True Disciples Have Hurricane-Proof Lives—Luke 6:46-49

20171001FBCAM

Levi Durfey 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

We’ve see a lot of devastation from hurricanes the past few weeks. Part of me wonders why and how people could ever live in places like Florida. Then I came across this article from the Miami Herald:

 

Built directly on the Atlantic Ocean in Summerland Key, Bob Chapek’s home stood in the cross hairs when Hurricane Irma slammed into the islands.

 

A terrifying seven-foot surge of sea water burst into the ground-floor garage as 130 mph winds relentlessly hammered the building.

 

But when the water receded and the winds passed, the concrete home elevated on stilts with hurricane resistant windows remained intact. The ground-floor garage — designed to give way to surge — was an unmitigated mess, along with the docks and yard. But the structure stood strong, the upper floor where people live untouched inside.

 

“In the grand scheme of things, given the magnitude of the storm, it’s such a sturdy house and so well planned out, we weathered the storm as good as can be expected,” Chapek said. “And it’s right on the Atlantic side — and the storm was a direct hit.” (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article173408496.html)

 

If you build your home correctly, you can live just about anywhere! Bob Chapek has a hurricane-proof home. Are we, as Christians, hurricane-proof in our spiritual lives? How do we get to be so?

 

46 And why call ye me, 

Lord, Lord, 

and do not the things which I say? 

47 Whosoever cometh to me, 

and heareth my sayings, 

and doeth them, 

I will shew you to whom he is like: 

48 He is like a man which built an house, 

and digged deep, 

and laid the foundation on a rock: 

and when the flood arose, 

the stream beat vehemently upon that house, 

and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 

49 But he that heareth, 

and doeth not, 

is like a man that 

without a foundation 

built an house 

upon the earth; 

against which the stream did beat vehemently, 

and immediately it fell; 

and the ruin of that house was great. 

(Luke 6:46–49)

 

TRUE DISCIPLES…

 

Jesus teaches us that to have hurricane-proof spiritual lives, we need to obey him. This is the mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 

 

You can almost hear the frustration in his voice. Many of us have encountered the same frustration when dealing with people. Maybe our children, or an employee, or someone we’ve been counseling. I think 

 

You gave them good advice. They sat there, listening and nodding their head and agreeing, and then walked off and ignored our instruction. As a result, they continued to have problems with whatever it was they were struggling with.

 

If that’s happened with you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone, people do it with God all the time! Most people want to say that they have a relationship with God. But they want to do things their own way, and when the hurricane hits their lives—well, they are devastated. Why? Because they are not true disciples. 

 

Here we learn that True Disciples…

 

COME TO JESUS,

 

Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

 

Jesus says, “Whosoever cometh to me.”

How do you come to Jesus? There are many that come to Jesus because he is a good teacher and they like his sayings, like the Golden Rule. But to come to Jesus in a saving sense, you need to admit that you are needy, that you are a sinner in need of salvation. That’s the only way that you can truly come to Jesus.

 

But it’s against our nature to do this. We don’t like to admit we are sinners—we like to say that we make mistakes, but deep down, we are good people. 

 

That’s why to come to Jesus, God needs to work in our hearts first. Jesus said,

 

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

 

Maybe right now, you sense that the Lord is dealing with you. Maybe you feel a sense of conviction in your heart. That’s the Father drawing you, he’s inviting you to come. Now you have the choice: are you going to reject the invitation or accept it? Will you admit your need of a Savior and come to Jesus?

 

There is, by the way, no other way to be saved than to come to Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). To be a true disciple, you need to come to Jesus and only to Jesus. 

 

True disciples come to Jesus and they…

 

LISTEN TO JESUS,

 

Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

 

The word for “heareth” (κούω) means both to hear and to understand what is heard. If, for example, you heard someone speak to you in a language you didn’t understand, you technically could not say that you heard them. 

 

A true disciple listens to Jesus’s words. He hears them and understands them. But we should not forget that a false disciple also hears and understands the words of Jesus (Luke 6:49), the difference, we’ll see, is what the person does with what he hears.

 

How do we go about hearing Jesus? This is an important question in our culture today. Of course, we hear Jesus as the Word is spoken (or read). But for a variety of reasons, many people, even Christians do not really hear Jesus.

 

One reason is that we have much shorter attention spans today. Television, with it’s fast pace and sound bites, are partly to blame for this. How many of us have read a chapter in the Bible and then cannot recall a single thing about what we read even ten seconds later? How many people have sat under a thirty minute sermon and can only recall the funny story that was told? 

 

We need to recover the discipline of hearing—really hearing Jesus. There are several tips for doing so. 

 

1) Pray before reading the Bible or listening to a preacher. Pray that God would incline your heart to him and open your eyes to his word.

 

2) If you are listening to a sermon or reading the Bible, take notes. Write something down that you can take away.

 

3) When listening to a sermon, keep your Bible open to the text. Follow along.

 

4) If you are reading the Bible, read aloud, or listen to an audio Bible as you read. This forces you to slow down and focus on what’s being read. 

 

5) You can also pray as you read the Bible—maybe you see something in the Bible you can pray for yourself or for someone else. Maybe you’ll see something you need to confess.

 

6) Make a point of finding something in the Bible (reading or sermon) to apply to your life. True listening to Jesus is more than gaining information, it’s having our hearts changed.

 

This brings us to our next point in Luke 6:47—true disciples come to Jesus, listen to Jesus, and true disciples…

 

DO WHAT JESUS SAYS,

 

Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

 

Why have I been using the word “disciple” instead of “Christian” or “believer”? “Disciple” isn’t a word we use much in Christianity even though it’s a good biblical way of referring to a follower of Jesus Christ. 

 

The word “disciple” means a person who follows after and learns from another person. A key factor in being a disciple is that the person wants to become like his teacher. So being a disciple is fundamentally about modifying one’s lifestyle. This is what the original disciples did in a very literal way. They dropped what they were doing, they left their work and homes, and followed Jesus.

 

For us, being a disciple will involve changes to our lifestyle, perhaps even as radical as what the original twelve disciples did. Being a disciple is about doing. It’s about getting your hands dirty for the Lord. You come to Jesus, you hear what he says, and then you go out and practice those words in the world.

 

A young Korean man traveled a great distance to the home of the missionary who had led him to Christ, then announced his reason for the visit: “I have been memorizing some verses of the Bible, and I want to quote them to you.”

 

The missionary listened as the young man recited without error the entire Sermon on the Mount. He commended the young man for the remarkable feat of memory.

Then, being a good missionary, he cautioned the young man to not only “say” the Scriptures but to practice them. The man responded, “Oh, that is the way I learned them. I tried to memorize them, but they wouldn’t stick, so I made a plan. First, I would learn a verse. Then I would do it to a neighbor. After that, I found that I could remember it.”

 

That young Korean was an authentic disciple whether he knew it or not. He had come to Christ, he had heard Christ’s words, and he had done them. It is in the doing that authentic discipleship is fully achieved. (Hughes, Luke: That You May Know the Truth, 250)

 

So many people today think that salvation is about signing on the dotted line or walking down the aisle. You do that, say a prayer, and boom, you are saved and can go on with your life. James warns us about this false understanding of salvation:

 

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (James 1:22–24)

 

Doesn’t that describe many who call themselves Christians today? They encountered Jesus, got a glimpse of themselves in the mirror, and walked away immediately forgetting the whole experience.

 

A true disciple will have the desire to obey Jesus. They won’t do so perfectly, but the desire will be there. They will look in the Bible, see a command, and say, “I must do this.” They will be doers of the word and not hearers only. 

 

When a person comes to Jesus, hears him, and does what he says, what is that person like? Jesus tells us that true disciples come to him, hear him, do what he says…

 

AND SO STAND FIRM 

 

Luke 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 

 

The person who only comes to Jesus and hears his words, but does not practice them is also described. Jesus says that…

 

Luke 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth [in Matthew Jesus says, “sand”]; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

 

The key factor in both these lives is the state of their foundation. The person who comes, hears, and does what Jesus says is like the person who builds on the rock. 

 

Generally speaking, everyone who builds a house these days builds on some sort of foundation. But back in Bible days, it was common for a person to just build his house right on the ground. 

 

In Matthew, Jesus uses the word “sand,” but here he says, “earth.” It’s a different sermon and preachers may repeat illustrations but not usually with the same exact words. The point is that he did not bother with a good foundation.

 

Why would a person build a house without a foundation? Because it’s easier and cheaper. It’s also because we humans tend to think that nothing really bad will happen to us. 

 

Imagine a man in those days sitting down and figuring that it will take a couple weeks for him to dig out a foundation, and then another month to build the house (I have no idea if those numbers are accurate, but just suppose). 

 

Then he starts thinking, “We don’t have that much rain, and the earth here is pretty hard already…we could get the house built before the baby comes if we skip the foundation…besides, everyone is so busy that I have no one to help me.” The wife jumps at the thought of having her home built before the baby’s arrival. 

 

Yes, it seems easier at the time. But what happens? You get that 100 year storm that hits. The house falls and “the ruin of that house was great.” It’s beyond repair—a total loss.

 

The wise builder takes the time and effort to dig deep to the bed rock.  

 

In 1770, a man named Thomas Hill began, with just a pick, chisel and hammer, to build a house in the side of a cliff in Scotland. For sixteen years, this man and his son labored to build a four-story, lighthouse-like home in the rock.  Now, that is taking the time and effort to build a house on the rock—or in the rock!

 

Jesus is contrasting two sorts of people here—a wise builder and a foolish builder. I think you could say that both of them claim to be Christians—remember, both of them hear Jesus’s words. You sitting there right now, could be the wise builder or you could be the foolish builder.

 

The old preacher, J.C. Ryle challenges us to…

 

Look to your foundation, if you would know whether or not you are a member of the one true Church. It is a point that may be known to yourself. Your public worship we can see; but we cannot see whether you are personally built upon the rock…Take heed that you make no mistake about your own personal salvation. See that your own soul is upon the rock. Without this, all else is nothing. Without this, you will never stand in the day of judgment. Better a thousand times in that day to be found in a cottage “upon the rock,” than in a palace upon the sand! (J. C. Ryle, Holiness, 314)

 

CONCLUSION

 

Jesus says to everyone, “Obey me.” If you are not a believer in Jesus today, he says, “Obey my command to repent and follow me…trust in me.” If you are a believer he says, “Keep obeying my command to repent and follow me…keep on trusting in me.”

 

More and more I am seeing that when God gives us a command to obey, he also gives us a promise to help us obey it. For example, he commands us not to worry and to pray instead, and he gives a promise to help us obey: 

 

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

 

Obey his command not to be anxious and pray instead, and he promises us peace.

 

Jesus gives us his powerful promises to encourage us to obey. If we obey him, we will be like a house built on a rock—that’s a promise. Hurricane storms will come. They may rattle the shutters, even break the windows, but we will be able to stand through it because our foundation will be built on the rock!

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