Whoever Hears These Sayings of Mine

In Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7, Jesus went upon a mountain and gave His disciples many important teachings.  These teachings are known as the Sermon on the Mount.  At the end of His instruction, He gave the following in Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” You must understand that His teachings are very important.  I have made an attempt below to summarize many of the teachings He gave on the mountain. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; rejoice if you are persecuted (5:3-11).

Those who follow Jesus are the salt of the earth and the light of the world; be the seasoning of the earth and the light to the world (5:13-16).  Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.  Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (5:17-30).

Sin begins in the heart and does not have to result in wrong action for it to still be sin; examples are given of thoughts of hatred, which is the same as murder, and lust for a woman, which is the same as adultery (5:21-22; 27-28).  Be reconciled with your brother quickly (5:23-26). If something causes you to sin, get it out of your life (6:29-30).  Do not cause others to sin by your actions (5:31-32).

Do not swear (5:33-37).  Do not resist an evil person.  Give more than is required of you (6:38-42).  Love your enemies as well as your neighbors (5:43-58).  Don’t do your good deeds and righteous actions to be seen by others; do them to please God who will reward you (6:1-7; 16-18).  Your prayers should include praise to God, requests for the success of His kingdom, your needs, forgiveness of your sins, guidance in life, and protection from the evil one (6:8-13).  If you do not forgive others, you will not be forgiven (6:14-15).

Lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth; you cannot serve God and riches (5:19-21; 24).  What you seek for in life determines if you have light or darkness within you (6:22-23).  Do not worry.  God knows your needs and will bless you; seek His kingdom first (6:25-34).

How you judge others is how you will be judged.  Correct your faults first before trying to fix others.  Avoid spiritual discussions with those who will turn on you (7:1-6).  In your requests to God, ask, seek and knock and He will bless you.  He wants to give you good gifts (7:7-12).  Whatever you want others to do to you, do also to them (7:12).

There is a narrow gate that leads to life and a wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction; seek the narrow gate and difficult way that leads to life (7:12-14).  You will know if someone is good or bad by their fruit (7:15-19).  In the judgement, you will be accepted, not because you claimed to be a follower of Jesus, but because you did the will of God and did not practice unrighteousness.

I give this summary to help you appreciate the very important principles that Jesus gave us.  If you listen to His words and put them into practice in your life, you will be wise.  When the storms of life come upon you, you will stand because you have your foundation upon the truths of God.  But if you do not put His words to practice in your life, you will be unwise and fall when the storms of life come upon you.

James put it slightly differently in James 1:22-25 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” 

The teachings we find in the Bible are the words of God.  If you want to be blessed in what you do, do not be a forgetful hearer of the word but put His words to practice in your life.