The wise builder parable can be found at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It is found in Matthew 7:24-25.
“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: 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.
Jesus does not waste His words. He is not a person who speaks for the sake of speaking. Therefore, we can consider that every word He has spoken in the Bible has meaning and relevance in our society and in the Christian life. We should not disregard any word that He has to say merely because we cannot understand what it means. We should put them to prayer, ask mature Christians and try to find out its meaning.
Here, Jesus said a parable about the man building his house upon the rock. According to verse 24, the “rock” is whoever hears these words of Jesus and does them. In order for us to fully understand what He was saying in this parable, we would have to understand all the commands He gave in the Sermon on the Mount. In that sermon, Jesus taught a tremendous amount on how the Christian is to conduct his life. Essentially, we can assume that everything that Jesus said in the Gospels is the proper way to live the Christian life. These are the things that we should apply in our life so that our life is a testimony to the saving power of Jesus.
When the official Church was formed in the Book of Acts, God then raised up special people to let us know how His grace in our lives is to work out. The Apostle Paul was mightily used by God for this purpose. His name had been “Saul” and he had been highly educated and was steeped in the Laws of the Old Testament. He was an extremely devout and articulate scholar who as a leader was ruthless in his Jewish faith. After his personal and dramatic encounter with the “Risen Christ” while on his way to kill the early Christians, his faith did a total back-flip! Suddenly all his former legalism was revolutionized by God’s grace. A study of all his writings will help you considerably to know how to live an abundant and God pleasing life.
We read in the book of James that we are a fool if we listen to something and fail to apply it, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 4:22). A person can be filled with deception, if he listens to the Word preached and doesn’t apply it in his own life.
You do not find many multi-millionaires in the world not “driven” in business matters. All their waking hours are consumed with ways of gaining greater outcomes with their time, money, resources and employees. You do not find any athletes in the world competing at the Olympics and receiving a gold medal who has not endured tens of thousands of hour’s working at his sport. You do not find a gold medalist in a specialized sport that has not studied and applied the best and latest techniques of that particular sport. If he does not apply the latest techniques, he might find that, at the next Olympics, someone else wins the gold and he is no longer the world record title holder.
If the people who succeed in the world know how to follow techniques and best practices, we too as Christians need to follow the advice of our Master, Jesus Christ.
It is especially relevant that as disciples of Jesus, that we obey His commands. He says in the parable that the cost of the Christian life is tremendous, that we are to love our mothers, sisters, wives and children less than we love Him. You remember that parable? You remember that Jesus said to follow Him we would have to deny our own selfish desires in order to fulfill His desires. Genuine Christian living comes with personal cost.
The amazing thing, that unbelievers do not realize, is that when the Holy Spirit enters our life, He actually changes our desires, so it doesn’t seem anywhere near as difficult to walk God’s way because we will want to go that way. I love the way God has made it!
I want to inspire people and not fill them with guilt. Yet, it’s self-deception to call ourselves Christians and not do what Jesus said. It simply makes sense that you don’t go out into the pouring rain in the middle of winter without an umbrella—without clothing that will protect you from the rain. No one in his right mind goes for a couple of hours’ walk in the pouring rain in the middle of winter if they value their health.
So too, Jesus is saying here, anyone who listens to His words must apply them, because that is the way to live like a rock upon “The Rock.” There are going to be storms in life. In the Parable of the Sower, we were told that as soon as we hear and apply the word of God, tribulations and persecutions will come. That is why it is vitally important that we are founded on God’s Rock in the principles of Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to give us an abundant life! Therefore, He is not someone who wants to steal your joy or wreck your life. Jesus is the wisest Person we could have as our role model: if He says to do something, things will go great in our life! It is no use saying that Jesus is your Savior, without Him being your Lord. It is useless saying that Jesus was the master teacher, if you do not apply His teaching.
Hearing the information is only half of it. If you read this book and you think, “Well, gee, that was a great book,” and you do not apply it, well, your time has really been wasted. But if anyone reads this book and applies the practical things that I have shared, then he is building his house upon the right Rock.
Jesus went on to say, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell, and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27).
Jesus and His teaching is the foundation of the Christian life. If you don’t build on this foundation, your life dreams may crumble. There is nothing scarier than trying to live the Christian life without a solid foundation. If you are a Christian in name only, you are self-deceived and you will experience bitterness, hurt and resentment against God.
If you are living the principles of the Word of God, you have this promise from the Bible: that your house is going to stand even though circumstances around it look threatening and things look as though they are coming apart. If your life is centered on Jesus and His words of wisdom, your house will stand.
The wonderful thing about the Gospel is that we are constantly urged not to do things in our own strength: these are call self-righteous works of the flesh! The only way we can possibly please God is to do things in the power of God’s Holy Spirit: this means He gets the glory and not us! In return though we receive all His wonderful blessings!
May you know and enjoy every one of His blessings as you draw closer to Him.