Parables #9: If you want to kill yourself: read the Bible and change nothing in your life

Parables #9: If you want to kill yourself: read the Bible and change nothing in your life

sermon Gospel of Matthew 7 : Patrice Berger, 2023_08_17, AB Lausanne church

title : Parables #9: If you want to kill yourself: read the Bible and change nothing in your life

Parables #9: If you want to kill yourself: read the Bible and change nothing in your life

If you want to kill yourself: read the Bible and change nothing in your life

Houses on the sand are much better

I always smile when I think of a particular Bible text, because it reminds me of a teasing observation by a home builder who told me that the best built houses were those whose foundations were laid on a bed of sand.

The Bible says otherwise!

Obviously, the teaser in question knew that I was a pastor and that there was a text in the Bible that said otherwise.

House on the rock = cracks

And he wasn’t wrong because a few miles from where we were talking,

we had a friend in common whose house had cracked because it was on a bed of rock and the blasting to make the nearby highway had moved the rock vein and produced a protrusion in the foundation , like a wedge when splitting wood.

Case of conscience, questioning?

Bigre, two examples before my eyes that say the opposite of the words of Jesus who does not lie!

Not the same construction methods

The answer is quite simple. Houses were not built in the days of Jesus as they are built now.

No dug foundations

At the time of the Gospels, there were no mechanical shovels and for the vast majority of domestic dwellings, one could not dig trench foundations and pour concrete with anti-seismic scrap metal.

And indeed, now with our dug and concreted foundations, it is often precious to have at the bottom of the trenches, a bed of sand (which cannot escape) which goes like a “cushion” to absorb the tremors the small variations of ground.

Whereas if the rock directly touches the rigid, belted concrete foundation, it can split it if it starts to move.

On the floor.

At the time of Jesus, we cleaned the ground as well as possible to level it and we built directly on the ground.

Do you have, for the older ones, memories of houses whose interior was made of rammed earth? Because there was no concrete slab as a floor and the interior was just the continuity of the exterior terrain.

Weather dependent stability

If the ground was not subject to gullying by bad weather, the houses would not move. On the other hand, if the ground moved according to the bad weather, it is certain that the whole structure was in danger.

This is why with time and technical progress, foundations in the ground have emerged.

Rest on rock

So in the face of that risk, in biblical times, if you could find a place that naturally had rock stability that was easy to get to, it was valuable to build on it. There, the bad weather could not move the rock. Look, many castles or churches on the rocky outcrops are still there. Being built in independent stone blocks (and not bound by concrete), these constructions resisted small telluric whims.

The Bible transports us to another time

Little intro, to remind us that when we read the word of God, the Bible, it is always interesting to remember that it was not written last night, in the West, but at another time and in another region of the world that does not represent our daily lives.

The same is true for lifestyle habits, as well as vocabulary, turns of phrase or the way of speaking and communicating…

For example, Jesus uses parables

As such, Jesus uses many illustrations, parables to understand through a comparison, a biblical truth.

Grow those who really want Jesus

The main purpose of these illustrations is to help those who are approaching or who are for the kingdom of God through Jesus understand better to grasp and integrate biblical truths.

An example ?

I suggest you read one. And if you haven’t fallen asleep,

you have an idea of ​​the one we are going to cover…

Passage: Matthew 7.24-27

24 Therefore, whoever hears these words of mine and does them,

I will compare it

to a prudent man who built his house on the rock.

25 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and raged against this house;

it did not collapse, because it was founded on the rock.

26 But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a madman who built his house on sand.

27 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and fell on this house; she collapsed

and his ruin was great.”

Why is she there?

But why did Jesus tell this parable? There is always an intention in the parables of Jesus, a trigger, an event, a spiritual truth of life that He would like to illustrate.

Focus

Jesus makes a point. Being with God is a deliberate, voluntary choice. Just because I was present when we talked about God wherever someone in my family was all for Jesus

that de facto I am part of it.

You don’t enter paradise through infusions

Just because I come to worship faithfully doesn’t mean I’m with God. You have to make a personal choice

Jesus speaks to crowds

Let’s understand, Jesus made a lot of speeches in front of thousands of people sometimes and some could have said to themselves: “I was there”, so on a misunderstanding, maybe I am part of it.

Make the right choice

Make the right choice, not something that looks like, it is indeed about Jesus.

Take a good look at the “signposts”, some are seductive in what they say, but look at their lives, their characters, their behaviors and you will know very quickly if they come for God or for other motives.

A bit like the stars of cinema, politics, sports, influencers who tell you how you should live, how the laws should evolve…

And who a few days later, we learn that they are under investigation for having violated the laws, or even not that the laws…

But Jesus insists on being with Him, it is not those who are at Sunday services and who sing hymns who will be with Him for eternity.

It is those who will show their attachment in everyday life by their life choices inspired by the words of Jesus.

Look :

Matthew 7.21-23

21 Those who say to me:

‘Lord, Lord!’

not all will enter the kingdom of heaven,

but only he who does the will of my Heavenly Father.

22 Many will say to me on that day:

‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name?

Haven’t we cast out demons in your name?

Haven’t we done many miracles in your name?’

23 Then I will say to them openly:

‘I never knew you.

Get away from me, you evildoers!’

And so to illustrate this truth, Jesus is going to compare it to the illustration of the foundations of two houses.

Matthew 7.24-27

24 Therefore, whoever hears these words of mine and does them,

I will compare it

to a prudent man who built his house on the rock.

25 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and raged against this house;

it did not collapse, because it was founded on the rock.

26 But whoever hears these words of mine and does not do them

will look like a madman who built his house on sand.

27 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and fell on this house; she collapsed

and his ruin was great.”

parallel road

This text does not mean that one must base one’s life on the rock that is Jesus, which in itself is not false, but that is not what the text tells us.

Watch out for road exits

And the risk is that we take the parable for an allegory where behind each word is hidden a biblical correspondence. In style, here, the rock would be Christ; in “this mystery game”, everyone invents their own and most of the time,

either it’s crazy,
or it’s not biblically false, but we miss what Jesus really meant.
Simple and clear

It’s super clear in what we have today, Jesus shows us where the comparison is.

Matthew 7 verse 24

Jesus talks about hearing his words and putting them into practice compared with the illustration of the foundations of the first house.

Matthew 7 verse 26

Jesus talks about listening to his words and not putting them into practice compared with the illustration of the foundations of the second house.

Putting in practice

What changes is the practice

Or

the non-practice of the words of Jesus.

And Jesus compares them with two different foundations.

The comparison

The spiritual subject (the putting into practice of the words of Jesus)

is compared

to situations of practical life (the foundations of houses).

So here I ventured to write the comparison. Important, because it allows us to clearly fix the facts without going into the maze of our thoughts.

Comparison of this parabola

Putting into practice or immobility in the face of the words of Jesus

are compared

two types of foundations for houses:

     one that stems from wisdom is stable no matter what (like putting God's word into practice);

     the other reveals madness and collapses at the slightest hazard (just like immobility in the face of Jesus' words).

Verification

Does my comparison hold water?

Let’s look in the text at what triggered the use of the parabola:

Matthew 7.21-23

21 Those who say to me:

‘Lord, Lord!’

not all will enter the kingdom of heaven,

but only he who does the will of my Heavenly Father.

Doing the will is something practical

The subject is to do the will of God, that is to say to live it practically. Oh yeah, that’s really about putting Jesus’ words into practice.

The right path to understanding

SO

we understood the subject well, to do or not to do the will of God, that is to say to live in my life the words of Jesus;
we have understood the comparison with the foundations of a house:
an assurance no matter what, just like putting into practice the words of Jesus;

the other rhymes with catastrophe, when the words of Jesus slip away like water from a duck’s feathers.

What is the truth that emerges, with my words, of what Jesus transmitted to us?
I risked it…

Globally,

” Hearing Jesus is good but it is useless…

…if it doesn’t change my life. »

In a positive way,

“ Building one’s life sustainably means putting into practice, very concretely, the verses that I read from Jesus. »

Or, in a negative way,

“ To commit suicide is to know the gospels well and change nothing. »

You will tell me it’s a bit trashy, but Jesus says the same thing:

Matthew 7.23

23 Then I will say to them openly:

‘I never knew you.

Get away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7.27

his ruin was great

For having known situations close to suicides, Jesus evokes the same type of irremediable ruins.

It lacks the essential

Let’s do a check in,

we know why Jesus used this parable;
we know what she means;
we see for our lives what it means;
and if we stopped there, we would be exactly like the madman who, at the time, built his house on the sand.

(Reminds me of the German blockhouses built on the beach in World War II to make up the Atlantic Wall. Now they’re crooked, useless, ridiculous, and spoiling the landscape.)

We miss the application, the central subject of this parable.

The application

The question we need to ask ourselves revolves around putting the Word of God into practice. As I am my favorite guinea pig, I asked myself this first question.

First question

What made me reflect, during this school year, through my Bible readings, Bible studies, Sunday preaching?

You could ask yourself that too. In this school year, what marked you biblically?

“Hearing Jesus is good, but it’s no use if it doesn’t change my life”

In this school year, what marked you biblically and changed you? What did you actually put in place?

A better question

But it is a bad application of this parable, the question is rather, this school year:

What have I set up with God?

What have I experienced with God that has changed me?

Who clarified my citizenship as a child of God?

Set up

I often have 6000 ideas in my head and do 40 things at the same time…

The problem is that there is a mess. I forget and the whole thing leaves in the cloud of good intentions and I come back to square one of the things that God pointed out to me.

So, for a few years, I have been noting the verses, the truths, the applications that mark me

in my Bible reading,

in growth groups,

in Bible studies,

in the sermons.

I also mark the fruit of my meditations. In order to remember it in one or another specific situation.

Thoughts renewed by the Bible

These verses that marked me refine my way of setting my thoughts on those of Jesus. Doing the Word starts in my thoughts and the choices I make.

Chance to be able to share them

And also to share it, with the modest ambition that if it had an impact for me, it could also help one or the other. In the end, that made a lot of posters in TA JEUNESSE!

And from time to time, I see them displayed at home, at church. At least it helped a little…

Besides, I would like to tell you about this one:

“When injustice gets to you,

Take refuge in Him

Who is fair”

YOUR YOUTH n°297

Prayers, recognition, reformulation

Others mark the subjects of prayers and the answers or not

to live

gratefulness with God,
or to persevere,
or direct their prayers differently.
digital gesture

Others left their smartphones at work because they spent too much unnecessary time

to watch for hours (even hours of sleep),
or to fuel sterile conversations on social networks;
because God invites us to redeem the time, not to squander it virtually or because they continued to work at home to the detriment of their loved ones.

Sentimental dead end

Another stopped a sentimental relationship because it had no future with God and therefore for both of them.

And us this year?

And us, what did we experience as a concrete practice following what we discovered from the Bible this school year?

Varied practice

The implementation can be in our heart, our thoughts, our character or actions, visible decisions.

tricky question

It’s sometimes hard to say outright…

challenge

And maybe you will have holidays during this summer period?

I wish you this because for me, it is often the time for reflection!

So it’s your turn to take some time to reflect on the impact God’s Word has had on our lives this year.

Maybe you can put strategies in place, make practical decisions…

Matthew 7.24-27

24 Therefore, whoever hears these words of mine and does them,

I will compare it

to a prudent man who built his house on the rock.

25 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and raged against this house;

it did not collapse, because it was founded on the rock.

26 But whoever hears these words of mine and does not do them

will look like a madman who built his house on sand.

27 The rain fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and fell on this house; she collapsed

and his ruin was great.”

” Hearing Jesus is good but it is useless …

…if it doesn’t change my life. »


Bible Passages

Matthew 7:24-26

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Matthew 7:21

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Related Links / Notes

Theme : the Parables of Jesus

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in “note” form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts of the parables.

All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande)/ Facebook.

Bible verses in the study link to the Bible in Basic English (BBE). which is available as podcast on Spotify

Keywords

  • Antichrist
  • Christ
  • Son of God
  • Eternal life
  • Assurance
  • Communion
  • Perseverance
  • Discernment
  • Holy Spirit