The wise builder parable can be found at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It’s found in Matthew 7:24-25.
24 “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: 25and 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 doesn’t waste His words. He isn’t a person who just 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 can’t 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’d have to understand all the commands He gave in the Sermon on the Mount. In that sermon, Jesus taught a tremendous amount on how that the proper Christian is to perform 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.
It says in the book of James that we’re a fool if we listen to something and we don’t apply it, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James (4:22) A person can be in much deception within himself, if he listens to the Word preached and doesn’t apply it in his life.
You don’t find many multimillionaires in this world who are not busy in business, who aren’t smart with the way they handle their time, money, resources and employees. You don’t find any athlete in the world competing at the Olympics and getting a gold medal who hasn’t done tens of thousands of hour’s worth of practice of his sport. You don’t find a gold medalist in their sport without studying and applying the best and latest techniques of the sport. If he doesn’t apply the latest techniques, he might find that at the next Olympics, someone else gets the gold and he’s 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’s especially relevant that as followers, we obey the commands of Jesus Christ. He says in the parable that the cost of the Christian life is tremendous that we’re to love our mothers, sisters, wives and children less. You remember that parable? You remember that Jesus said it was going to be a cost such that we have to hate even our own life in comparison to Jesus? True Christian life comes with personal cost.
I want to inspire people and not fill them with guilt. It’s not right to call ourselves Christians and not do what Jesus said. It just 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 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 don’t want to catch a cold or a flu and or tremendously sick.
So too, Jesus is saying here, anyone who listens to His words here must apply them because that’s the way to live a rock upon the rock. There’s 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 the rock in the principles of Jesus Christ.
Jesus doesn’t want to beat us up with what He has to say. He’s not someone who wants to steal your joy or wreck your life. Jesus is the wisest man that has ever been on earth. And if He says to do something, He’s most probably right, isn’t he? He’s the one who would know. It’s no use saying that Jesus is your Saviour without Him being your Lord. It’s useless saying that Jesus was a good teacher if you don’t apply His teaching.
Hearing the information is only half the works. If you read this book and you think, “Well, gee, that was a great book,” and you don’t apply it, well, your time has really been wasted. But if anyone reads this book and applies the practical things that I’ve shared, then he is building a house upon the rock.
Jesus went on to say, 26 “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: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Jesus was saying that the foundation of the Christian life is His teachings. If you don’t build on it, you’ve got a flimsy foundation. There’s nothing scarier than living the Christian life without a solid foundation that is Christ. If you’re a Christian in name only, it can lead to a lot of bitterness and hurt and being upset with 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 it looks rocky and things look as though they’re coming apart. If your life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, your house will stand.
So I suggest that you understand what is being said in this book.