The Gospels are a treasure trove. Sometimes what may seem like a minor detail can speak volumes or take Jesus’ message even deeper. However, we need to be on the watch for these jewels and when we see them, go back and ponder them, looking at them from different perspectives. Last Saturday’s reading offered one of those gems.
The second portion of Luke’s Gospel caught my attention. It was about the two foundations (Lk 6:46-49). Because the example given captures our imagination, it’s very easy to skim over the initial words of Jesus, “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them.” The example of the two foundations that follows, while helpful, is only in support of what He expects of us. He makes it very clear that if we call out ‘Lord,’ yet remain trapped in our own selfish needs and do not listen, He cannot help us. He states three specific steps that we need to take.
Since Jesus is no longer visible on earth, how is it that He expects us to come to Him? The language we use to describe the action required may include words like turning towards Jesus, seeking Him, reconciling with Him. They all convey an initial action of moving away from our own self-interests and desires. We realize that what we think we want, or even already have, does not satisfy us or bring us peace. This moving beyond ourselves and looking toward Jesus is the first step we need to take.
Our world is full of sounds, which we may or may not hear, simply because there are too many of them. Jesus is asking us to listen to His words. That’s the second step. Listening takes humility, since we need to park our own thoughts and feelings and concentrate on what is being said. We need to absorb the message of the words and let it infuse our thoughts, words, feelings, and understandings.
When we turn to Jesus and allow His commands to penetrate deep into our being, our whole outlook changes. This transformation allows us to then act upon what we have pondered in the words we hear from Him. Instead of using our own perspectives as the measure of how we interact with the word, we become like Jesus instead, and bring the kingdom of God to earth in our small way. This action becomes the third step.
The more we turn away from ourselves and look to Jesus, the more we listen to His calling and respond by acting in harmony with God’s will, the more our foundation is built on the most solid of rocks. Jesus doesn’t promise that we won’t have any storms in our lives, but if we follow His three-step process, we can be assured that no matter the storm’s wind speed or water surge, our house of faith will stay strong.