Do you remember when your kids reached the “I want to do it myself” stage and you had to learn to wait patiently while they took 5 times as long to tie their shoes? And do you remember when they learned to say yes while they were busy ignoring what you told them to do? Jesus knows what you felt like then.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
(Luke 6:46-49 ESV)
Sometimes we react to God’s commands as if we were children, resentful of anyone interfering with our ability to do as we please. We even create the mental impression of God as some unreasonable power whose ego makes him want to order us around and tell us what to do, or even worse, tell us not to do things we want to do. Jesus describes a very different kind of God, one whose commands and teachings are a foundation upon which to build a life that will not collapse in the storms, or be swept away by the floods that regularly follow the storms. Jesus sees God’s commands, God’s word, God’s teaching as wisdom to live by. Jesus also sees the inevitable collapse of a life built without a foundation, and Jesus specifically points out the foolishness of thinking that you can say “Jesus is Lord” without doing what Jesus said to do. Saying “Lord, Lord” doesn’t do anything if you won’t “come” to Jesus, “hear” his words and obey him. Jesus wonders why you would even bother to say it, when you aren’t going to do it. Who are you fooling? And why do you think you need to fool them?
Lord let each rival thought, each selfish desire, each self-deception be exposed by your word that I may hear your word and obey it.