Thresholds and Cornerstones: Building Your Foundation on Jesus

The story of the Levite and his concubine in Judges, Ch. 19 reveals a time of anarchy and apostasy. Everyone was doing their own thing. It was a time of convoluted living. Sin was so intertwined with their moral gauge their whole perspective was tainted. (Judg. 19: 23-24 - The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, "No, my brothers, please don't act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, don't do this folly. Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them what seems good to you; but to this man don't any such folly.") Every issue was processed through a filter dirty with sin.

Now, I know that when the air filter on my car gets dirty, my car loses its optimum performance. Surely we can see how these people were not functioning anywhere close to an optimal level. This is why I believe Jesus doesn't want the wheat and the tares (weeds) separated until the end. (Matt. 13:29-30 – "But he said, 'No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn."'") He wants as many people as possible to come to know Him. Our culture is so amorphous you can't tell the difference between who knows the Lord and who doesn't. In God's eyes, the boundaries are clear and we need to separate ourselves from sin.

The story continues in Judges 19:27: "Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold." The young woman died reaching out to touch the threshold of a physical home that was meant to be safe. But it was not. The lines were blurred and it was not clear what could and could not be trusted.

Let's now turn to Mark 5 to look at what happens to another woman in Mark 5:27-29: "Having heard the things concerning Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched his clothes. For she said, 'If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.' Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction."

When the woman touched the hem of Jesus' garment, it was like coming to the threshold of his house, she was immediately healed. She put her faith in Jesus as her Cornerstone. Isaiah 28:16 in the niv translation says "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.'"

The Hebrew translation for threshold is caph,(saf) which is either a container/basin or a doorpost/gate. The pinnah or cornerstone which was a large boulder supporting the home, was considered sacred. The caph was considered the next most sacred part or item in the home.

One woman suffering severe trauma reached out to an unsafe threshold and died there. Another woman bleeding for twelve years reached out to a safe threshold and was healed. She found a threshold of healing—the hem of Jesus' garment—she was not stricken with panic, she was not rejected, she was not told there was nothing He could do. She wasn't told to take a number and get in line, she wasn't told to come back later, she wasn't give a formula to follow, she was not turned away. She was healed.

A January 22, 2011 New York Times article called "Housing and a Chance" illustrates how important a safe home is. A federal government strategy called "Housing First" has shown that homeless veterans who are given a permanent home before they sober up or get a job have a higher success rate in regaining their lives. A permanent home becomes the anchor that makes addiction services, therapy, sobriety, and a steady job possible. This has been more successful than traditional programs that offer housing after sobriety, because a safe home provides comfort and stability that becomes the platform for well-being.

Are you a safe place for someone in need? How many times do we place contingencies on the help we offer a person who just needs to be loved? Extending that love offers a solid foundation. Inviting Jesus over the threshold and into your heart brings healing. It offers security. When you have Jesus helping you build your spiritual home, it becomes a safe place for others. When they reach out for the threshold of your heart, they find a place of love and safety. Then you make yourself available to love others like Jesus which brings unity. Is Jesus the Cornerstone of your spiritual home? Is the threshold of your heart safe? Are you making your spiritual home safe for others? When you come to the threshold of Jesus' house you will be safe!