September 26 - Luke 6:43-49

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Luke 6:43-49 – Two Parables

In Jeremiah 2:21, we read: “Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”

Farm metaphors are very commonplace in Jesus’ teaching since so many of his listeners come from that background. They know very well that you can’t get juicy figs from thornbushes or lush grapes from briers. He uses these metaphors to describe people that they also know very well … people who are good and from them good things are said. At the same time there are evil people who tend to be negative and bile rises up from their hearts.

In his writing, Luke is also very aware of Jesus’ teaching regarding hypocrites and there were a great many who were standing in that crowd. They might have begun as pious, religious Jews, but they had become rotten inside, degenerate like a wild vine.

“Out of the overflow of the heart, his mouth speaks.” Like the basin of a fountain or a spring, the mouth has little control over what comes from the heart. The truth will always find its way.

Is there anything more frustrating than being asked for advice, giving it in good faith and then having it ignored? Jesus wonders the same thing. But, it is so much more important to hear and heed Jesus’ words than any words of ours.

Luke’s description of this parable is a bit different than the one found in Matthew. He pays close attention to the description of the foundation, not the construction of the house. Much as the Sermon on the Plain is the foundation for Jesus’ ministry, his words become a foundation for our lives as Christians.

The man who hears the Lord’s words and then puts them into practice is like a man who digs down deep and laid the foundation for his house in a rock. Luke doesn't contrast stone and sand, as Matthew does, but he contrasts stone and earth … a home with or without a foundation.

The point is – we may call Jesus Lord and we may hear his words, but until we dig down deep and lay them into the foundation of ourselves, they are useless … we will collapse and our destruction will be complete.