Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24
To test the stability of two houses, engineers simulated a Category 3 hurricane by using powerful fans that produced wind gusts of one hundred miles per hour for ten minutes. The first house was built according to a non-hurricane building code, and the other was put together with a reinforced roof and floors. The first house shook and eventually collapsed, but the second house survived with only a few cosmetic damages. One of the engineers summarized the study by asking, “Which house would you rather be living in?”
Concluding His teaching on values of kingdom living, Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). The fierce winds blew, but the house survived. In contrast, the person who hears and yet doesn’t obey, “is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (v. 26). The fierce winds blew, and the house collapsed under the intensity of the storm. Jesus presented His audience with two options: build your lives on the solid foundation of obedience to Him or on the unstable sand of your own ways.
We too have to make a choice. Will we build our lives on Jesus and obedience to His words or disobedience to His instruction? By the Holy Spirit’s help, we can choose to build our lives on Christ.
How have you experienced what it means to have Jesus as the foundation of your life? In what areas is He inviting you into greater obedience?
Jesus, help me to abide in You so that when the storms rise and the winds blow, I’ll remain true to You—established forever by Your grace.
Though the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) is often considered the starting point of Jesus’ public ministry, it actually began in Matthew 4, where He began preaching the kingdom (v. 17), gathering disciples (vv. 18–22), and performing miracles (vv. 23–25). When Matthew 5:1 says that Jesus was followed by crowds, those crowds were the result of the work He’d started in Matthew 4. The Sermon on the Mount launches the basic structure around which Matthew will tell the story of Jesus. It’s the first of five major addresses Matthew records and which form the backbone of his gospel. Some scholars speculate that Matthew presented his gospel based on five messages because his primary audience was Jewish, and they already revered the five books of Moses and the book of Psalms, which is divided into five books. As such, they were accustomed to dealing with content in groups of five.