Gospel Matthew 7
True and False Disciples
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 "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. 25 The 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. 26 But 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Last week – Lord’s Prayer – Sermon on the Mount – now towards end there are Warnings.
First, declaration about the Two Ways – narrow and wide gates. Enter through narrow gate – broad gate leads to destruction. Narrow is the gate that leads to life – few people find it.
Stern warning – does this mean that few of us will find salvation – and that this depends more on the way we act rather than the teaching of Paul that the grace of God is sufficient in itself, and no one can merit eternal life.
Or, does it mean we should ACT as if only a few will enter Paradise, and not take the grace of God for granted.
Next warning – true and false prophets. We should judge our teachers by their fruits – by the way they act. Not everyone who calls upon the Lord is a true disciple of his, but only those who do God’s will.
By way of illustration, there is yet another comparison. All are opposites. The parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders. It’s about obedience and disobedience. One leads to Salvation. The other destruction.
There are no shades of grey in this passage. No ‘fairly well built.’ Just cowboy builders and skilled craftsmen.
What does the storm stand for? The ups and downs and trials of life? Or judgement day? Probably the final judgement – the complete destruction of the badly built house is too final to be the vicissitudes of life.
So heed the warnings of the Sermon on the Mount. The Christian life is not a cosy existence. Much is given to us, and from us much will be demanded. Hear the words of the Lord, and put them into practice.