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.” ESV
Jesus is telling this story about people. In this case it’s pretty obvious the good choice would be building on the rock but it’s “more” than a story about good/bad options. It’s a story for everyone whether they’re wise or foolish. Each hears these words…each built his house and on each the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. There’s “more” to consider here if the two builder’s circumstances were not what made the difference in their outcome.
This parable is not a story about the danger of circumstances. The danger Jesus is warning about is our destiny if we trust more in our belief rather than the truth of His Words. Recently I’ve discovered something new about how the Bible can tell me “more.” It was a surprise to me to discover if I’d been doing a word or topical search and copying the verses I found I could then read those verses as a story of their own without the references and Voila! I found “more” from His Word. So here’s “more” for today.
“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.a So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”b
a Deut 32:4
b 1 Peter 2:7
Mark 7 – There was a mother whose little girl was possessed by an impure spirit. She was a gentile. The story reminded me Jesus was in gentile territory. Ordinarily a Jew would walk miles out of their way to avoid being in this place Jesus had chosen to go.
Then I found this piece of information was brand new to me. “The earthly Israel had failed to gather in the people of Phoenicia; now the true Israel had come upon them. It was not a strange land into which Jesus came; it was a land which long ago God had given him for his own. He was not so much coming amongst strangers as entering into his inheritance.”
Jesus had clearly taught the right food had nothing to do with whether a person was clean or unclean. Now the true Israel tells a different story of what makes a person clean or unclean. It’s not “right” birth or right location that makes a person clean or unclean. That’s a good thing but why is his response to the gentile woman is so harsh?
27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
Jesus was confronting this gentile woman to consider the inferior circumstance she’d lived under her whole life. Slavery then wasn’t so unlike the slavery we’re more familiar with. If you tell people for centuries they’re inferior it takes something more than history for them to believe they have the right to deserve more and ask for it.
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
What Jesus saw in this woman’s response was courage defined by her faith in him. That was the only thing she had to offer. It wasn’t faith determined by rules or race. She had faith that defied all the odds of her circumstance…and that mattered to Jesus.
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.