2017-07-23 – Matthew 7:24-27– Parables of Jesus – Foundations
Hearers and Doers
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
2017-07-23 – Matthew 7:24-27– Parables of Jesus – Foundations
Good morning everyone. I am so pleased that you chose to spend the with us here today..
Vacation Bible School is now behind us and I want to thank you all for your help and participation and prayer. We had about 45 workers all together, and somewhere around 100 students overall. I intend to follow-up with the students and families so please keep that in prayer.
We also completed the “Love thy neighbor” mission project just down the street, where our church along with Pleasant Grove Baptist church VBS Team and Kevin Bloom who runs a group called Shields of Faith for veterans was able to tear down and rebuild a wooden deck and staircase that was getting ready to fall down on its own. The owners of the house are a wonderful elderly couple, and it turns out they are a neighbor to Pastor Jon and his wife Sue from First Baptist church. Through it all we were able to help our neighbors and strengthen our bond with First Baptist. We even used First Baptist’s shuttle bus which allowed us to reach out to the public housing units here in town. And thus, many children heard the Gospel here at our church; Praise the Lord! I have a few pictures and videos to share with you now. ||
Take a look around the church and see the work done when you have the chance. [VBS, MISSION & CONSTRUCTION EXPENSES]
We are continuing in the sermon series on The Parables of Jesus. Last week we learned from Jesus about the parable called The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The message in that parable was that our works don’t save us, God’s grace does. God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven and for us to enter into a right and eternal relationship with Him. Our sins have been paid for on the cross by Jesus at Calvary trough His death, burial and resurrection. Amen?
Our God is a God of love, compassion and mercy. As Christians, we should do all we can to help others know Him through living our lives in a manner that shows the love, mercy, and understanding that our loving Savior has shown to each of us.. Well Today, Jesus will teach us about the Parable of the Two Builders
Please turn in your Bibles to Matthew 7:24, Page 7 of the New Testament in the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God. Let us Pray…
Within what is called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples a parable designed to drive home the importance of doing what He taught. The Gospel books of Matthew and Luke both have their versions of the Sermon on the Mount, and they both end with the parable of the two builders, one whose house stands, and the other whose house collapses.
In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus says:
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.
The account of this same parable in the Gospel of Luke has some small differences in details:
In Luke 6:47–49, Jesus says:
Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
Now the textual differences in these two versions of the parable are minor, and some commentators explain that Luke, writing for Gentile Christians, slightly adapted the parable in a manner that would make the word picture more relevant to them. While Matthew’s text reflects first-century Palestinian building practices. I’ll reference Matthew’s version primarily, and sometimes comment on Luke’s.
Matthew’s wise builder, makes sure that his house is built on a solid base of rock, whereas the man in Luke digs through the topsoil until he reaches the bedrock below, building the foundation of the house on the rock. They both make the same point—that building on a strong foundation makes the house strong. The one who hears Jesus’ words and does them is like this builder.
The second builder avoids the hard work of digging down to bedrock and rather chooses the easier way, by building on the surface without a solid foundation. Luke says the second builder constructed his house on the ground without a foundation. Matthew makes the same point by saying the house was built on the sand. Not contradicting each other, but stating additional details for the listener.
Upon completion, both of these houses would look pretty much the same, and under normal conditions, one probably couldn’t tell the difference. But what a difference there really was! They might have looked good on the outside, but there was much difference in their foundations.
You should know that in first-century Palestine, most houses were built in the summer months in order to avoid working outdoors in the rainy season. The summers are hot, and digging a foundation during that time of year was difficult. But the hard work was necessary to build a house that would stand strong.
The difference between the two houses is seen when the rain comes. Israel’s rainy season is from mid-October to March, with the majority of the rain falling in January. When there is heavy rain, it can produce runoff from the hills and mountains, which sweeps away anything in its path.
Anyone ever been in a flood? Not a good experience indeed. I remember helping out in the flood of 93 in Bettendorf, IA. I was a young soldier and living on a hill in Bettendorf, when the rains came (gully washer). I thought the stream coming down my street hill was pretty cool, so I actually went and got an air mattress and did some impromptu water rafting.. Then I heard the emergency sirens, and found out people were stranded in the middle of Duck-creek. I called my buddy who worked at the Arsenals Recreation center and had him quickly bring some canoes so we could help. We picked up people and their belongings for the next eight hours. I remember being in my canoe inside a man’s living room as he was getting some necessary medication. It was getting dark as I was floating there, and I saw the light switch on the wall, so I reached over with my paddle and flicked the switch.. The lights came on even though we were in 4 feet of water in his living room. Anyway I can imagine of the “rain runoff” in this parable situation to be similar to that 93 flood; pretty consequential indeed.
It is such a situation that Jesus refers to when He says, “the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house.” A strong rain with wind and flooding assailed the house built on rock, but it stood firm. Whereas the house with no foundation collapsed. Both houses faced the rain, wind, storm, and flood; but only the one with the firm foundation stood unharmed.
In telling this parable, Jesus challenged the listeners with a choice: to hear and ignore, or to hear and put into practice. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught about discipleship and living in God’s kingdom. Then He put forth the challenge to DO the hard work of applying what He had taught. The Jewish people to whom Jesus was speaking were familiar with the concept of hearing and doing by what was taught in Torah, but Jesus was specifically speaking about hearing and doing “these words of mine.” His point was that those who hear and do what He has taught are wise and those who don’t are foolish. Jesus’ Words are the solid foundation from which Christians should stand, and He made the point that His teachings were on par with the teaching of Old Testament Scripture. He later said: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Storm and flood verbiage is sometimes used in the Old Testament to describe life’s difficulties as well as God’s judgment. The collapsing house is ultimately a picture of judgment as well. At the same time, the parable can be seen as referring to the testing believers will in evidently encounter in this life.
This parable, which came at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, was spoken to Jesus’ disciples, and is likewise directed to all of us who believe in and follow Him. Christians are expected to apply the teachings of Jesus to their lives, and when we don’t, we are like the foolish builder whose faith and endurance fails in time of testing. The benchmark of discipleship, of true belief, is in the doing.
Hearing God’s Word without obeying it and applying it is not sufficient. According to Jesus, the one who does not live by what He taught will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Our faith, our discipleship, is meant to be sound and enduring, and growing and maturing. In the same way that digging down to bedrock and building a foundation was hard work in first-century Palestine, listening to Jesus’ teachings and applying them daily takes much effort. It’s hard work to live out the teachings of Christ, but it’s necessary if we expect to become strong and mature in our faith and withstand the storms of life. If we make the commitment and put in the effort to hear and do what He teaches, then we will be like the wise builder whose house stood strong.
As Jesus’ brother James wrote, Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.
This weekend we worked with a lot of Doers. What a joy it was to serve with such willing and capable servant saints.
And speaking of good foundations, this church has some great bones. We have something here that has lasted a long time, and with your help, it will have many good years ahead. Our foundation is built on God’s Word and “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
God grant’s His children discernment.
So that we will discern truth from error.
God grant’s His children wisdom.
So that we will be able to rightly walk in truth.
God grant’s His children internal joy and peace.
So that we will be able to handle life and hardships.
God grant’s His children the Holy Spirit.
So that we will be comforted and guided through spiritual living.
God grant’s His children perfect protection.
So that we will be protected from all evil.
God grant’s His children a perfect home.
So that we will a place of rest to look forward to.
God grant’s His children His perfect unconditional love.
So that we will be able to know love that can never die.
God grant’s His children an eternal life.
So that we will be able to know Him and His love for-ever.
God displaced His perfect love through His love sacrifice.
By the grace of God at Calvary the doorway of perfect love was opened.
The best and most perfect gift offered to us by nail pierced hands of love.
The child of God receives this perfect gift with child like faith.
Do you have that childlike faith?
Have you chosen to receive God’s grace?
Do you have a solid foundation and are you Doers of God’s Word?
[Alter Call & Prayer] – Please Stand..
Next Wednesday we will be showing the Galactic Starveyors movie in its entirety. We invited the children to come back and we will be serving popcorn. Please join us if you can.