Jesus means business. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is not beating around the bush. He’s going straight for the heart and the foundations of who we are. We might have hoped our lives were only in need of some light renovation and cosmetic improvements, but Jesus knows this is a tear-down and rebuild situation. We need a new heart, a new life, and a new way. And Jesus means to get the job done.
I’m reminded of what C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
So let Jesus swing away. He knows what He’s doing. He is making room for Himself. Because we are loved, more than we know.