When a large company acquires a smaller company, often the larger company lays-off everyone in the smaller company except a few people who understand the bookkeeping system and the maintenance of the building structure. This radical strategy is designed to remove the possibility of critical naysayers bringing dissention into the larger company culture by comparing the new system with the old, and complaining about the differences. “Cleaning house” from top to bottom in the smaller company erases all of the old policies and practices that have been engrained in the smaller company organization, providing a fresh start for the new larger organization without the human resources problem of resistance and pushback to change.
As Abraham travels from the city of Haran to the region of Canaan, God displaces all of the old Haran-based plans and schemes of Abraham with an entirely new life-script plan so far above worldly conventional normalcy that Abraham could never have envisioned it. The higher ways of Gods were far above anything Abraham could have imagined. By changing the plan, God essentially terminates and fires the horizontally conventional, Haran-based worldly plans for culturally defined normalcy with an adventure of faith beyond human invention. Scripture says that Abraham believed God…went along with the radical change contained within his new calling…and this was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.
Jesus is the only person in all of human history qualified to expand upon the Ten Commandments to the level of moral perfection. No one before or after Jesus…philosophers, teachers, prophets, political leaders, even Moses himself…attempted to present the absolute standard of perfect moral thought and behavior from the divine perspective. What mere mortal would suggest that looking upon a woman to lust after her is equivalent to committing adultery with her (Mt. 5:28)? Who other than God could or would come up with the idea that harboring unjustified anger toward another person is the equivalent of committing murder (Mt. 5:22)?
Jesus is the only person in human history who can justifiably present a divinely perfect standard of thought and behavior, without any hint of condescension, hypocrisy, or cheekiness. Jesus can do this with uncompromising truth because He will soon carry His cross toward Calvary to enable people to live up to these self-same very high standards. Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount, with its high moral precepts above anything spoken before or after in all of history, is above human imagination or literary creative invention. Having “ears to hear” (Mt. 11:15) and implementing the words of Jesus into our lives as wise people (Mt. 7:24-27) through the Holy Spirit, is allowing the divine Consultant to beneficially change our lives on an eternally practical and applicable level.
Following Jesus requires continuing change above and beyond our initial repentance, salvation, spiritual rebirth, and becoming new creatures in Christ. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ requires a life-long, new way of thinking. A journey of faith following Jesus displaces our conventional way of doing things according to worldly horizontal thinking. This is where picking up our cross and dying to self-sovereignty comes in. Our stubborn resistance to the changes God would implement in our lives must die on the cross alongside Jesus.