You’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, but have you heard of the leaning tower of San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this fifty-eight-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly—in downtown San Francisco.
The problem? Its engineers didn’t dig a deep enough foundation. So now they’re being forced to retrofit the foundation with repairs that may cost more than the entire tower did when it was originally built—a fix that some believe is necessary to keep it from collapsing during an earthquake.
The painful lesson here? Foundations matter. When your foundation isn’t solid, catastrophe could ensue. Jesus taught something similar near the end of His Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24–27, He contrasts two builders, one who built on a rock, another on sand. When a storm inevitably came, only the house with a solid foundation was left standing.
What does this mean for us? Jesus clearly states that our lives must be built through obedience and trust upon Him (v. 24). When we rest in Him, our lives can find solid ground through God’s power and unending grace.
Christ doesn’t promise us that we’ll never face storms. But He does say that when He’s our rock, those storms and torrents will never wash away our faith-fortified foundation in Him.
Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount with the story of the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24–27) for good reason. He’s telling His hearers that regardless of how they try to live up to the instructions He’s just given them, their efforts are in vain if they build on the wrong foundation. The right foundation is Jesus Himself. This helps us greatly as we consider the entire sermon. Christ had just told the people some remarkable things: “Blessed are those who mourn” (5:4); “Blessed are you when people . . . persecute you” (v. 11); “Love your enemies” (v. 44); “Do not worry” (6:25). Now Jesus cautions the people against thinking they can achieve this by their own efforts. Jesus accomplished what we can’t. He fulfilled both the Law and the Old Testament prophecies about Himself (5:17). Anything we do must be constructed on the bedrock of faith in Him.