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.
I notice that this section of Matthew’s report on Jesus comes into the story like a summary. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
practise…”. The ‘these words’ part is everything that has gone before, everything that Jesus has been saying, everything that Jesus has been teaching, everything that Jesus has been doing. Notice further that Jesus compares two groups of people:
1) people who put everything he has been saying into practice and
2) people who don’t put his words into practice.
The two groups are not strictly ‘those who follow Jesus’ and ‘those you reject Jesus’ but rather, those who hear-and-practice and those that hear-and-don’t-practice.
People who might be totally against Jesus from the very start aren’t really in this picture.
What we do have is a picture of strong Christians and fragile Christians. Christians that hear what Jesus says and put it into practice can endure opposition, hardships, storms. People that hear Jesus but don’t put his words into practice will eventually collapse under pressure – they’re fragile from lack of action. Christian strength in part comes from practicing what Jesus teaches, day in, day out, and then when tough times hit, that faith doesn’t fade.
Jesus my friend. I want to live out your version of my life everyday. Thank you for your Spirit’s help to develop strength and to face any opposition as one of your true followers. Thank you that you pick me up in any circumstance and set me in the right direction. Your love is always there. Amen.
Written by Sam Stewart