46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
I’ve been thinking, rereading, and learning about this parable over and over again throughout this last year. On the surface it seems one of the simpler parables to understand that Jesus told. The meaning and heart, however, behind the simple teaching is deeper than I imagined. I am captivated by the call of Jesus to obedience in these words.
The person who hears the words of Jesus (commands of God) and obeys builds a house on a firm foundation, it will not fall.
The person who hears the words of Jesus (commands of God) and does not obey still builds a house, but this house has no foundation and will fall.
For the man who hears and obeys, the essence of the commands of God is the foundational rock. Obedience is digging down (connection to that command). Living life is building the house in that location.
For the man who hears and does not obey, the commands of God are the foundational material ignored. Disobedience is neglecting to dig and form a critical connection with that material. Living life is building the house in a location of neglect.
Having stated the obvious I want to briefly look at the commands of God that act as the foundation of a house that won’t fall. Jesus said the greatest commandment is this…”you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself”. And again in another place Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you”. So if this is the greatest commandment, than it also must be considered the most essential foundational material in building a life. Whoever hears these words and obeys is like a man who builds his house on the rock, having dug deep.
First love of God is THE FOUNDATION of anything that will last. Anything built on a foundation other than first love of God will not stand.
Listen to these incredibly descriptive words from the book of Micah. In this beautiful book, we find God himself tearing down a house not built on a foundation of obedience. 1:3-5 “For behold, the Lord is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will melt under him…like wax before the fire. All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel”. 1:6 “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country…and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations“.
Israel heard the commands of God. Israel did not obey. She did not love God as her all in all. The storms of judgment crashed against her house and the house fell over uncovering foundations of disobedience.
Psalm 28:5 describes a similar fate to those who disobey. “Because they (the evil and wicked vs. 3) do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.”
But blessed is the man who’s “delight (choices/obedience) is in the law (commandment) of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted (built on lasting foundations) by streams of water”. “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” – Psalm 1.
This is a simple exhortation to obedience. The teaching given by Jesus in Luke 6 acts as a commentary for the entirety of the Bible. Obedience allows for building a house that lasts eternally in the Kingdom of God. If you desire a lasting legacy, than you must count the cost, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
What are you building on? If you’re not listening to the teaching of Jesus and digging deep by obeying him, you are not building on worthy foundational material.
Extra Credit: Read the book of Micah through the perspective of Luke 6. They fit together so well it’s suspicious… as if they were meant to go together.