Lesson 114—May 15, 2016
Life’s Greatest Reality
Scripture: Matthew 7:24-27
Lesson Goal: Obedience!
Introduction: Today we turn our attention to Jesus’ final words of this great sermon. He closes His teaching of The Sermon on the Mount with a parable to drive home the point of His message.
As with any God-led sermon or teaching, many conclusions/applications may be drawn by the listeners, just as Jesus’ sermon spoke to so many areas of His followers’ lives. He now brings us to the single most important response to His words—obedience. Hearing Jesus’ words always brings us to a choice, a decision. The ultimate outcome of this choice, this decision, is obedience or disobedience. Jesus’ words are spoken with purpose and direction, not merely to impress or astonish. His words will not allow us to merely discard them into a heap of oblivion, nor can we simply turn our minds away in avoidance. Jesus’ words from The Sermon on the Mount, as well as all those spoken in the Gospels, always bring us to the stop sign of decision, to obedience or disobedience. Thus, Jesus closes this sermon/teaching with a simple yet direct parable of obedience.
Before we move forward, it will be beneficial to remember the words Jesus spoke in the preceding verses. He declared that there are two roads which we can travel. One road leads to life; the other road leads to destruction (verses 13-14). Everyone studying this lesson today is on one of these roads. Everyone who sits in the sanctuary today is on one of these two roads. Every person who enjoys fellowship around the tables today is on one of these roads. Every person you have hugged or shaken hands with today is on one of these roads. Every person you love is on one of these two roads. One road leads to life; the other leads to destruction.
Which road are you on today? What makes you think you are on this road?
What is the biblical evidence for your answer?
Does Jesus know you? How do you know Jesus knows you?
What is Jesus’ message for us in verses 15-20 of Matthew 7?
What evidence is there that you are on the road that leads to life? Before you begin a checklist of such things as: I go to church, I don’t steal, I haven’t committed adultery, I pray…, please read Jesus’ words in verses 21-23.
How can we be sure that Jesus knows us?
(V24) Now Jesus brings us to the “therefore.” Perhaps there is no greater “therefore” in the Bible. This “therefore” brings us to the conscious reality and sobering fact that we must decide; we must choose. An even greater truth we find as a result of “therefore” is the sobering fact that the consequences are everlasting, eternal. This is not “make believe” or a temporal, social reality game/show. This is eternity!
Throughout the passages of Scripture, we find the importance of hearing (listening and receiving) and doing (application of the truth received). Jesus teaches us that it is wise to hear God’s instructions for our lives, and it is just as important that we put them into action through our lives. “Hearing” from God should lead us (followers of Jesus) to action (doing).
Notice that both the wise man and the foolish man heard Jesus. He spoke and both heard His sayings. They each heard the same teaching, the same message.
Please prayerfully explain the following statement: If a person lives out the character and principles Jesus, taught in The Sermon on the Mount, the world calls him a fool; Jesus calls him wise.
Why is the very wisdom of God perceived as foolishness by the world?
As a follower of Jesus, what have you ever done that appeared foolish to the world?
How many blessings have we missed because we did not want to appear foolish as a result of following Jesus?
What are we, followers of Jesus, doing as a result of what we have heard from Jesus?
Is your life a life of hearing only? You hear the sermon; you hear the lesson; you hear the praying; you hear the singing. Does the blessing of being able to hear from God lead you to service for Him?
R.T. France offers these wise words: “The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not meant to be admired but to be obeyed.”
Do you admire Jesus or obey Jesus?
Please read 1 Corinthians 3:11.
According to our study of The Sermon on the Mount, what was the foolishness of the Pharisees?
What did the Pharisees build their lives upon?
What was the foundation the Pharisees built upon?
(VV24-27) These verses should not be viewed or interpreted as if they speak only to the storms of life (struggles, heartaches, trials and difficulties). Obviously, these verses can make such a reference, but their meaning goes to the essential eternal things of life. Any foundation that man builds upon, other than the foundation of Jesus, will not last. In this parable, not only did both men hear, both men built. What are you building your life upon?
There is an old hymn, written in 1834 by Edward Mote, which helps us to understand the truth of these verses and the truth of The Sermon on the Mount. The title is simply “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.”
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain: On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand. When Darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood supports me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) When he shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in him be found! Dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!