Tuesday, March 11, 2014


In the fable of the three little pigs, the big bad wolf was able to blow down the first two pigs' houses, made of straw and wood respectively, but was unable to destroy the third pig's house, made of bricks.  Big bad wolfs exist.  Some homes are not strong enough to withstand their assault.

The main point of Jesus’ parable in Luke 6:46-49 is the vanity of hearing His words without doing them.  It is possible for a person to profess Jesus as Lord, apart from a necessary obedient response.  That dichotomy between profession and practice is both inexplicable and calamitous.

The term “Lord” translates the Greek term “kurios.”  The term refers to “one having power” and is variously translated in the NT, “Lord,” “master,” “owner,” and “Sir.”  This was the common form of address to the Lord Jesus, both by the people (Matthew 8:2; John 4:11) and by His disciples (Matthew 8:25; Luke 5:8).  By definition Lordship involves and requires obedience on the part of those in subjection to it.  Unresponsiveness to the Master’s commands lends doubt to the credibility of a person’s profession (Cf. Matthew 7:21-23; Titus 1:16).

The parable speaks of two different men building two different houses leading to two differing results.  In the first case the man “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48).  In our country building codes govern the construction of homes.  The foundation must be laid according to stringent requirements.  The laying of the foundation can be both expensive and time-consuming, but is nevertheless essential to both the value and strength of the home.  Woe to the negligent homebuilder who under estimates its importance.

The same holds true in the spiritual realm.  Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  He, the builder, has set forth His own requirements.  A superficial response to His Word is inadequate.  The Word will demand change.  A spiritual excavation of soul is necessary.  No such excavation is possible apart from wholehearted obedient response to His Word.  There is but One foundation that is adequate (1 Corinthians 3:11).  Apart from obedience it is impossible for that foundation to be either properly laid or carefully built upon (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:2).

Since much of the foundation lies underground, the differing strengths of the two homes prove difficult, under ordinary circumstances, to discern.  But it is made evident when the two homes are both equally subjected to external forces.  Jesus’ parable spoke of the trials which are an inevitable part of life.  Here they are compared to a “flood” (Luke 6:48), in Matthew to rain, floods, and winds (Matthew 7:25).  Trouble is inevitable—in life, marriage, family, in confronting sickness and death, etc.  The man who hears and does is able to withstand the onslaught of antagonistic spiritual forces, the one who merely hears is not.  The world, the flesh, and the Devil will work to oppress and storm against the believer, but in obedience to Christ the believer is made “strong and brave to face the foe” (Cf. 1 John 2:14).

The flood “could not shake” the “well built” home, but the other home fell immediately, its ruin was “great” (Luke 6:49).  God’s Word repeatedly promises to spiritually bless those who take it to heart.  The promise is not to the “hearer who forgets, but (to the) doer who acts” (James 1:25; Cf. Psalm 1).  A solid, well-laid, foundation—obedience to His word--is essential.

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