Jesus and Bluegrass
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:24-27
In our passage above, we read what is referred to as “the parable of the two builders.” This familiar story serves as the caboose to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest preacher that ever lived. Within this parable, we find a sharp contrast between two types of builders. There are those who are wise in their construction endeavors, and build their house upon the rock. And then there are those who are rather foolish in their construction efforts, and carelessly build their house upon a sandy foundation. Both parties faced storms. But it was only the ones who built their house upon the rock that weathered the storms. For centuries, this great closing illustration to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has resonated in the hearts and lives of His followers. But let us ponder a little further these great words of wisdom spoken from the lips of our Lord.
Oftentimes overlooked is the repetitive use of the word “everyone.” It appears twice, once in reference to the wise builders that hearken to His teachings and apply them to their lives, and once again in reference to the foolish builders who casually dismissed Jesus’ words of instruction. But it is the word “everyone” that magnifies a great truth about life, and it is the fact that “everyone” is building. No one can escape this passage of scripture! We all fall in one category or another. Either we are constructing our lives upon the firm foundation of the rock of Christ Jesus, or we are constructing unstable lives built upon the sandy beaches of the world. But “everyone” means “everyone.” The difference between the two was the fact that some were doers of the Word, and others were only hearers of the Word (James 1:22). The question is simply this; which type of builder are you?
One of my favorite memories from my high school days took place in the spring of 1992. One weekend, my Sunday school teacher took a group of boys from our class on a camping trip in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. We canoed the Buffalo River near the town of Yellville. Saturday evening, we went to a bluegrass singing. It is a night etched upon my memory with great detail. I remember listening to a group known as “Joe Sasser and Friends.” I enjoyed their music so much I bought their gospel cassette tape. One of the songs was titled, “Working On A Building.” It says, “I’m a working on building, working on building, for my Lord, for my Lord. It’s a Holy Ghost building, for my Lord, for my Lord…” It was a song that at the time I really did fully understand its spiritual implications, but I now understand its meaning quite clearly. We are all working on a building. We are constructing “life houses” so to speak. Our life journey is a continual building process. Those who trust in the Lord firmly set the foundation of their lives upon Christ the Rock. In contrast, those who try to cut corners and ignore God and His building codes construct an unstable life that ends up being eternally condemned.
You might have never seen your life as a construction project. But you are a builder, and you are building a life. In fact, everyone around you is hammering away at their own “life house.” But if it is a house that has not been constructed upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, then it will sway, crack, and eventually collapse from the shifting sands beneath. Ask the Lord today to grant you the wisdom to not only hear His words of instruction, but to also do them and incorporate them into your life.