That’s what Jesus is saying in the final parable (Mt 7:22-28) of the Sermon on the Mount – which began, mind you, two chapters before and with the Beatitudes. Take me – Jesus – son of our Creator, Abba Father, God – take me at my Word. I am the Word. Build your life on me, on rock, on brick. Not sand.
This final parable often reminds contemporary readers of the fairy tale The Three Little Pigs because the consequences of building lives on easy, temporary, cheap foundations results in ruin. But I am reminded of how each story began to see that few parallels exist. The fairy tale? The story begins with the title characters being sent out into the world by their mother, to “seek their fortune”. And Jesus, how does he begin his sermon? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:3).” A significant difference. Fame and fortune seeking sets a person on quite a different path than one that seeks Him.
So rather than those cute little piggies, the Spirit gave me a different ‘tableau’ today as I read the final parable of the Jesus’ longest recorded sermon. Throughout he’s been telling me, “Take heed, read my Word, read the signs, take me seriously (not literally, as a friend distinguished recently – for heaven’s sake Jesus teaches in parables and imagery all the time to bust open literal readings of the Hebrew Scriptures). No, take me seriously. Build your life on me. There are consequences if you don’t. This is my Word.”
So this is the thought I am left with at the conclusion of my morning prayer time. And then, I open today’s newspaper as I do every morning after getting grounded in the Word. I make my way through all the noise in the world to my favorite section, the comics. And there, lo and behold, is an image that brings me back to the gospel today and it makes me smile. Guy should have taken the caution sign seriously.
Yes, Jesus. I take you at your Word.