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The Scriptorium

Hearing and Doing

It takes both. Luke 6.46-49

Luke 6: Part 2 (6)

Pray Psalm 119.57-60.
You are
my portion, O LORD;
I have said that I would keep Your words.
I entreated Your favor with my whole heart;
Be merciful to me according to Your word.
I thought about my ways,
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
I made haste, and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.

Sing Psalm 119.57-60.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
I vow to keep Your Word; You are my portion, Lord.
Let favor fill my heart; have mercy by Your Word!
When I think on my way, I turn my feet to You,
to Your path I shall not delay, Your Word to do.

Read Luke 6.1-49; meditate on verses 46-49.


1. What question did Jesus ask the crowds?

2. What two kinds of people did Jesus describe?

Christians refer to Jesus as “Lord”, and well they should, for that is what He is. But referring to Jesus as Lord, even praying or singing to Him as Lord, of itself says nothing about the genuineness of one’s faith. As Jesus explains here, those who call Him “Lord” but don’t obey Him have no true foundation for their faith. Whatever they believe, or whatever they think they have gained by their profession of faith or participation in a church, there’s one sure test of their discipleship.

Do they hear and do what Jesus teaches?

Hearing by itself is not enough. Read your Bible, listen to sermons, join a Bible study group, hear as much of Scripture as you can cram into a week: It will avail you nothing merely to hear the Word of God (v. 49).

But you can’t skip the hearing simply by mimicking what you see other believers do. Doing Christian things won’t get to the heart, where the issues of life are formed and emerge. Implied in these verses is the idea that doing without hearing is as bad as hearing without doing.

We need both – to hear the Word, every day and increasingly, and to do the Word, in every facet of our lives (vv. 47, 48). The sure foundation of faith which can weather all the storms of doubt, fear, trial, temptation, and persecution consists of daily hearing and doing the Word of God. Without these, we are vulnerable to being washed away by floods of wickedness and unbelief.

Whenever you refer to Jesus as Lord, or hear Him referred to as Lord, say to yourself, “hearing and doing, hearing and doing.” Such is the proof of genuine Christian faith.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Jesus told stories worth listening to. They are full of descriptions, people, situations, and life and death issues. And they are told in such a way that the most erudite listener or a child can understand the theme perfectly.

The Word of the LORD came to Ezekiel who told much the same story that Jesus was repeating here. The LORD God said, “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD” (Ez. 13.13, 14). Disobedient listeners, like untempered mortar or houses built without a foundation, never stand when tested.

God doesn’t appreciate faux Christian living. What He wants is for us to hear and do His will and word. And the exciting thing is this: God expects us to do it. And because He does, He will give us the power to accomplish it. Solomon astutely wrote: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Prov. 24.10). Ouch! But we don’t have to faint, nor do we need to be weak.

God doesn’t want us to crash and burn in this endeavor. Or as Jesus put it, “And the ruin of that house was great” (Lk. 6.49). No, God doesn’t want that for us. He has promised us strength so we will not fail. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2.13). Our job is to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2.12). Hear and do seems to rear its head at every turn!

Paul, as always, in his own inimitable way, summed it up perfectly: “…for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified…” (Rom. 2.13).

Jesus held out a carrot stick for us to strive for by telling us of the person who heard and actually did His words. It is possible. It is doable. It is why we are to work so hard with fear and trembling. We don’t have to fail at this and be ruined. “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who:”
1. Dug deep into the word of God for wisdom, knowledge, and to see Jesus.
2. Based his whole life on Jesus, laying the foundation for all he did and thought on the Truth, the Rock.
3. When the flood of sadness, poverty, illness, and pain arose, and the stream of testing and temptation beat against him vehemently, he could not be shaken.
4. Because he was permanently stabilized on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The sure foundation.

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3.11).

Hearing and doing—we will not be shaken.

For reflection
1. How would you explain to a new believer what it means to dig down and lay a sound foundation for your life?

2. What are some things you could do to improve your hearing of the Word of God?

3. What are some things you could do to improve your doing of the Word of God?

Those only make sure work for their souls and eternity, and take the course that will profit in a trying time, who think, speak, and act according to the words of Christ. Those who take pains in religion, found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of Ages, and other foundation can no man lay. In death and judgment they are safe, being kept by the power of Christ through faith unto salvation, and they shall never perish. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 6.37-49

Pray Psalm 119.61-64.
Pray that God will empower you to hear, receive, and live His Word today. Ask Him to make you a source of mercy and grace to the people around you.

Sing Psalm 119.61-64.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
Though wicked ways constrain and bind my hands in sin,
yet I recall Your Word and turn to You again.
By night I thank You, Lord; my voice to You I raise;
for all Your righteous, holy Word I give You praise.

All those who fear You, Lord, go with me on my way,
all those who keep Your holy Word from day to day.
Around us all the earth declares Your mercy, Lord.
That I might know Your glorious worth, teach me Your Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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