Photo and Commentary ©2020 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, August 1, 2020
Every morning after breakfast I take a brisk walk on a mile-long loop in our neighborhood. A couple of weeks ago I was startled to see sturdy scaffolding attached to this large house. I paused to study it, and discovered that the house was being brush-painted. (In fact, you can actually see the owner—I know he’s the owner because I talked with him a couple of days later—as a dark silhouette up to the right of the chimney top.)
I’ve always been uneasy about heights, so I studied this scaffold thoughtfully. Finally I decided that it’s actually one I would have been willing to climb up on. But with a thrill of horror, I saw that the scaffold-side of the chimney itself had been brush-painted all the way to the top! How could that happen? The scaffold didn’t—and couldn’t—go up that high!
Do you notice the sturdy waist-high panel on the scaffold next to the chimney? That’s where the owner must at some point have placed the feet of a ladder in order to climb up, painting the chimney as he went. My knees turn to water at the thought of doing that, but logic tells me that if the scaffolding is solid, and that safety panel is solid, and the ladder is solid, and the painter works safely and methodically, all will be well.
A couple of days later as I walked by, the scaffolding was down and everything was painted just fine. The owner happened to be in his driveway, and I chatted with him a bit. He was an interesting guy. From his accent I decided that he’d some from Eastern Europe or the Ukraine, where he must have been a carpenter or maybe even a house painter. He told me that the reason he’d used scaffolding was that the property line of his neighbor was so close that he couldn’t safely use a ladder on that side. And that scaffolding provided the solid, dependable standing-place he needed to protect him from danger.
Jesus used a different “house” metaphor when He talked about spiritual security:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24 – 27 NKJV)
Notice what the scaffolding is? “These sayings of Mine,” Jesus says. And not just the sayings, He said, but doing what the sayings tell you to do.
Which “sayings” are He talking about? Well, the verses above come from the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7). This might be a start in order to get more deeply acquainted with what Jesus actually said.
To find this Sermon with a single click, click the link just below.