WE COME, WE HEAR, WE DO
Lord, You are the model for all we do.
Read LUKE 6:43–49
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 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.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Lord, we have journeyed with You through Galilee. We have watched You and learned from You. Help us now to be true followers in our own journey through life.
Had Luke been writing a modern book, today’s reading would have been the end of a chapter which began with the commencement of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 4:14). Luke does not merely chronicle Jesus’ activities in Galilee with some notes on his teachings. He does more than that: through a careful selection of Jesus’ actions and words, he shows what it means to follow him. Many of us have sung the song based on this passage—“The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock”—teaching us that true discipleship must be based on a strong foundation. The standard explanation, that Jesus is the Rock on which we should build our lives, is of course true, but it oversimpliﬁes what Luke is saying. Contrary to what the church has often taught through the ages, Christian discipleship is not based on adherence to whatever doctrine was considered correct at the time, and not even on our conﬁdence in the accuracy of our own personal theology, important as that may be. An honest reading of Luke tells us that true discipleship is based on following Jesus, seeing things as he sees them, and striving to act as he does.
Like the wise builder, we must come to Jesus, hear his word and do what he says (47). Unlike those who were learning to be disciples back then, we no longer have Jesus present with us—but we do have his Word. Like the wise builder (48), we must dig deeply and then carefully lay the foundation of our lives on the Word of God. We must not dig in shallow fashion, selecting only those passages which suit us, as the Pharisees likely were doing. We must keep digging until we encounter the Revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Then we must model our lives on his.
“Lord, make us instruments of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon… where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light” (“Prayer of Saint Francis”).
Lord, we Your people want to build our lives on Your teachings. Show us how to position our house directly upon the Rock.