Hurricanes. Tornados. Floods. Fires. Earthquakes.
In our world, not a week goes by that we are not confronted with extreme and life-threatening weather. Yet, there is a storm coming that exceeds anything that we have ever known. It is the storm of the Lord that will purify everything on the earth, on the way to making all things new.
On Sunday, our last sermon from Matthew 7 considered this storm and the shelter which is found in the words of Jesus Christ. Indeed, considering the way Christ finished his Sermon on the Mount, we hear again his clarion call to prepare for the last day.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
- As we come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, what have been the biggest lessons? What thoughts, actions, practices have changed or should change?
- The Sermon on the Mount ends with three strong warnings. Together they call the disciple to do God’s will. Why is it so important that these calls to action come at the end? In other words, how does Jesus employ biblical commands?
- When you struggle to “do” what God says, why is that? How does the flow of the Sermon on the Mount teach us to do his will?
- Read Ezekiel 36:26–27. Often we speak of grace as God’s pardon, but it is also a power that enables us to do what he commands. How does this Old Testament passage and the Sermon on the Mount teach us about obedience?
- In the final word picture, what is Jesus addressing? How would the first century Jew understand the language of “house,” “rock,” and “storm”? Why are getting those terms so important for understanding Jesus?
- Jesus finishes each of his sermons (ch. 5–7, ch. 10, ch. 13, ch. 18, ch. 23–25) with a word of judgment. Is it surprising that Jesus speaks so candidly about the coming judgment? Why or why not? What does this say about the message of the gospel?
- The main point of Matthew 7:24–27 is to build your life on the words of Jesus. How are you doing that? What is Satan’s most effective way to separate you from God’s Word. If you were to write yourself a “build your life upon the rock” letter, what would you say?
- What else did you learn from this message? Or, what do you need to apply?
Small Group Resources
- Why Small Groups May Need to Stop Talking About the Bible by Cole Brown — This is the post that got me thinking about the need for “response” more than “discussion.”
- Four Types of Questions Not to Ask by Melissa Kruger
- Be a Table Host, Not a Dinner Party Speaker: Ten Ways to Create Meaningful Discussion in Your Next Bible Study
On the Sermon on the Mount
- Three Wrong Ways to Read the Sermon on the Mount
- The Significance of the Sermon on the Mount: 10 Reflections from Herman Ridderbos
- Seeing the Mountain-Like Structure of the Sermon on the Mount
- Seven Evidences the Sermon on the Mount is an Exposition of the New Covenant
- The Center of the Sermon on the Mount: Twelve Truths About Our Father in Heaven
- Drinking Deeply from Our Father in Heaven: Nine Observations about Giving, Praying, and Fasting (Matthew 6:1–18)
Soli Deo Gloria, ds