So what is the point of the Sermon on the Mount for us? Consider the people who heard it. They were amazed at Jesus and so he sat down to explain to them what he was doing. He explained a blessed life of God ruling, and of real righteousness. He said it would put us at odds with the world, but that it would be worth it. We would have to break our addiction to reactionary contempt and rationalized righteousness. We would actually need to grow to be more and more like our father in heaven.
Yes, he acknowledges that we have other concerns. But knowing the creator of all things physical, including our bodies and the world in which we get those physical needs met, is not a bad starting point. And in relation to others we need to back off from poking criticism and pushing pearls of wisdom and instead learn how to ask, seek and knock. To relate to people in interactive ways. The goal is not to look like you are doing things he was doing, the goal is to see and experience things more and more like he was. The doing will take care of itself.
So what? Don’t dismiss the Sermon as just beautiful ideals, nor frame the Sermon as an impossible standard which stands as a foil to grace. Rather, be awed by God’s goodness and grace and be rooted in His perspective and provision as you practically treasure what is really valuable, break old coping patterns, learn new ways and live them out meaningfully within the actual world in which you find yourself.
So what? I can grow in goodness and that would be blessed.