Advent Gospel Reflections
21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’
24Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock.
26But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its collapse!”
These verses end a Chapter of exhortations to right living. In Chapter 7 we have record of Jesus speaking about not judging others vs 1-6.
Jesus saying that we should come before God and ask for our needs, for God is sure to do us good and not harm, ( vs 7-12). Jesus speaks about the narrow gate, ( 13 and 14) instructing us that discernment and choices are required. Although we are created in the image of God, sin has separated us form God and we need to choose to turn back to God and follow in his way. We are required to live intentionally. Deliberately choosing God’s path for us.
Verses 15 to 23 are indeed challenging.
15Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Here Jesus speaks to authenticity. Jesus warns us that people will use His words for personal reasons and for their own agenda’s. The true disciple will be shown in the result of their ministry not simply in their words.
And here Jesus says that a house is to built on a solid foundation.
In Matthew 16: where Jesus asked the disciples who he was he says (vss 15-19)
15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
We too can build our lives on these principles that Jesus taught and use scripture as a moral code and do the things that we believe will make us look good. But this is building on sand. Our lives need to be built on the truth of a personal saviour who loves us and cares for us. We will endure storms and our house will be shaken and the waters will rise around us, but, and there is always a but! But if we build our lives on a relationship with Christ, then we will stand. We will overcome, no weapon fashioned against us shall prevail. (Is 54:17)
It’s all about relationship. And relationship requires daily choices. Daily steps to grow in that relationship.
May God bless you as you read His word and as you pray in the Name of Jesus and may you together with Jesus and n the power of the Holy Spirit, build a house on the Rock!
Lord teach us to build our lives in you. Empower us to make good choices, godly choices, that we may live to your praise and glory. In Jesus name we pray Amen.