One can argue that the crowning creation of man is the computer. As complex as its function is, every computer exchanges and processes information using only the zeros and ones of a binary system. Binary numbers simplify processing as this is the smallest numbering system that can be used. The computer’s CPU only recognizes two states – on-off, yes-no, true-false – from which all of its complex logical and mathematical operations flow. Similarly God’s crowning creation, mankind, as complex as we are, function in essence on a series of binary decisions. Jesus teaches this in Matthew chapter 7 where He describes two roads, two trees and two houses.
Jesus begins by describing entry into the Christian life which occurs by a choice of one of two gates that open onto one of two roads. People must choose between entering through the wide gate onto a road of “whatever pleases you,” and a narrow gate, which leads to an uneasy road of self-denial. These two roads lead to two equal and opposite destinies – the narrow road to life, and the wide road to destruction. The sad truth is that most choose the wide gate and easy way, rather than Christ and the challenging course of a disciple.
We see a binary function even within our own Christian community as Jesus describes two kinds of prophets. Though both kinds look the same outwardly and seem to produce good and even miraculous deeds, there are within our population true and false prophets. Though they look and act like sheep and seem to fit into the fold, they are in fact ravenous wolves sent destroy sheep. Jesus says quite simply that these two types of professing Christians are a product of only two kinds of trees – those that bear good fruit and those that bear bad fruit. So we can judge between the true and false prophet, not by their profession, or how they look, or even by what they do, but by the fruit of the Spirit evident in their lives.
Finally this binary system which separates the church from the world and true Christians from false, works within each of us, as well. Using the analogy of two houses, one built on sand and another built on a rock, Jesus again shows that there are but two ways to live the Christian life. One who hears the word and acts on it, while the other hears the word but does nothing. Once the storms and trials of life hit, again the binary sequence leads to a binary result – a house that stands and a house that falls.
Which road are you on? What kind of fruit are you producing? What foundation are you living on?