Verse: Matthew 7:24-29 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
In these verses of the book of Matthew, Jesus was concluding His teaching that scholars and pastors call The Sermon on the Mount. Back in chapter 5 of Matthew, verses 1 and 2, it says that “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them …”.
During the course of this teaching, through chapters 5 through 7, Jesus instructed those who were following Him. What he taught also applies to those of us who now aspire to follow Him as disciples in the present day. He said that we should produce “good fruit” with our lives, follow the Golden Rule, continually be in conversation with God by asking in prayer, not judge others, not being anxious, store up our treasures in heaven instead of here on earth, come to God the Father in prayer, pursue Him earnestly without showing off or bragging to others, give to the needy, love our enemies, not retaliate against those who have hurt us, be honest, have marital faithfulness, not lust, not hold onto anger but instead to forgive, and to trust in Jesus for our righteousness, not in ourselves.
In concluding all of this teaching in chapter 7, Jesus said we need to do those things. If we do, we are wise. If we don’t we are foolish.
Easy, right? Just do what Jesus said to do. That’s great! End of devotion.
Well, maybe not so easy? Honestly, for me, I realize it’s often really difficult to do all that Jesus taught me to do in The Sermon on the Mount. Because of that, I’m thankful for the illustration that He used with the story of the storm, the wise man and the rock, and the foolish man and the sand. Especially, because like it says in verses 28 and 29, Jesus knew what He was talking about – He has the authority.
Here are some thoughts that I had related to His teaching:
The rain is falling. The flood is all around us. The winds are terrifying. The house is shaking.
Storms are raging these days. Storms both physical and metaphorical. We are in the storm of a pandemic. Earthquakes, famines, wars, and oppression are occurring around the globe. This weekend, we remembered and grieved the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Wildfires are raging out of control. Just two week ago, a hurricane slammed our country, affecting millions, including many here locally.
In the metaphorical sense, we’re also in the middle of the storms. Each of us has personal storms that we are weathering, perhaps in relationships, with family, with school or work, finances, or areas of sin where we struggle. These storms are often the most challenging for us. They don’t always quickly pass by and resolve.
What am I going to do?
With the storms raging, I start to think to myself – Oh, no! What am I going to do? Thankfully, the words of Jesus answer: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” But, how do I do that? Especially in the storms of life, I find it even more challenging to do what Jesus taught.
The rain is falling. The waters are rising. Who is going to save us?
To make it through the storms, we just saw that Jesus used the illustration of building a house on a firm foundation of the rock. Who is the Rock? It’s Jesus. He is the rock who is our foundation. He is our help. He is our righteousness. He is the one who never changes, even through the storms. He gives us a firm foundation, so that we can do what he taught us to do. He is the one who is going to save us in the storm.
The storm has destroyed my home. What do I do now?
Yet, often, I fail at building my house/my life on the rock of Jesus. And, the storms knock me down. Way down, like Jesus said, “… the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Sometimes our life falls apart, in great and terrible ways. What do you and I do next?
Rebuild in a new location – on the rock of Jesus. That process of rebuilding means that we ask Him for help to heal from the hurt of the storms, for the forgiveness of our sins, and the strength to live like He taught. Sometimes, it’s difficult to move on from your home/what you have built in the past with your life. But, the only answer that will get you through is Him. He has a new home for you, built on Him. When things fall apart, Jesus is the new foundation for you to build on. He’s ready for you to come to Him and ask for that help of rebuilding.
Lord, please help me to do Your will. To put into action your words of wisdom, Jesus. Holy Spirit, please guide me and show me how to live and help me to do what You desire. Help me through the storms of this life. They are overwhelming, and my home has been knocked down. I want to rebuild on you, Jesus. Keep me strong and help me to weather the storms of today and the future. Thank You so much for Your love and the security I have in You. Amen.
Author: Chris Fraser