Luke 6:46-7:10 (ESV)

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 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. 49 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.” 7 After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Jesus wrapped up his challenging sermon with a powerful conclusion. Jesus taught that people’s words should be consistent with who they really are. Yet in the end, it’s not what we say that matters as much as what we do. He asked his hearers, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” The professor of faith didn’t only say, “Lord,” but “Lord, Lord” with passion and emotion. Jesus added, “If you view me like this, why won’t you follow my commands?” No matter how emotional the confession of faith, if one’s actions don’t follow her words, she didn’t honestly consider her statement about Jesus. The one who hears and puts into practice what Jesus said is wise. This person is like one who dug deep into the soil to lay a strong foundation before building her house. When the flood came, her house remained. Another was foolish. She heard and may have even agreed enthusiastically to what Jesus said, but she didn’t put his words into practice. Since she didn’t do anything about it, her house had no foundation. When the flood came, her house washed away. What is the flood? It could be the trials and difficulties of life, or it could even be the last judgment of God. Either way, the point is clear: if you believe, then do what Jesus says.

Why do we find ourselves gushing over how much we love and prize Jesus, yet not doing as Jesus commands? He wasn’t referring to the tripping up we experience as we walk through the world, but to the deliberate attitude that knows what he wants and nevertheless says, “No. I am going to do things my way.” Are you willfully disobedient to the teaching of Jesus in any area of your life? Maybe you are planning to pursue an unbiblical divorce. Perhaps you don’t want to live without a favorite habit or addiction in which you find pleasure, yet know it is inconsistent with God’s design for life. Or it could simply be that you refuse to attend or serve in a church. If you know that you are living in willful disobedience to the commands of Christ, choose to repent today. Ask Jesus to turn your disobedience into a desire for obedience. Instead of “I will not,” say, “I am struggling. Help me to get it right.”