Jesus has finished His foundational instructions to His disciples, and to us, about what it means to be a true follower of Jesus. Jesus, the Word from the Beginning, is our foundation, the rock on which our life, our house is built, and His teachings tell us what it means to be His disciple. If we will apply His Words to our lives, then no storm or flood of life will be able to move our spiritual house off it’s foundation.
Jesus said in John 8:31 31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It is in this call to obedience to God in the truest sense—from the inside out, that continually calls us to examine, and re-examine ourselves. Because Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit, we can continue to experience this type of discipleship, this sharing our lives with Him, and He with us in our daily lives. This is the life that we’re being called to in the Sermon on the Mount, and this is what it means to build our house upon the rock. How we should live our lives as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine,
Jesus adds in Luke’s account in 6:46, everyone who comes to me. And so these verses are about those who at least begin to be believers (professing Christians). The Greek word for hear is akoúō – to comprehend by hearing. Placing our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior first is important, if we want to truly understand what Jesus is trying to tell us. When we are saved, then we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. And that means that we have the author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, to explain the meaning of the Bible to us!
and acts on them,
But, building our lives, our house upon the rock does not only mean that we hear the words of Jesus, and comprehend or understand them. The central difference between the two types of people that Jesus is contrasting here is that those who build their house on the rock are the ones who not only hear Jesus’ words, comprehending them, but that they put them into practice. Jesus uses a word-picture to tell us what acting on His words correctly looks like. He uses a picture of building a house. Jesus says that the difference between the wise and the foolish builder is that the wise builder acts on the words of Jesus, incorporating Him into the life he is building as the foundation. James 1:22-25 uses the illustration of looking at ourselves in the mirror of God’s word, saying: 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. Keeping God’s word, and subjecting ourselves to Him teaches us to love His Word for it’s wisdom and truth, so that it’s sweeter than honey to us. And, more and more we love the ways of God, and hate every false way. We can say truthfully to God 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. As week keep the commandments of the Lord, and give our hearts over to Him, our way is illuminated. We who are saved see by the light of the Holy Spirit as we gaze into God’s Word, a reflection of the places where we fall short of the image of Christ that the Holy Spirit is trying to bring forth in us. And this looking intently into the perfect law, the law of freedom, as we ACT upon the light of the truth that we have seen, and allow the Holy Spirit to change us. Let’s turn completely to the light of God, as He shows us those areas where we need to look more like Him through the Wonder of His Word. Then we build on a secure foundation.
may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Jesus calls this process “a wise man building his house on the rock”. The central focus of our life, the deepest part of our life is our soul. And how we care for it in our life, the shelter, so to speak, that we give to our soul and spirit, is our spiritual house. And Jesus is going to make it clear that the only foundation that’s going to stand is a house built on the Rock. And in Luke 6:48, he gives us additional details saying 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock;
Who dug deep What does it mean to dig deep when we lay a foundation on the rock? It means that we have the most serious and deeply heartfelt commitment to Jesus possible. As Jesus reminds us in Luke 14:27-28 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?
And laid a foundation on the rock;
As we apply Jesus’ words to our life, we find first that developing more and more the mind of Christ, the attitude of Jesus is not a quick or easy process. (Phillipians 2:5-9): We find that this character is not just something that we put on immediately when we are saved, when we finally realize our need for Jesus, but something that the Holy Spirit seeks to cultivate in us continually, as we appy Jesus, the Word to our lives. Jesus’ life as a bond-servant of God was a continual humbling of Himself in obedience, even to the point of death on a cross. Does emulating THAT sound like an easy process?
25 And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
When the rain falls, and the floods come, it’s too late to rebuild! We go through a trial or tribulation with exactly the faith that we walk into it with—we stand or fall based on the solidness of our foundation, our relationship with Jesus. The two houses, the one built on the foundation of Jesus, the Rock, by the wise builder, and the one built on the sand are both subjected to the exact same tests and stresses, but one stands, and one falls. It’s not that Christians are immune to the trials and tribulations of life. They will come, whether you’re a believer or an unbeliever. In Matthew 5:45, we were reminded that God He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. God gives sunshine in it’s season and sends rain on crops so that they grow. We never see the rain only falling on Christian farmer’s fields, but it falls on all farmer’s fields. And conversely, we as Christians are assured that we will can expect some suffering too. 1 Peter 4:12 tells us 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you; 2 Tim 3:12 12 Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We are promised suffering, fiery trial, ordeal and persecution. But, unlike the world, we are promised rescue. Psalm 34:17-18 says Psalm 34:17-18 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We are promised that trials have a purpose; that they are working good in our character, despite their appearance. Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. We are encouraged that we can have joy in the midst of trials, because God is molding our Character to be more like Christ’s. James 1:2-4 tells us Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. We are encouraged that we will overcome, just as He has overcome. John 16:33 says, 33 These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” We are also encouraged that these things are temporary, and nothing compared to what they are producing within us. 2 Corinthians 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
When we stay strong in our faith. When we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in doing the work of God—even that work of God within us—the work done in our character, then we build on the foundation that has been laid in Christ. So, I urge you for your soul’s sake not to build with earthly, fleshly things that won’t be able to stand before God—like wood, hay or straw—works we do for ourselves, or for the recognition of others, but allow God to work in you. And those works that He does through you, inspired by His Holy Spirit, will stand.