Building and Preparing for the Tests of Life

Building and Preparing for the Tests of Life

GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus – Sermon on Mount (Part 32)

So far this Sermon on the Mount has covered citizens of the Kingdom, their blessedness and relation to the world, the righteousness which the King grants and demands of them, and now the invitation to enter into this Kingdom.  

Jesus has regularly defined two groups in this Sermon – the counterfeit and phony purveyors of the traditional religion and the Law, who twisted its interpretation for personal gain and power; and the genuine follower of Jesus, who, having believed in Him who is the Messiah, now in gratitude lives a life of obedience and devotion to the redemptive message of Jesus and the cross.  Therefore, it is not surprising at the end of this sermon for Jesus to again feature these two groups – the foolish and wise builder.

Matthew 7:24-2924“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

 The Foolish Builder      The Wise Builder           The Difference

Manner – built on sandManner – built on a rockHouse destroyed vs house that stood in the storm
The Test – the rain, stream, windsThe Test – the rain, stream, windsThe Result – everyone is tested in life.  Only the house built on the rock will stand.


The Conclusion – Again, no fence sitting in the kingdom of God.  We are all in, or we are outside.  The gate can be wide, the easy believe-ism for the traveler which leads to separation from God and to destruction; or the gate can be narrow, the commitment of the disciple and pilgrim who follows the words of Jesus and always looks to stay established in the Truth of His Life and example and words.

The true disciples understood this message.  They got it.  Peter would later write:
 
1 Peter 2:4-6 4As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him- 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
 
This is the one who builds his life on Jesus as the Rock, who prepares for the guaranteed and inevitable tests of life, and stands firm in those tests, ‘the one who trusts in Him [and]will never be put to shame.  No wonder, at the end of this historic sermon that it was said: 28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
 
Next week, Jesus uses lessons of faith – of one that Jesus “had not found in Israel with such great faith” – to teach about the road for the disciple.  Stay well.

— John Moore

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