I’ve read this story about the two builders [Luke 6:46-49] countless times. I’ve read it so many times that I almost don’t read it anymore when I come across it in the Gospels. I skim it. I gulp down three sentences at a time because I already know what they say. I don’t want to read my Bible like that, but, honestly, sometimes I do (Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep, pg. 18).
Harris goes on to describe how one morning when he was about to skip over that passage in Luke he actually slowed down to read it. Not skim it. As he did, he saw something he hadn’t seen before. In the past he had thought that this passage was primarily about one builder that was a Christian and the other who was not. Reading the very first verse of this passage made Harris realize he hadn’t understood it very well. In verse 46, Jesus says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” In Harris’ own words:
That question makes me uncomfortable because I can’t pretend I don’t understand it. And I feel that he’s talking to me, that’s he’s talking to religious people—people who claim to belong to God, people who say that Jesus is Lord. This is interesting because it clues us in to the fact that Jesus isn’t just contrasting religious and nonreligious people. He’s not just saying that atheists get their houses knocked down. He’s talking to people who claim to believe in God.
Jesus is calling the bluff of the religious. He says, Why play this game? Why call me Lord as if you care who I am or what I want when you don’t bother really knowing me or doing what I say? And then Jesus tells the story about the builders and their two houses. The homes they build represent their lives—their beliefs, convictions, aspirations, and choices (pg. 18).
After talking a bit more about this passage, Harris concludes with these words:
What hit me that morning on the beach is that digging down and building on the rock isn’t a picture of being nominally religious or knowing Jesus from a distance. Being a Christian means being a person who labors to establish his beliefs, his dreams, his choices, his very view of the world on the truth of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished—a Christian who cares about truth, who cares about sound doctrine (pg. 19, emphasis added).
After reading Harris’ words and re-reading Luke 6:46-49 I am struck with two things:
- How many Bible stories do I skim over that I should be reading? (I do this far too often, especially when a Bible passage is embedded in someone’s book)
- Am I building my life on the Rock? Am I digging down deep so that I may have a solid foundation to stand upon when trials come?
May the Lord, by His grace, help each of us to read His Word more carefully, less distractedly, and then make choices in life that fit the doctrine we just read.