In today's study from Matthew 7:24-29, we conclude our look at the Sermon on the Mount as our Lord speaks of two foundations upon which we can choose to build our lives.
Doers and not Hearers Only
vv.24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
In this closing section of the Sermon on the Mount we see two gates, two ways, two destinations, two groups of people (13-14), two kinds of trees, two kinds of fruit (17-20), to groups at the judgment (21-23), and today, two kinds of builders building on two foundations. Jesus is clearly drawing a line of distinction between those who are on the broad path that leads to death and those who are on the narrow path that leads to life. In this passage, Jesus compares wise men to fools. Wise men hear his words and do them; fools do not.
The point of this passage is the foundation of the house. In the context of preaching on the kingdom of heaven, these verses are directed to the Jews. They are the house of Israel (; 40:38). Israel is referred to as such throughout the Old Testament. Exo 16:31 “And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” Exo 40:38 “For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
The point that our Lord is trying to make is that in order for their house to stand, they have to be founded on a rock. Isa 51:1 "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug.
The application to us as the church is that those of us who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior are founded upon the Rock, for Christ is that Rock. 1Co 3:11 “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” No storm or wind can destroy our house because of the foundation we are built upon.
But those who have refused the Lord Jesus Christ don’t have the Rock and they will be destroyed. 1 Pet. 2:7-8 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," (8) and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
Albert Barnes says it this way in regards to the man who chooses to build his house on the wrong foundation, “The house built upon the sand is beat upon by the floods and rains; its foundation gradually is worn away; it falls, and is borne down the stream and is destroyed. So falls the sinner. The floods are wearing away his sandy foundation; and soon one tremendous storm shall beat upon him, and he and his hopes shall fall, for ever fall. Out of Christ; perhaps having “heard” his words from very childhood; perhaps having taught them to others in the Sunday school; perhaps having been the means of laying the foundation on which others shall build for heaven, he has laid for himself no foundation, and soon an eternal tempest shall beat around his naked soul. How great will be that fall! What will be his emotions when sinking forever in the flood, and when he realizes that he is destined forever to live and writhe in the peltings of that ceaseless storm that shall beat when “God shall rain snares, fire, and a horrible tempest” upon the wicked!
Finally, notice that they commented on the Lord’s authority (v.29)”
He Taught with Authority
vv.28-29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (29) For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Here we see that the people were surprised by the authority with which our Lord spoke. That’s because there was no doubt in his mind that the words he taught them were the words of God. Joh 7:15-16 “The Jews then were astonished, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?" (16) So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” We need to be people today that are unafraid to speak with authority when it comes to the Scriptures! Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.