Summary: Where are you building the house of your life? Are you actually putting Jesus’ teachings that we have examined for so long into practice? If not, Jesus concludes, it will be distastrous.
Series on the Mount
November 25, 2007
Last sermon on the mount! Jesus wraps up his sermon with a short parable. What else? An illustration! This is an illustration on how to improve your home. How to make your house (which is a symbol of your entire life as in the House of David) stronger and more resilient. Turn to the end of Matthew chapter seven.
As you find your place, I want to share another picture that I found. Jesus’ teachings are intensely practical on how to live everyday and how to live as children in God’s Kingdom. However, I was wondering what is the point what the people in the picture are doing? Taking a picture of who? “These are my cousins but I don’t remember which is which.” “Smile. Smile, everyone. Are you smiling? Jameelah, your eyes aren’t smiling! Oh what’s the use!”
“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.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
To improve your home, it is very simple. It doesn’t matter how big your house is. It really doesn’t matter what materials that you use. Of course, I’m sure that most people’s houses since about 92% of the people were poor were about the same type and build. The biggest rule of real estate and the best way to make sure your home is improved is where you build.
Improving Your Home?
• Location, location, location!
Jesus tells about two people. One built their house on sand. The other on a rock. Most likely the one on sand was built in a “wadi.” Those are the places that become a wash when the rainy season hits. They literally fill up with water in seconds washing everything in them away depositing sand. This was a place to be wary of. Only a fool would build their house on sand because that meant that flood waters would be coming soon. Location!
Build on the rock. What is the rock? The teachings of Jesus provide the foundation on which to build one’s life. Putting them into practice. Living out the Shema of Jesus!!! Teaching others to do the same.
Remember that Jesus is giving a new interpretation of the law. It is something the people might see once in their lifetime. So Matthew tells us that the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he didn’t just teach what someone else taught, he taught a new way of looking at the law not to undo it but to fulfill or complete it. “You have heard that is was said… but I tell you…”
These teachings are the foundation for living out the Shema of Jesus to love God with all your being and love others as yourself.
• Prepare for storms
When Tim Taylor visits your home to record a show… Bad things will happen. Some just because we live in a messed up world with messed up people just like ourselves. Most will be beyond our control. But some things happen because of bad choices we make. But there are some bad things that happen because we follow Jesus.
Storms will come. Where is your house built? What have you built your life upon? Will it withstand the hardships of life and the persecution of the unfaithful? Without a sure foundation and practical application of what we have learned, your house will fall. It will be a great crash. You will self-destruct. You will give up. You will quit your faith. You’ll stop gathering with others to worship. You won’t have served others. The kingdom was never first so why would you make it first when you are backed into a corner? And in the midst of all the wind and rain and even waves that beat upon your house, the house still stands.
As Paul puts it, “In the midst of the flaming arrows that rain down upon you from the great enemy. The armor of God protects you. Even though you may be wounded, you will not fall when you have the armor of God upon you.”