Costly Commitment

January 22 , 2017

Matthew 7:24-29

The Scripture today is the end of the “Greatest Sermon” ever preached. The content within the previous three chapters is more than most will master over a lifetime. Jesus shared with the crowd something new and never before thought possible. The people could have righteousness greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees.  Jesus was telling everyone that things were going to change and if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, you will have to change with them (see Mt. 5:20).  As the sermon ends, He tells the people, “If you will change your whole way of thinking about God and do these things I’m telling you, then you will be wise, otherwise you will be a foolish person. 

What were the changes Jesus was asking of those listening?

How do these changes occur in our daily lives?

   1.   The Choice

The choice for everyone following Jesus has been easy until now.  His popularity has grown quickly and large crowds have been following since He called the twelve disciples.  Jesus not only taught a new message, He used a new method.  His fame spread all through Syria and people from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan had come to see what He was doing.  They had heard that he was healing diseases and affliction among the people.  He healed those oppressed with demons, epileptics, and those with pains. Many were willing to follow Him when it was all about them and their needs. What he would present today would be different and difficult.  He asked them to choose between the only religious system they have known and to trust everything He was saying as the truth.  Life would never be the same after this time regardless of their choice. Some of the topics Jesus taught about in the Sermon on the Mount were; “Blessings, Salt & Light, Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Love for Enemies, Prayer, Fasting, Worrying, the Pathway of Life, Fruit, and Commitment”

God expects us to choose Biblical truths in life.

Have you chosen to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus?   

   2.  The Conflict

Jesus came to establish a New Covenant between man and God.  God had always been present through a king or a prophet.  However, it had be a long time since God’s presence had been known among the Jews except in what was taught by the scribes and Pharisees.  Jesus is giving everyone listening an opportunity to join Him in the kind of life He has just been teaching is possible. The truth He has just taught is beyond radical. The people would like to think Jesus’ message could be accepted and made real in their lives. The truth be told, most of them were probably ready to throw up their hands and say, “Give us a break.”   Everything He has taught is so far beyond their reach that they can’t see how it will be possible to live this way.  Jesus said that to hear these words and practice them would be wise.  Both houses would face whatever storms came against them.  Life would be difficult no matter which house they lived in. The Lord was trying to show them that these foundations represent the philosophies of life. These philosophies are lifestyles, values, and priorities that make the man. Jesus represents the rock foundation and the sand is a picture of the current religious system or the practices of pagans. He assured us that those who built upon the rock would remain standing and the only assurance for those who built upon the sand is the catastrophic picture of a “GREAT” fall.

Does God really expect us to be able to make these changes in our lives?

What does it take on our part for these changes to occur?

            A personal relationship and faith! (Through Christ all things are possible) 

   3.  The Charisma

Something was different about the man they called Jesus.  His teaching was felt in the heart.  They had experienced a lifetime of being taught a diet law and defeat. The religious leaders of their day spoke of the law and made themselves the taskmasters of the people.  Jesus came to set them free.  His message contained truth about a new way of living.  Jesus was proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.  The people knew something felt different about the way Jesus taught.  Yet, nothing is said about how they felt about the truth of God’s kingdom among us.  Jesus’ message was about redemption that brought us into the kingdom of heaven.  The Sermon on the Mount is about a relationship with God that is interactive.  They would not have to wait for this kingdom to come at some later point in time.  The kingdom of heaven was inaugurated with the birth of Jesus.  The truth we have learned is an invitation to believe the good news about living daily in the kingdom of heaven.

Have you come to the conclusion that you don’t have all the answers in life?

I don’t understand all the questions!

Should I expect to be amazed daily through the presence of Jesus?

Do I trust His authority and will for my life?

            If so, should my life be continually changing?

Two builders may be constructing similar houses, and the same storm may be affecting both structures, but the builders themselves are totally different.

            One not only hears what Christ has to say but he also acts upon the truth.

            The second hears the same truth but he stops there.

The wise builder has so constructed his life that no amount of testing, no extent of difficulty, is sufficient to bring him down, because his life is founded upon “The Rock”, Jesus Christ!

If your foundation is sure, no storm will cause your life to collapse.