Matthew7:24-27 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
As Jesus finished what we know as the Sermon on the Mount, He uses the above parable. So many different teachings can and do come from this passage. In fact a children’s “Sunday School” song came from this passages. Let’s look at some of what can be learned from this passage.
To build a house or a building, there must first be a solid foundation. If there is no foundation, then the builder digs down and lays one on the bedrock. To build our life in Christ, we must lay a foundation of knowledge of Jesus’ teachings and faith in Him. When storms (trying times) come, our house can stand because of this knowledge and faith base. Whereas, if we do not have the strong foundation of knowledge and faith; we will fall away because we have little faith. This is a great lesson to ponder and very applicable to the Christian walk.
Another lesson can be the comparison between the wise and the foolish. The Proverbs are full of examples of wisdom vs. foolishness. By focusing on the fool in this story one can learn not how to do something. The story of the three little pigs comes to mind when I focus on the fool. Which house stood in that story? The one made out of brick. A solid structure built by wisdom. So, a great lesson on wisdom can be pulled from this story as well.
My favorite teaching from this passage comes from a preacher/teacher friend. He asks the question, “What is the difference between the wise man and the foolish man in this story?” He waits as he receives various answers similar to my two examples. Then, he mentions what I think is the core of the whole story. The wise man hears Jesus’ words and put them into practice. This view is simple but profound. If I think about it, nothing else matters but to put Jesus’ words into practice. The rest is just an example of the man who does and the man who doesn’t.
Now, I’ve always pretty much been a rules follower. Of course, I had my rebellious stretch in life, but for the most part, if a credible person told me to do something, then I generally complied. It’s the rules. However, in reflection, I wonder how many times I have walked away from a sermon or a Bible study where truth was revealed and I did not put it into practice in my life. In fact, if I were to trace back to the source of spiritual breakdowns in my life, I bet I would find that I did not heed Jesus’ words and put them into practice in my life. Conversely, when I put Jesus’ words into practice (even better, have them in my heart) they become a part of my belief system. I start living my life by Jesus’ standards and spiritually, life is more solid, no matter the circumstances.
Another passage comes to mind when I think about this concept of putting Jesus’ words into practice. James 1:22-25 says, “ 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” Daily, I must challenge myself to hear Jesus’ words and put them into practice. When I do, my journey will have more purpose and meaning. And…I will be able to stand in times of trouble.
1. What has been your life work around this passage? How has it touched you?
2. Where do you need to put Jesus’ words into practice?
3. Describe a time where putting Jesus’ words into practice has been beneficial.
4. Describe a “spiritual crash” that may have been the result of not putting Jesus’ words into practice.
5. What do you need to do in order to follow putting Jesus’ words into practice?
6. This week, pay attention to what Jesus may be telling you and look for a way to put His words into practice. Notice the results.
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