Thursday, April 8, 2010

Matthew 7:24-29 A Tale of Two Hearers Part II

When we were examining this passage in the pervious post, we noted that there were two people who had the same privilege of hearing Christ teach. One of these people acted on what they heard—the other one ignored what he heard. Other than being pronounced by the Lord of Heaven and Earth as being “wise” or “foolish”, what effect did their response have on their lives? What did Jesus say here will be the result of their action or inaction in response to His words?

First of all, these men, who in this parable are builders, both built a house but they used very different foundations. I think we can probably take the building of a house to building or living our lives. At least, that seems to be the point Jesus is making. The wise man, who heard His words and acted on them, has found a firm foundation to build on because Jesus’ words are truthful and sure. Jesus says this man, the one who obeys what he has heard from the Lord, builds his house on a rock. His foundation is sturdy, level, and cannot be easily moved. Someone who places their trust in Christ and obeys His word will, therefore, have a sure footing.

Not so for the man who rejected the words of the Lord. The foundation he builds upon is sand. Have you ever tried to run in sand? It is hard to get a solid foothold. It’s easy to slip or sink because the sand cannot support your weight and shifts with the slightest movement. This instability is a reflection of the type of foundation one has in their life if they try to live by any standard other than that of Christ. They never have a sure footing as they walk through this world. Further, they have no way to stand up to the storms and trials of life.

Rest assured, my friends, those storms are coming. There is no way I could have gone through the things that I have gone through unless God had been with me. From joblessness to problems with my health and financial worries, I have learned that I can trust in God no matter how bad things get. I have found him to be a strong foundation for my house in the times of the storm. No matter what I go through, I can trust that God will provide for me and that my house will not fall, as Jesus says, because my house is built on His word.

In contrast, those who don’t trust in Christ and have rejected His word will see just how solid that sand is when the storms come. When the winds blow and the rains come, there will be nothing there to support the walls of the house. The sandy foundation will wash away and the house, as Jesus says in verse 27, will fall. Even if a non-believer is able to endure the tragedies of this life they will perish forever without Christ. That, my friends, is a fall you can’t recover from.

As we come to a close on this passage and on the Sermon on the Mount as a whole, I would ask that you observe with me the response of the crowd. Notice that they were astonished. Matthew records they were “amazed at His teaching”—but not just at the substance of it, which was awesome in its own right. They recognized His “authority”. The Scribes and Pharisees taught from authority. They had been to school, studied hard, and had been given authority. Jesus taught with authority. His authority was His because it was part of His nature as the divine Son of God. The question I would ask you to ponder today is this—have you submitted to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ? These people recognized it. Do you?

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