The last analogy Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount talks about two groups of people.
The two groups have a lot in common, but their end results are like night and day. So what makes the difference?
First, let’s look at what both groups have in common.
- Both groups hear Jesus’s teachings. In today’s culture that could mean they either read and study God’s word individually and/or attend a church where they regularly hear God’s word and/or listen to sermons on God’s word via some type of media.
- Both groups build a house. I think we can safely say that Jesus is referring here to building a life. Today that could mean a lot of things like choosing who you will marry, deciding on a career, establishing a home and family, participating in some type of ministry, making financial decisions, being a neighbor and friend, determining how to spend your leisure time, etc., etc., etc.
- Both groups get hit by a storm. Jesus talks about rain coming down, streams rising, and winds blowing and beating against the house. Storms in our lives today can be weather-related, but they’re typically related to Wall Street, or marital issues, or corporate downsizing, or health issues, or wayward children, or leadership betrayal, or infertility, or any other number of storms that can hit us.
The main point I’ve noticed so far is that even those of us who call ourselves believers and continually feed on Jesus’s teachings while we’re building our lives are going to be hit by storms. They are a given for everyone living in this fallen world.
However, just because we get hit by a storm doesn’t mean it will destroy us.
But it might.
One group that Jesus is talking about survives the storm intact. Their house/life did not fall. It was as if they had built a house using a huge rock as the foundation.
But the other group did not survive. In fact, their house/life fell with a great crash. It was as if they had built a house on a foundation of sand.
With everything they had in common, there was one difference.
But it made all the difference in the world.
The group that survived didn’t just listen to Jesus’s teachings. These individuals also practiced what He taught. They incorporated His lessons about how to live life into their own life. They used the truths and principles he taught to help them make the decisions that built their life.
The group that was destroyed also listened to Jesus’s teachings, but that’s as far as it went. They didn’t put them into practice. They may have talked about it. They may have even planned to do it one day. But they didn’t use His truths and principles to help them make their decisions.
What this says to me is that it doesn’t matter how much of God’s word we know, how often we go to church or how many sermons we listen to. As good as those things are, they’re useless unless we’re also putting what we hear into practice.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be taken out by a storm.
KNOWING what Jesus teaches makes me SMART. DOING what He teaches makes me BRILLIANT!
I’ll take BRILLIANT for $200, Alex.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
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.”