He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
This one hurts.
Do you remember in high school or college and you thought you had the material down cold? You know, you went into the exam and you were all, “Yeah, totally going to ace this thing.” After the exam you walked out after dropping the mic like a boss. You were absolutely sure that you got an “A” and maybe even a perfect score? Then you get the exam back and you failed that thing?
That’s this passage.
Pondering this passage this morning reminds me that I have so far to go.
What particularly struck me were the last two paragraphs.
What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is in our hearts and then the challenge of putting Jesus words into action.
Every once in a while I do a check of my “facebook activity.” My comments are not always laden with love. They are often sarcastic and snarky. What’s worse, is what I don’t publish. But, the nastiness that comes to mind immediately that only I know about. So much of what is in me is still rotten. The pruning work that needs to be done is overwhelming.
The hardest part of what Jesus says here though is the last bit, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
We have been sold some bill of goods that says, “just believe.” Oh friends, if our belief, our faith, doesn’t somehow change us then we have not believed.
I am confronted daily with the reality of my life and whether or not I am doing what Jesus said. It is so hard.
It is hard to love God.
It is hard to love myself.
It is hard to love my neighbor.
It is hard to love my enemy.
It is hard to love.
Loving is not easy. It demands from me a willingness to set aside my ego and willingly choose to help another flourish.
If my only concern is with myself I’m not loving. If I’m not loving then I’m not doing what Jesus said.
In John 15 Jesus said, “My command is this: that you love each other.”
This is the command.
It turns out that our lives can’t withstand the storms of life apart being people who have built the houses of our lives on rock. To do this, we do the words of Jesus. When we do the words of Jesus this leads us into a place where we are loving God, self, neighbor, and enemy. Doing the words of Jesus draws us into a trinitarian dance of community: God, self, and others.
So, how goes it?
Take a moment and do the work today.
How goes it?