Luke 6: 46 – 49 The wise and foolish builders
‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.’
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This story has a very simple meaning. If your faith is to stand up to adversity, you must put Jesus’ teaching into practice in your life.
Jesus is saying that building a life of faith is a bit like building a house. You have to do all of it properly or, as soon as times get tough, the faith you thought you had will come crashing about your ears.
For a house to be secure and proof against the tempests of life, it has to have a foundation that anchors it to the bedrock. You have to work hard, digging down deep to reach the rock. You have to work hard, laying the courses of stone or brick and mortaring them into place. When you’ve finished, nobody can see the foundation but it’s there, doing its job, keeping the house safe even in stormy weather. It’s probably the single most important part of the building.
What does Jesus say is the equivalent to building the foundation? It’s doing what he says; putting his teaching into practice.
It’s clearly very important, because this parable is the conclusion of a session of teaching on how to live your life.
- Love your enemies.
- Do good to those who hate you.
- Bless those who curse you.
- Pray for those who ill-treat you.
- If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
- If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
- Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
- Do to others as you would have them do to you.
- Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
- Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
- Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
- Give, and it will be given to you.
There’s no getting round it. Jesus is saying that this teaching is at the heart of a life of faith. It is not an optional extra, it is essential.
Thank you that you have given us clear teaching as to how you want us to live our lives. Please help us to put it into practice as the foundation of everything we do.
In Jesus’ name, Amen