The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 36

Sermon on the Mount ~ Part O

We continue our study of the Sermon in the Mount, beginning in Mattityahu 7:21.

As with the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua describes how to live as members of the Kingdom of Heaven.

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 

Lord, Lord, Greek Kurios, has several possible meanings. In the present verse, Yeshua seems to say that a day will come when people address Him as the divine Lord – more than human but not necessarily YHVH. In the Septuagint, Kurios is the most common rendering of YHVH. Sha’ul’s writings and the General Letters Kurios sometimes refers to Yeshua.

22 On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’

On that Day refers to the Day of Judgment (compare Isaiah 2:11, 17; Zechariah 14:4–21; Revelation 20:11–15).

23 Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (see Psalm 6:8) (compare this section with Luke 6:43-45).

I never knew you communicates disassociation or estrangement.

Build Your House on the Rock

24 “So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse because its foundation was on rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed—and its collapse was horrendous!”

The rabbis debated whether hearing or doing the law was more critical; most concluded that hearing it was more important because one could not do it without hearing it. But they did insist that both were necessary. Again, the image is of the Day of Judgment. The idea of ultimately being judged for hearing but not obeying was familiar (Ezekiel 33:32–33). But no Jewish teacher apart from Yeshua claimed so much authority for his own words; such authority was reserved for the law itself. Some of Yeshua’s more biblically literate hearers may have thought of Proverbs 24:3 (“by wisdom, a house is built”) and the contrast between wisdom (which builds a house in 9:1) and folly in Proverbs 9:1–18. (compare this section with Luke 6:46-49).

The Authority of Jesus

28 When Yeshua had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at the way he taught, 29 for he was not instructing them like their Torah-teachers but as one who had authority himself. ~ Mattityahu 7:21-28

The crowds immediately recognize Yeshua’s authority. He does not interpret or teach based on the interpretation of earlier rabbis, as was the custom; instead, He speaks prophetically on behalf of God.

In our next post, we move from the Sermon on the Mount to The Ministry Continues in Luke & Mattityahu’s Gospel.

Click here for the PDF Version.

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