July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023

Author: Pastor Bernard Ibrahim
July 05, 2023

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blue and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. And when Jesus finished these sayings the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”

Matthew 7:24-28

This passage has been in my mind from time to time and most recently in that series of twos that Jesus so powerfully uses even on the Sermon on the Mount, but in many other places. If you flip back in Matthew 6:24 there's that passage where Jesus is describing two masters. We either hate one or love the other or we love one and hate the other, God and money, there's only two masters for every person. Or in Matthew 7:13 there's two gates, there's two roads, there's two ways, there's narrow and wide and there are only two. There are two trees, Matthew 7:18, and two kinds of fruit. There are only two kinds of trees, it’s a healthy tree or a diseased tree and there's only two kinds of fruit, good fruit or bad fruit. So there's good and bad fruit, there's a healthy or diseased tree.

And here in this passage of Matthew 7:24 and following, there are only two kinds of hearers, two kinds of people that hear. They all hear, but one does, verse 24. You’ll notice it if you go back, “does the words of mine,” that Jesus is speaking; in verse 26, the other one does not do them. Verse 24, does them/does not do them. Two kinds of hearers, the one that does them and the one that does not do them. Notice that they both hear, but the difference is what they do or do not do from what they hear and it's really all focused on the words of Christ.

This passage brought back to me that Jesus is giving us a very crystal clear summary of all our lives and it's going be one of two ways. Do we do his words or do we not do his words? His words are the crux, as the apostles said, “You have the words of life. Where shall we go?” We are told by Christ himself in John 14, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We will do the things that he commands, we will avoid the things that he tells us to avoid. In John 15, there are two kinds of branches, the one that bears fruit, that's the one he prunes, so it bears more fruit. And you can see that this fruit is a result of us doing what we hear from the words of Christ. The branch that does not bear fruit he takes away and it's burned and that is really the key for us is that there are only two kinds of people and we need to examine ourselves. We are the ones bearing fruit if we are doing the words of Christ. So it's the simple return for our thoughts, our minds, how do we make our decisions, how do we live our lives. The question is, am I doing Christ's words? Am I making the decisions in my life, my priorities, the things that I do, the things that I avoid; are they according to the words of Christ? Or are we dismissing Christ's words and doing them according to some other standard? And that to me is really the test as I look at my life and try to examine myself, Lord, am I serving you? Am I growing in faith? The question that comes back is, am I doing what I hear in Christ's words? We hear them from our brothers and sisters, we hear them preached to us. Are we following after Christ's words? That's the fruit we want to bear.

And so that's my encouragement to all of you, brothers and sisters. Keep pursuing the simple gospel, the simple truths. Christ commandments and hearing them and doing them.