jesus as the strict teacher who asks me to do things I can never fulfill will only lead me to despair and far away from God. Rather, I want to look at him as the son of God, as my brother who lived the life that I want to live as well. And I learn from him how to live this life.
Jesus says about himself (Mt 11:29): “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“
How is the son of God, and what can we learn from him? He is humble in heart, he is poor in spirit, he is longing to be filled by God.
The beginning and lasting foundation of a life as children of God is a poor spirit, a humble heart, that is always longing for and ready to receive the abundance of our Father's blessings.