June 8, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
Matthew 7: 24-27
One man built on solid rock, and the other on “wadi”, referring to a dry streambed where the river comes up and the house collapses. The parable of the two builders is the story of our lives. Are we so busy that we are not aware of our foundation?
- The point of the parable is not that the builder is lost. The house is destroyed, not the builder. In this parable, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus describes the loss of what has been built, not the builder. The focus is on our work being lost; our work would be the way we construct our every day lives.
- There is, indeed, great loss in this parable. (Matthew 7:27) The house is a metaphor (comparison) for everything we have built into our lives. Everything not built on the right foundation will be lost in the end, e.g.: wrong worldview, priorities, motivations. What is not built on Christ will evaporate. Everything not built on Jesus will be destroyed in the storm of judgment.
- What exactly is the safe foundation? The safe foundation is Jesus’ teachings that He has just talked about in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The Sermon on the Mount begins with Beatitudes that turn our world upside down, and it turns around our morality (even in our thoughts). They are hard and demanding, but they are right.
We are wise when we put Jesus’ teachings into practice: “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.” (Matthew 7: 24)
Yet how many of us measure up to Jesus’ teachings? We fall short. We are driven back to the Beatitudes: “Blessed are”….the poor in spirit, the meek, the mourners… (Matthew 5). When we “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), knowing our spiritual poverty, we are promised that we will “be filled”, meaning transformed from the inside out.
God provides the grace, and we live in it. To live in grace, we must admit the rightness of His standard, admit that we do not measure up, turn to Him, and be filled by grace.
May we live a life that reflects that grace and blessing!