Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
6) Matthew 7 - Obeying Jesus
THE WISDOM OF THE WISE AND GODLY MAN IN OBEYING JESUS. Matthew 7:24-27 (Parallel: Luke 6:47-49)
Jesus is declaring the consequence of the acceptance or rejection of His teaching. All that Jesus has taught up to
this point has indicated, illustrated and urged the perfection to which He would lead His disciples.
These words of mine is Jesus' way of separating His own teaching from all human authority and of calling attention
to Himself as the revealer of the final Word from God by which any man would be saved or lost.
He is saying: Even as I depended upon every word of God upon which to build my character and by which I
overcame the tempter, even so you must depend upon my word as you prepare for your great crises of soul.
This builder had the good foresight to construct his house upon the rock. Luke (Luke 6:48) seems to suggest that
both houses were constructed in exposed positions, since "a flood arose; the stream broke against that house."
The question of whether the wise builder was less far-sighted for his choice of a site so exposed to floods does not
matter, because in the real life application of Jesus' story, there is no place where we may develop our character,
protected from temptation and the crises which threaten to destroy us entirely. The point is not the wisdom or folly
of choosing a site more or less exposed to floods, but of preparing for every eventuality by building upon the rock.
The test of a building is not its beauty but the strength of its foundation. The picture changes from the hot, dry
summer when the house was built, to the winter rains which swell the little creeks into roaring torrents which batter
everything in its downward rush to the sea. The storm is anything that throws the soul into a crisis.
If we have built ourselves, our character, our life, little by little by listening to Jesus' words and by obeying Him, we
will have built into our habitual way of thinking the tremendous power of God, so that when the supreme crisis comes
we stand as solid as the rock on which we have so securely fastened our life.
Not mere knowledge of the will of God makes a man a real Christian, but the practice of what he knows.
Regardless of how sensible a man may be in all other affairs of his life, if he builds his whole life with all its eternally
supreme value on something else than Jesus' word, that man is a fool.
The same crisis arises but arrives as the second house with less force. Jesus had described the first house build
upon the rock as being beaten with terrific force. He now pictures this house as being "stumbled against," by the
tempest and flood. By these different words He may be suggesting that it takes much less of a crisis to bring down a
man whose life is not founded on God's word revealed by Jesus.
As long as Jesus was speaking, everyone listened spellbound, even if some of Jesus' sayings were new and
different and hard to be acceptable. When He finished His conclusion and stopped talking, the audience took in the
total impact of what He had said. Amazement swept over the crowds as they confirmed their impressions with each
The scribes cited the ancients to establish their rules, while Jesus showed that He possessed supreme, perfect
authority Himself in His own person. He did not base the truth of His message upon the Old Testament, for He has
revealed ideals that surpassed even the lofty ethics of the Law and has done this where not even the doctors of the
Law could refute Him.
What will they do about Jesus' Sermon? What will you do about His sermon? Some will build wisely; some will be
fools. Some will be astonished but not be stirred to obedience. Some will refuse as first, and then obey later; some
will promise at first, then not obey.