March 21st, 2013: The Thirty-Second Day of Lent

March 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”

~Matthew 7.24~

After speaking about the coming judgment, Christ turns to the topic of teaching – specifically, his own teaching. We have already seen that his teaching accurately shows us the will of God the Father. Since Christ knows those who do the will of the Father, we must pay careful mind to not only know, but to carry out Christ’s teaching.

With this in mind, Christ employs some imagery here to help us understand. Dry locations within the nation of Israel would experience flash floods during the rainy season. Homes needed to be anchored to bedrock in order to avoid being swept away. Christ employs a bit of construction common sense to get his point across; building one’s home on anything other than solid ground would have been seen as folly.

How do we start building on bedrock? We listen to Christ’s teaching. Listening here means more than simply hearing words; it means to integrate the learning into one’s being. Christ mentions following as a point of emphasis; his language is similar to our phrase, “Listen and listen good!” or, “Do this and do it right!” It may sound redundant to some, but it brings the point home: simply knowing the information isn’t enough. One must live out what they know.

This opens up a parable that we’ve probably heard before: the contrast between building one’s house upon solid ground and upon sand. However, with our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we have the ability to see this within context. This parable closes up a section of teaching that covers the realities of the Kingdom of Heaven; it also immediately follows on the heels of a rather frightening teaching on judgment. With these things in mind, perhaps we will be able to see this teaching with fresh eyes.

Today, let’s contemplate “solid ground.” Hearing and doing Christ’s teaching is wise; it’s a hallmark of being a citizen of God’s Kingdom. What is the solid ground present in your life now? What areas need to be built on solid ground?

Lord Christ, thank you for your teaching that prepares us to be judged in your eyes alone. Help me to not only hear, but also to do what you teach. Amen. 

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