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God’s Word for You

Luke 6:47-48

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, February 5, 2018

Jesus has just asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” In the text below, he illustrates this with a parable about two men building houses: one wise, the other, foolish.

47 Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and does them—I will show you what he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid a foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river beat against that house but could not shake it, because it was founded on bedrock.  (EHV)

Notice the first word Jesus uses: “Everyone.” This isn’t just one person, or a select few, but everyone who comes to Jesus, everyone who listens to Jesus; everyone who does what he says—this is what all of these true followers of Jesus are like.

The man in the parable “digs down” and he goes “deep.” These are two different Greek words, one for the process and the other for the great depth. When he gets to where he can’t go any further, he lays his foundation. The word translated “bedrock” here in the EHV is petra (πέτρα). This noun is related to petros “rock, stone,” but refers to the bedrock underlying the topsoil, whereas a petros is any rock, whether a boulder or a pebble. When Jesus gave Peter his famous nickname, he said that he was going to found his church on the petra, bedrock, of Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ” (Matthew 16:16-18). So Peter got the name “stone” (petros), but his great confession of faith—that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah—is the bedrock (petra) foundation of the Christian Church.

When you listen to Jesus and put his words into practice in your life, loving God above all else and loving your neighbor as yourself, you have built your whole faith and life on the solid bedrock foundation that will last. It will weather any storm. This is the point of the parable: the foundation of Jesus’ words that isn’t ever going to let you down. We won’t go making a big deal out of the “digging” or the “deep.” Jesus sometimes uses words in his parables which only carry along the story or help to make the point; they aren’t the point itself. The point we need to focus our attention on is the bedrock of the words of Jesus Christ. Put them into practice. Earlier in this chapter he laid out many examples: Do good (Luke 6:9), love your enemies (Luke 6:27,35), bless those who curse you (Luke 6:28), turn the other cheek (Luke 6:29), do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31), be merciful (Luke 6:36); give when asked (Luke 6:30,38). These are all examples of keeping the second table of the law, loving your neighbor as yourself. Now Jesus brings in the first table of the law, loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, for he, Jesus, is the Lord. Why do we love and obey him? Because “his faithfulness endures forever” (Psalm 117:2). His goodness and love “follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). Moses said, “The Lord declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets” (Deuteronomy 4:13). He has given us these commandments to preserve his people in the world, to show us our sinfulness so that we will know what it is we need to repent about, and to guide us in how we live in his way. Cherish these words and trust them. They are the bedrock of our faith.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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