How do we treat the teachings of Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I’m almost done going through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew!
“Wait. Are you telling me you’re a Christian apologist who has never read that?”
I have read it, but never the way I have this time. This time, I went through reading one verse at a time, except for the Lord’s Prayer, where I read it even slower. When you read through it this way, you really get a lot out of it. I am doing more to encourage people to do slow Bible reading.
So when the sermon closes, Jesus gives a final statement about His words. He says that the one who hears them and does them is like someone who builds His house on a rock. No matter what happens, the house will stand. The one who doesn’t do what Jesus says is like one who builds His house on sand. When the trouble comes, that house topples over.
First off, let’s consider how seriously Jesus takes His own words here. Can you imagine any prophet of the Old Testament saying something like this? Jesus is really placing Himself on a high pedestal. What does this say about how Jesus sees His identity?
Second, what if we really took this last part seriously in connection with everything else that was said. If you obey what Jesus says, then you are building your house on a rock. If you don’t, then you are building on sand. What do we have to take seriously then?
The beatitudes at the start. We have to believe those people will be blessed. We have to believe we should be those people and live accordingly.
We must take Jesus’s words seriously on our righteousness being greater than the Pharisees and Sadducees.
We must not hate our brother in our heart and we must seek to make peace whenever possible.
We must avoid lust. This definitely includes guys that you cannot watch pornography. If you are doing that, then you are building your house on sand and you will not last.
We must honor our marriages for life. If you are not taking marriage seriously, you are not taking Jesus seriously. This is one reason I stayed in my marriage even when it was hard and yes, she initiated the divorce.
We must do as we say and let our words be true. If we say we will do something, we do it. We shouldn’t have to emphasize that we are speaking the truth. Our reputations should show we do.
We must end retaliation for the sake of retaliation. If someone gives you a personal insult privately, be the bigger man. Don’t escalate the cycle of revenge.
We must love our enemies. Anyone can love friends. Jesus tells us to go further.
We must not glorify our giving. Be humble in what we do. Give anyway.
We must pray humbly and trust God with the outcome. We must live out the Lord’s Prayer.
We must forgive those who wrong us.
We must focus on treasure in Heaven. There is no wrong in having things, but we cannot let them have us. Greed must always be avoided.
We cannot worry about anything. Tomorrow will have enough troubles. Do not worry about it today.
We must not pre-judge someone. Make sure our own house is in order.
We must believe in the goodness of God that He will bless us and if we ask for things that are truly good, that He wants to give.
We must make sure we are on the straight path and realize there are false teachers who want to take us away.
We must make sure we are being real and not just going through the motions.
Jesus doesn’t limit this. All of this is to be followed. All of it. It’s a serious call and I could have easily gone in-depth on any of these. Look through. Where are you struggling?
Keep in mind, any listener back then would have known it was fallacious to build a house on sand. What idiot would do that? If you don’t listen to what Jesus says and follow it, you are that idiot.
I encourage you to take this seriously even if you’re a non-Christian. Consider seriously the call for Jesus. Does He really have good wisdom here to follow?
For me, this has been humbling and I plan to go through the sermon in Luke the same way.
Maybe you should try this exercise of reading it slowly as well, but for now, see if you’re living wisely or foolishly.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)