There are only a few who find the path to life? And if they do find it, it won’t be an easy journey? Dang.
And then, even harder still, there will be some who think they have found it only to be told by Jesus he never knew them. Double Dang.
Then he says something really interesting. I have read these passages hundreds of times and even sang songs about it in Sunday School, but there is something beautiful hidden here if we would just take a second to change our perspective. I’ll get to that in just a second.
Here’s what he said…
“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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7.24-27)
There’s a clue here. Jesus says if you listen to his words and do them, your house will be built on the rock but if you listen to his words and ignore them, then you have set yourself up to come tumbling down.
Follow me here.
Why would we ignore the words of Jesus? Because we think we don’t need to hear them. We think this way because we don’t fully understand grace. Here’s what I mean. If you and I truly understand our depravity, would not the words of the savior of the world mean everything to us? It’s in feeling like we have it all together that we don’t think we need to obey Jesus at his word because we don’t feel like we need to change. Right?
Ahh. But in the recognition of our total depravity, Jesus’ kindness leads us to repentance and his words are life to us. Would we not do anything to follow him? To do what he says?
It’s only in the recognition that we are forever separated from Christ and are at a total loss to change our outcome that we hang on the words of Jesus; then we build our house on the rock.
Here’s the perspective change for me. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a culture of materialism, or legalism, or something else, but here’s what I thought about that verse.
If Jesus is my foundation, then I can build a bigger house. However, if something other than Jesus was my foundation, whether it be pride, recognition, popularity or reputation, then at the slightest agitation, my house would come tumbling down.
And while all of that may be true, it doesn’t quite go far enough because when it’s said and done, it’s about my house.
Then I caught a new glimpse of what this might mean. If it’s only at the recognition of my depravity that I can understand and do the what Jesus says, and build my house on the rock, then maybe it’s not about my house at all. Maybe it’s about the rock, which is Jesus.
Well, duh, Jonathan. But listen… if the storm comes and knocks my house down, who cares? Because my feet are firmly planted on the rock which is Jesus and his wonderful grace, and we realize we don’t even need the house in the first place because we have everything we need in Jesus.
Don’t you see it? It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there.
Let me try and sum it up really quick.
When I recognize my depravity and hopeless condition, then I can fully surrender and obey Jesus. Why? Because his grace looks at our awful condition and loves us anyway. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
Then we recognize that it’s only his grace and through this same grace, we have all we need. All the validation. All the qualification. All the justification. All the approval. All the love. All the everything. And when the storm comes and knocks our house down, it doesn’t matter because on the rock of Jesus we have all we ever needed anyway. Bye bye house.
Bye bye expectations.
Bye bye dreams.
Bye bye hopes.
Bye bye life plans.
Bye bye self.
You’ve been replaced by the rock; Jesus and his wonderful grace.
Let us, then, stop living under the burden of building our own tiny, little house because it’s going to get knocked down.
The real question is, what’s at your foundation?