Matthew 6: 25 – 34; 7: 24 – 25
This paragraph is from the most important talk Jesus would ever give. In Matthew it is described as being given on the side of a hill. Some people refer to it as the “sermon on the mountain.” It was, with little doubt, given many other times in all kinds of settings; by the lake, from a boat, in a wheat field. Jesus spoke these words so often that his closest friends had memorized them without even trying.
This paragraph may be said to be a central injunction to the most revolutionary ethical document ever written or spoken. Here is the core: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else will be added to your life. Everything else will take care of itself. Everything else will fall into place.
I want to attach this astonishing promise to one of the starkest realities of our existence. That reality is that everyone of us, either by a choice or by circumstances beyond our control, often find ourselves in the pain and anxiety of just being alive. Life tilts too far to one side and we fall onto the granular pavement. Someone leaves and we sink into despair. The doctor delivers the test results in quiet whispers. In an instant we are in chaos not even knowing where we are, or worse, who we are.
So we ask, “Jesus, what good is it that after spending all this time seeking the highest order of good that we can imagine that we still end up as the protagonist in a tragedy?” It is a gut-wrenching question but appropriate to a life of faith. And Jesus has an answer that is so real, so staggeringly hopeful that we sob in gratitude. “Those who hear these words and do what I have asked will become like a man who built his house upon a rock. And the rains came. The tidal waters rose to beat upon the house. The winds blew furiously against it. But guess what? The house did not fall. It did not fall because it was built upon a rock.”
If you want to walk out of the chaos alive then you’ll want to listen intently to the counsel of Jesus, and then do it. It’s a rock-solid place to stand.