Summary: Jesus uses the parable building your house on the rock to talk about the fact that the many (vv. 13, 22) who are in the broad way will not enter the kingdom is that their lives are not built on the foundation of Christ and His Word.

Right now the real estate market is going crazy. There is a perfect storm of circumstances that are driving up housing costs. People want to purchase a home before the introduction of the HST. They fear they may not qualify soon, with the forthcoming down payment standards to increase. They fear that the bank of Canada is soon to increase interest rates and want to lock in a lower payment. Adding to all of this has been the wait and see attitude over the recession and seeking greater economic security. The great danger in all of this is that people will make some terrible rushed judgments and it will all come crashing down.

Jesus uses the parable building your house on the rock to talk about the fact that the many (vv. 13, 22) who are in the broad way will not enter the kingdom in that their lives are not built on the foundation of Christ and His Word. Again Jesus picks up the theme of humanities own righteousness, the righteousness that is totally unacceptable to God and that will in no way qualify a person for His kingdom (Matt. 5:20).

In the first illustration (vv. 21–23) we see a contrast between the true and false verbal professions of faith and good works. Here we see contrasts between obedient and disobedient hearers. Both groups hear God’s true Word, but some hear and obey, and some hear and disobey; some turn their trust to God’s righteousness, and some continue trusting in their own, though that does not become visible until the judgment.

The implication is that even those who disobey believe that they belong to Christ and make a convincing profession of faith in Him. They hear God’s Word and recognize it as God’s Word, but wrongly believe that simply knowing and recognizing it are enough to please God and guarantee them a place in His kingdom. Like those who say, “Lord, Lord (Mt. 7:21),” and do amazing religious works but really “practice lawlessness,” the false hearers build their religious house, but are self-deceived as to its viability.

In the illustration of those who make false professions, the true believers are mentioned only by implication (“not everyone who says to me,” v. 21). In the illustration of the hearers and builders, however, both the true and the false believers are clearly described. In these two groups we see the similarity in the 1) Outward plan but the distinction in the 2) Inwards Specs


First of all, both builders have heard the gospel. Everyone then who hears these words of Mine applies both to the wise man (v. 24) and to the foolish man (v. 26). They both know the way of salvation.

Second, they both proceed to build a house after they have heard the way of salvation. The wise man builds his house, which represents his life, on these words of Mine. The implication is that the foolish man, although he does not do/act upon Christ’s words, thinks that his house is secure simply because he has heard and acknowledged the words. He believes the life he lives is Christian and therefore pleasing to God. He does not intentionally build a house he thinks is going to fall. Both builders have confidence their houses will stand; but one person’s confidence is in the Lord and the other person’s is in themselves.

The word translated “Foolish” here is the word from which we get our English word “moron.” Those who reject the rock of Christ Jesus and only hear what He says and do not do what He says are called “morons” by Christ. It is not a word that appeals to the world, but rejecting Christ does not appeal to God (Butler, J. G. (2008). Analytical Bible Expositor: Matthew (124). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.).

“To do these words” in and by the power which they themselves bestow is not mere outward compliance with certain requirements. This would only repeat the folly of the scribes and Pharisees, the old error of work-righteousness. To do the words is to let them bring us into the condition described in 5:3–6, which 3:2 expresses by the command ìåôáíïåῖôå, “repent,” and Mark 1:15: ìåôáíïåῖôå êáὶ ðéóôåýåôå ἐí ôῷ åὐáããåëßῳ, “repent and believe in the gospel.” The essential doing is faith, v. 21 (which see: “doing the Father’s will”), John 6:29, 39, 40; 1 John 3:23. Then will follow the true evidence of repentance and faith indicated in the other beatitudes, 5:7–12, and in the body of the sermon. This doing of the words of Christ is the whole life of faith, including contrition, the confidence of the heart (conversion, regeneration), and the new obedience, all as one grand whole and all in the power of the grace coming to us in the Word as the divine means of grace (Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (309–310). Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg Publishing House.).

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