Thursday 25 August 2016

Bible Book:

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” (vv. 24-25)

Matthew 7:24-27 Thursday 25 August 2016

Psalm: Psalm 141:1-5


This short parable is often regarded as a children's story:there are lively songs relating to it and pictures to be coloured,it is all fun and action! However, it is really a very grown-upstory about passive listening and active faith. Jesus was makingthe point that it simply is not enough to listen to what is right,that listening must be translated into faith!

Weather conditions in Palestine can change dramatically quicklyand what has been a dried-up riverbed can become a raging torrentin a short period of time; similarly, what has been a calm sea canbe struck by a violent storm (Matthew 8:23-27). Jesus took a naturalphenomenon (of which his listeners would have been well aware) andused it to make a profound point about the need for a firmfoundation in the spiritual life.

There is a significant number of places in the Bible where theconnection is made between listening and observing (doing) what hasbeen said. Jesus might well have had words from Deuteronomy in mindas he spoke to the crowd: "Assemble the people … so that they mayhear and learn to fear the Lord your God and to observe diligentlyall the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 31:12). He had, after all, come tofulfil the law, not to destroy it. Later, James, the writer of theepistle, would also make this vital connection when he urged hisreaders that they should "be doers of the word, and not merelyhearers who deceive themselves" (James1:22).

The Gospel of Matthew's description of the storm, with the rainpouring down, the river waters rising and the wind howling, is avivid picture of the often tempestuous nature of life. Jesus warnedthose around him that, without proper foundations, they were indanger of being swept away. Conversely, those with good foundationscan withstand that storm.  

To Ponder

  • Think of a time when you have been profoundly grateful for thestrength which a firmly-held conviction has given you. Do you thinkfaith in Jesus is like that? Why?
  • Reflect on the connection between knowledge and action. Whatare the areas of your life where you might need to link the twomore closely?
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