“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25, NKJV).
The old children’s song based on this passage is not just for children. It’s a powerful message for all people about the importance of building a long-lasting spiritual foundation upon Jesus. Notice a few things Jesus teaches in this popular closing thought to his Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus teaches the importance of obedience. Hearing alone does not make one obedient. There are many people who sit in church pews and hear the truth but do not act upon it. Hearing and doing is the key to obedience. The brother of Jesus, James, would write, “he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).
Jesus warns of the danger of coming trials. The “rain” and “floods” and “winds” beat upon every person’s house—whether built on the sand or the rock (Matthew 7:25, 27). These represent the various trials and tribulations of life. Yet, the house still standing is the house “founded on the rock” (7:25). The psalmist once wrote, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). The foundation of our lives ought not be in fickle, temporal things but in Jesus who gives us the eternal hope of an enduring foundation.
Jesus appeals to our self-esteem. Would you like to be considered wise or foolish? Jesus makes it clear the “wise man” responds to His teachings in one way and the “foolish man” in another (Matthew 7:24, 26). Nobody wants to be in the latter category. So, the only way to avoid such a stigma is to start doing as Jesus states in these instructions. Otherwise, we build on a sand foundation.