Matthew 7:24-27 Now Hear This Rabbi Michael Weiner
Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore everyone 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 blew and beat against that house; and yet it did not fall, for its foundation had been built on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a 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 its fall.
These four sentences at the end of Yeshua’s “big sermon” are in two parts, the first two verses (24,25) and the last two verses (26,27). The first part is positive, what will happen if you “hear these words.” The second part is negative, what will happen if you do not “act on them.” (I’m going to quote extensively from 1 Corinthians 3 today. It perfectly parallels our subject text.) 1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you?
The difference is as dramatic as the difference between wise and foolish. 1 Corinthians 3:17-18 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool so he may become wise.
Every good sermon ends with a call to action, and Yeshua’s big sermon is a perfect example. Twice (in verse 24 and verse 26) Yeshua speaks to the value of hearing His words. In Hebrew, Tish’ma HaD’varim HaEyleh, a very common Hebrew phrase, “You will hear these words.” The difference is stark. Are there really 50 shades of grey? The “house” to which Yeshua is referring is actually we, ourselves. We are His house. He says, be “built on the rock” or “great was its fall.”
Life is filled with choices, and the choice is yours. Be established on the firm foundation. 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what is already laid – which is Yeshua the Messiah. Or, be destroyed by the storm of life raging around us. 1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear. For the Day will show it, because it is to be revealed by fire; and the fire itself will test each one’s work – what sort it is.
God is calling us to change, and His message is a message of change. Our troubles arise when we hold tightly to our natural resistance to change. Today’s text appears at the end of Yeshua’s “big sermon,” (His longest treatise, as recorded in Scripture) which began 3 chapters earlier with Matthew 5:1. Here, at the end, it all comes back to Shema!
We think of hearing with our ears. However; God thinks of hearing with our hearts. A better translation for Shema! might be to “take heed or obey.” Let’s think back to our last posting in this series. Doesn’t Yeshua know about grace? Why is He preaching about obedience? My apology for asking these questions in a mocking tone. Without grace we wouldn’t have the desire to pursue God, and we must never use grace as a license to sin.
Paul addresses this to the Romans … Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? May it never be! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Similarly, Paul starts Galatians 5 with this thought … Galatians 5:1 For freedom, Messiah set us free – so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again.
That “yoke of slavery” is not obedience to the law, as some would have you believe, but thinking that we can obtain salvation by performing our way into God’s good graces. Salvation is by grace (and not of works). Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves – it is the gift of God. It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. But, once we are saved, there will be evidence in a changed life. Jacob 2:24,26 You see that a man is proved righteous by works and not by faith alone … For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Be transformed (changed) by God into His image. Be built on the firm foundation of Yeshua, and in doing so, fulfill the command given to our father, Abraham and perfected by Yeshua Himself, and walk blameless before God.