47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
We think of Jesus as being brought up by Joseph as a carpenter. But the Greek word used simply means builder, and in Galilee the usual building material was stone. Less than an hour’s walk from Nazareth was the hilltop town of Sepphoris, which the Romans were expanding as their provincial capital during Jesus’ childhood, and it is likely that Joseph and Jesus worked on its construction. It may have been in his mind when he said “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” in Matthew 5.14. Maybe If Jesus was a skilled builder, then the story of the two houses in Luke 6.47-49 is based on his experience of the value of solid foundations, and also adds weight to the image he uses of the building which he was going to do through Peter’s testimony.
Thank-you Lord that you are still building your church, on a firm foundation, and that nothing, not even Covid, can stop you.