Our scripture this morning is Matthew 7:21-29.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
This concludes the Sermon on the Mount, the first public teaching Jesus gave. We are told that “the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law” (v. 29). Jesus speaks the truth as they have never heard it before.
He calls them to obey His teaching because it is the only way to be saved, using the example of houses built on sand or solid rock. Building on sand is foolish, it will collapse when storms come. This was a lesson they could relate to, a way to make God’s law real to them, not merely something those in authority used to control people.
Jesus puts it very plainly, “Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter” (v. 22). We can’t be saved unless we are obedient to God’s will. This warns us that good deeds and good words without full acceptance of Jesus as our savior will result in failure. We can’t do it on our own.
Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the gift of Your son sent to save us. Help us to listen to His lessons and obey Your will, that we may be the disciples of today, sharing Your love with the world. Amen.