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June 5, 2013

Text: Matthew 7:24-27   “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

This parable is the magnificent closing of Jesus’ incomparable “Sermon on the Mount”. It is common knowledge that a speaker should have a whiz bang of a finale, and Jesus had a doozy ! Standing at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the Sermon on the Mount is a sort of  verbal manifesto of the principles of conduct  of the citizens of Jesus’ kingdom. The sermon begins with the “beatitudes”, nine concise spiritual principles to root one in kingdom living. Following the beatitudes each successive subject taken up by Jesus fits intimately with the others to form a code of ethics.

By the time Jesus has pronounced these principles, he has validated his authority to reveal them. Now he must establish how the hearers should approach them. Is one to take them seriously?  If  I accept these standards, how will they impact my  life?  But,  just who is this man? Does he have the authority  to state these bold teachings?

In the city of Capernaum one day Jesus preaches in a house thronged by hearers and infirm persons seeking a healing. Four men came bearing their paralytic friend.  Finding the way to Jesus barred, they                                took him on the roof, tore away the tiles and lowered him to Jesus. Due to the faith demonstrated by his friends, Jesus said to the sick man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  A hubbub ensued and Jesus was accused by some of the scribes of  blasphemy. To counter the charge and prove his authority, Jesus then turns to the paralytic and says, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” Mark 2:11. The authority of Jesus was confirmed: if he could heal, he could also forgive sins.

Everyone chooses, consciously or unconsciously, a foundation to build his soul upon: the teachings of the Son of God, or the shifting sands of this world. The teachings of Jesus are indestructible and eternal. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35  Choose to build on the rock that is credible, solid and eternal.

Both choices will have their joys and sorrows. The joys of the sand will be unfulfilled  and fleeting. Conversely, the joys of choosing the trustworthiness of Jesus, the rock,  will carry one through this life and into heaven. Weigh the outcome, then choose.

Ask yourself, “What do I have to gain or lose?” Don’t devalue your soul. It is your most important possesion,

With this wonderful parable as the finale, Jesus certifies that all of his teaching, in this sermon and in all of his pronouncements, are the bedrock upon which one should construct his spiritual life. Get on this rock, live as Jesus teaches, and abide eternally.

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Yes! And our children have a powerful song to go along with it. We sing it at almost every service.

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