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Matthew 7: 21-29 – Week 12 Ordinary Time, Thursday (King James Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 ¶ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Today’s Bible reading is a lesson in practicality. Jesus tells us to be sure that our faith is an active, lived reality – that we not only hear Jesus’ words but that we do as he teaches us. It is when we live in this way that our faith has firm foundations, and so we can build and our house can last.

Faith, then, is far from being a denial of reality – indeed it is the opposite; it is a meeting with reality, and where we are at our most real. Jesus asks us to be careful that our faith be not a kind of escapism. We are to ask ourselves how we are doing as Christians.

We may perhaps imagine the person Jesus teaches us not to be, one who goes through life saying, ‘I am Christian,’ who may perhaps be very happy and often thinking of Jesus, yet who is not a light of the world, because action is missing. Where are the good fruits? Where is the good that is being done?

Our call, therefore, is to purposeful love. God is love. By being Christian, we try to be as close to pure love as we can be. This is the bedrock of our lives each day. ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I found my Church.’ In this sense, we are all like St Peter, asking Jesus to come to us, to be at home in our hearts, and praying that our way of life may indeed provide good foundations.

As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
Your bones shall flourish like the grass. (Isaiah 66

Concluding Prayer

Grant us, Lord God, a true knowledge of salvation,
so that, freed from fear and from the power of our foes,
we may serve you faithfully,
all the days of our life.
We make our prayer through our Lord.

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Endnotes

Jesus Spoke As One Who Has Authority

Matthew 7:21-29 is a powerful passage illustrative of the authority of Jesus Christ as teacher and guide for our lives. Jesus speaks with a clarity and conviction that is truly remarkable, providing divine wisdom to guide our lives.

Jesus begins by warning his listeners that not everyone who claims to be his follower will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus emphasizes the importance of not just professing our faith, but also living it out in our daily lives. This warning highlights the importance of a living faith and reminds us that our actions must reflect our beliefs.

Jesus warns against false prophets and emphasizes importance of strong spiritual foundation anchored in Jesus’ teachings. Jesus warns that even those who perform miracles in his name may not truly know him, and that we must be cautious of those who claim to speak for God. Jesus also emphasizes the importance of building our lives on a foundation of faith, warning of the catastrophic consequences of failing to do so.

The point is that Jesus in speaking with authority claims authorship with God. This is a scandal – a blasphemy. The scribes and the Pharisees recognize exactly what Jesus is claiming here – and indeed the devils know Jesus as the Son of God.

Throughout the Gospels, our simultaneous ignorance and dawning awareness of Jesus as the Son of God, as God the Son, is the central dynamic. This mystery attains its apogee in the scandal of the Cross and bleak despair of Holy Saturday – when God dies and is put into a tomb and, as the creed has it, descends to hell.

The Cross has yet to come, and yet is prefigured in these verses. Indeed, such verses as these provoke the Cross, as Jewish authorities conspire to arraign Jesus of blasphemy, and the imperial authority colludes to condemn a rabble-rousing agitator.

Jesus’ authority will become conditional upon this entire rejection by the spiritual and imperial powers of his time. God in this sense must become as nothing in order to be redemptive God.

God speaks with authority, and yet His utter rejection to ignominy and to hellish death is the condition of love and our salvation. In this sense, God requires His own failure in order to triumph.