Have you read through Jesus’ sermon on the mount lately? It really is a great reminder of how we should live – and the beauty of it is that it’s short, sweet, and to the point. Jesus was pretty direct with most of his points, and I’m challenged each time I read through this passage.
After reading it this last time, I was really struck by the last section: The Wise and Foolish Builders. You’ve probably heard the story about the person who builds his house on the rock and the one who builds his house on the sand. It’s only four verses:
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
I try not to take scripture out of context, so I won’t turn this wise/foolish builder passage into an investment article or give you three reasons to build your retirement next egg on a solid rock.
No, Jesus was talking about applying the teachings to all aspects of your life. When we develop a Christ-like character in our lives, it will flow into other aspects of our life – including our finances. This scripture is focusing on decision to follow Jesus’ teachings and how it will build our character. It doesn’t promise financial gain or protection from worldly things.
Here’s what I got out of the passage:
Rains will come
Notice how both houses were rained on? The torrents and flood waters rose and the wind beat against both houses.
Don’t be fooled. Just because we study scripture and try to follow God’s will doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from hardship. Our faith and dependence on God helps us to get through the ‘wind and rain’ – it doesn’t necessarily keep us from getting wet!
Damage may occur
The passage said that both houses took a beating from the wind and rain but the one on the rock didn’t collapse. Wouldn’t it be nice if it said, “The house on the rock was perfectly fine. In fact, the rains came and cleaned the dirty siding, making the house look brand new!”
Wishful thinking… It simply said that it didn’t collapse. Who knows how much damage it endured. Jesus told us that we would face difficult times and the story of the wise and foolish builder is clear in showing how both houses went through their fair share of storms.
Your foundation will remain true
But here’s the difference: when you build your foundation on Christ, you can live through the challenges of life with a hope of something better. I wish I could say that your situation here on earth will always improve after a storm. I wish I could say that you’re guaranteed a quick recovery after the winds and rain rip the roof from your house. But I can’t say that.
What I can say is this: when we follow Jesus’ commands and live to put God’s kingdom first, we are building on a solid foundation so that when the storms come, we don’t have to collapse.
… greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (KJV)