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. “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 7:24–27
As Jesus comes to the conclusion of His sermon, He said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man” (7:24). “These sayings of mine” refer back to the entire sermon. Jesus says here what James reiterates later—that we are to be “doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves” (James 1:22).
Living Out What We Believe
Now don’t misunderstand. Jesus wasn’t saying that we have to become perfect the moment we receive Him or we’re out. He is saying, as we’ve already seen many times before, that being a Christian is not simply believing the right things, it’s living out what we believe. It’s doing what Jesus says. As we hear and do what Jesus says, we are building a solid foundation for life. Life is full of ups and downs, good times and bad times, joy and pain, blessing and tragedy. Jesus is teaching us how to live life to the glory of God in all seasons. He’s telling us how to not only survive the storms that will inevitably come, but how to even thrive through them. It all comes down to believing His Word and doing what He says.
Two Kinds of People
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who hear God’s Word and do it and those who hear His Word and disregard or outright reject it. Jesus says that those who hear and do His words are wise, and those who hear and reject His words are fools. Those whose lives are based on the Word of God are on a solid foundation that will survive any and every storm. Those whose lives are built on their own ideas or the ideas of others (the world’s philosophies) will ultimately collapse under the inevitable storms. The question is: are we building our house (life) on the rock or on the sand? The answer is not hard to ascertain; it comes down to simply doing what Jesus says.
The Christian life is not complicated. It’s not about sinless perfection but about sincerely following Christ and doing His will. We’ll trip, we’ll stumble, we’ll even sin willfully at times. But we’ll stay on the narrow path, and when we stumble, by God’s grace, we’ll get back up and keep pressing on. The storms will come, the wind and the sea will rage, but those who take the Word of Christ to heart will stand.