Build on the Rock
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
In the Gospel of Matthew we are pointed time and again to the prophets bolstering that which Jesus was doing: healing, casting out demons, preaching and teaching, feasting and fasting, getting alone with the Father, and finally, dying on the cross.
It’s a Gospel full of action, and as that may be the case, through it all Jesus calls us to action as well. Chapters 6 and 7 list do’s and don’ts, and their consequences, and motives of the heart.
If we make a show of faith and piety for the praise of men, we are told there is no further reward coming from the Father, and our good deeds are done in the lust of the flesh for praise. Such acts ultimately count for nothing in heavenly places or plans.
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him
46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”
48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
It need not even be a direct blood line to Him. Just simply do that which He tells you, because as He stated, 30 I and My Father are one.”
So what does He tell us:
Sending Out the Twelve
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven [a]is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
He charged the disciples with ministering to Israel because:
28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
As for the rest of us, He says:
21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus Teaches the Fear of God
27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Confess Christ Before Men
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
So we are to endure, fear G-d, and confess Christ, and in the enduring, love our neighbor with all that entails for us and them, but we are to love G-d with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
It is a tough calling, not for the faint of heart and those who would hang on like barnacles, taking up space, making no contribution, and slowly destroying that which the Father is trying to build with us, and in us.
So ask yourself, as this year continues, are you doing the work Christ called you to do, greater than His own?
Are you part of His family, doing the Father’s will in His name?
Are you really?
Therefore I pray:
Let the habits and discipline of doing Your will, O Lord, become second nature to us, such that we are not conscious of how it registers with man.
You have grafted us in with the sons of the Kingdom, through Your covenant of redemptive grace, reconciling us to G-d, as it was in the beginning, so I ask that You forgive our unbelief and rebellion, Lord. We know not what we do.
When the Spirit has sanctified us once more through repentance, let us continue on in the work You’ve called us to do, preaching the kingdom is at hand.
Let us be ever mindful we were bought with a price, are worth more than sparrows, are more beautiful than field lilies, and worth more in His sight.
And when we return to ourselves after a flight of fancy ends, I ask that You hear the cry of our sorrowful hearts ascending to You, and heal them.
In the end, Lord Jesus, we ask that You strengthen us, imparting Yourself to us from the very core of Your being.
For Your sake, we shall endure, and grow strong, and through faith, we shall confess You and praise the Father as You have done so many times.
And let us rejoice with You as our fellowship is restored, as You rejoiced when the Father came to You in the pit, after Your taking our sins away through the horror of the cross, and the holy power of the Resurrection.
Even so, Lord Jesus, we ask that You remember us, unfruitful servants that do only what they’re told, when You come into Your kingdom.
According to our faith, let it be done to us.