Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Anybody who spent any part of their childhood in Sunday school will surely be familiar with Jesus’ dramatic metaphor of our lives being built on a rock or the sand. They’ve probably sung songs and done actions on this as I have.
This is now the end of ‘The sermon on the mount’. As I mentioned previously these 3 chapters of Matthew were probably a summary of Jesus’ main teaching on the manifesto of how to live the Christian life. Something He probably repeated (at least in part) on many occasions.
Jesus is now drawing everything He has been saying into a conclusion and as on many occasions He turns it into a memorable little picture. Another technique He uses quite regularly is to say the same thing in the negative and positive forms.
Firstly we see that He talks about hearing and then doing. The first part is the easy bit, the second a lot harder. It is not enough to just listen to sermons, no matter how good they are. Jesus says that we will be wise if we put into practice what we have heard. It sounds obvious doesn’t it? But putting things into practice takes an amazing amount of discipline and perseverance. The Apostle James puts it like this;
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22)
I have written blogs on this series since 17thJuly 2015. That’s 70 blogs! Can I ask you a forthright question? How many have you read and done something about? Actually acted upon the revelation of Jesus and the promptings from The Holy Spirit?
It’s a really good discipline, when after reading your bible, you ask The Holy Spirit to actually help you put into practice what you have just read.
The second thought from today’s passage is the certainty that we will face trials. Jesus never said ‘If something happens’ He simply stated ‘the rain fell’, ‘the floods came’, ‘the winds blew’. It is rather assumed that these things will certainly happen. We can quite easily forget about this part because it is not something we want to dwell on or think about, but the bible reveals that if we want to live for God and make Jesus the Lord of our lives, then trials will surely follow.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
We should never look for trials, just not be surprised when they come and confident that whatever happens, God is with us.
Next week I’m going to wrap the whole series up and look at the authority of Jesus.
If you have any ideas of what you would like me to look at next as a subject, why not put a comment in the box below.