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The Four-fold Gospel by J. W. McGarvey

XLII. The Sermon on the Mount.

(a Mountain Plateau Not Far from Capernaum.)

Subdivision K.

Conclusion and Application: Two Builders.

^A Matt. VII.24-29; ^C Luke VI.46-49.

^c 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Why do ye give me the title, but withhold the service which should go with it? -- Mal. i.6 .] ^a 24 Every one therefore that ^c cometh unto me, and heareth my words { ^a these words of mine,} and doeth them [John xiii.17; Jas. i.22], ^c I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like { ^a shall be likened unto} ^c a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: ^a a wise man who built his house upon the rock [The word |rock| suggests Christ himself. No life can be founded upon Christ's teaching unless it be founded also upon faith and trust in his personality. For this we must dig deep, for as St. Gregory says, |God is not to be found on the surface|]: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; ^c and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: ^a and it fell not: ^c because it had been well builded. ^a for it was founded upon the rock. [The imagery of this passage would be impressive anywhere, but is especially so when used before an audience accustomed to the fierceness of an Eastern tempest. Rains, floods, etc., represent collectively the trials, the temptations and persecutions which come upon us from without. There comes a time to every life when these things throng together and test the resources of our strength.] 26 And every one { ^c 49 But he} ^a that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not shall be likened unto { ^c is like} ^a a foolish man, who { ^c that} built a { ^a his} house upon the sand: { ^c earth} without a foundation; ^a 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and smote upon that house; { ^c against which the stream brake,} and straightway it fell in; ^a and great was the fall thereof. ^c and the ruin of that house was great. [We do not need to go to Palestine to witness the picture portrayed here. Whole towns on the Missouri and the lower Mississippi have been undermined and swept away because built upon the sand. Jesus here limits the tragedy to a single house. |A single soul is a great ruin in the eyes of God| (Godet). Jesus did not end his sermon with a strain of consolation. It is not always best to do so.] ^a 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching: 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. [See page 166.]

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