Week 15 | The First Sunday in Lent
Lent is a period of time beginning on Ash Wednesday and ends forty days later at Easter. The forty-day length is a homage to the forty days Jesus fasted in the desert. Lent is a period of fasting, reflection, and preparation for Easter. Many Christians in the United States will fast for something important to them or will fast for particular meals. Some Christians have even fasted from solid food for the period of Lent.
If you ever need to know when the period of Lent begins, watch for McDonald’s ads about the return of their fish sandwich! Catholics traditionally give up meat for Lent and are only allowed fish each Friday.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Deuteronomy 26:1-11|the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm…
Psalm 91|You are my refuge and my stronghold…
Luke 6:46-49 |Christ our Solid Rock…
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders
The context of this parable is found best in Luke 6:46-49. It would seem that Luke made the point much more succinct than Matthew, as he used the words found in Matthew 7:21-23 to essentially say the same things.
The question is: Why do people call Jesus Lord, and not do what He says?
The theme of this parable is the theme of doing, and obedience to the will of God.
Jesus sets up a contrast to emphasize the foolishness of the second builder, the one with no foundation. The question he is asking is “who would be foolish enough to build a house on sand or without a good(enough) foundation. The answer to that question if asked would be that no one is that foolish. Everyone knows you do not build a house without a foundation. Everyone knows you don’t build a house on the sand. No one is that stupid! If no one is that stupid, then why do people listen to what Jesus says, but don’t do what he says?
If you do not hear and listen to what Jesus says, you are as foolish as the one who built his house on the sand. Hearing without doing leads to the same destruction that building a house on the sand, or without a foundation does; when the storm hits your house (or you) don’t survive. The same is true; then for us, if we only hear and do not do what Jesus says then when the storm of final judgment hits there is no surviving, or in essence, there is no entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.
You cannot simply hear the words of Jesus. Faith is not simply hearing, faith comes from hearing, but faith is doing what Jesus says to do. Interestingly though, what Jesus tells us to do, is not that bad, He says his yoke, is easy to bear. Which is better? To have hundreds of rules that you follow, but you don’t love Jesus in your heart, or to have a few rules and laws, and love Jesus? Logically it would seem that loving Jesus with a few rules is the easiest, but if it were true, then Jesus wouldn’t have to be saying what he is saying.
The parable is not an allegory. The rock in the foundation is not God or Christ, even though many would say that; nor is the rock obedience to Christ, or Christ’s teachings. The analogy is simply the people of the parable, not the building material!
The one who hears Jesus’ teachings and does them is as wise as someone who provides a strong foundation on the rock. The one who hears the teachings of Jesus and does not follow them is as foolish as someone who builds a house on sand.
The bottom line is that anyone who hears Jesus’ words and does not do them is a fool. How many of us are foolish men? How many of us have affirmed faith in God and Jesus the Christ, but don’t do what they ask? Knowing what is right is not right enough we must put right into practice.