Todays readings.. Genesis 9&10, Psalm 11,12&13, Matthew 7
Can the parables of Jesus become too well known to those who read the Bible regularly? It is possible, especially if that familiarity leads them to slide past simple but powerful lessons. “The wise man who built his house upon a rock” is such a lesson. We must never overlook that for everyone’s house, that is, for his or her life, “the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house” [Mat. 7 v.25].
Each of us are challenged by Jesus to be spiritual house builders and our houses need to be strong enough to withstand the bad weather our lives will encounter and the weather forecast for 2019 predicts lots of uncertainties and potential calamities. Our houses will not be able to stand if they do not have the right foundation.
Included in today’s chapter are Jesus’ challenging words, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ‘will enter the kingdom …” [v.21] Why is that? Those who are barred from entry will say, “ ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy (preach) in your name … and do many mighty works (good deeds, etc.) in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you workers of lawlessness.’ ” [v.22,23] What they (we) say, lays the foundation – and then!?
Earlier in the chapter we read, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter by it are many” [v.13]. The gate Jesus invites us to go through may seem to be very narrow today, but the evidence that all the other gates lead nowhere is clearer than ever.
The gate that leads to oblivion may be so wide many do not even realize they have passed through it!
Of course, if this life is all we want, so be it! But, those with spiritual vision can see the storm clouds building up and the satisfactions- that fill our lives today – may soon be overwhelmed.
The task of building a spiritual house is more challenging more challenging every year! But the words of Jesus are there for us to absorb and become part of our thinking, “for he was teaching them as one who had authority and not as the scribes” [v.29] And – oh dear – there are such scribes today.