If You Aren’t Wise, You’re Foolish
Read Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been built on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
According to today’s passage, what are the only two ways to respond to Jesus’ words?
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Only two options. You either win or you lose. There is no in-between.
When it comes to following Jesus, there are only two options as well. In today’s verses, Jesus taught that if you aren’t wise, you are foolish. People who live wisely hear what Jesus said and put His teaching into practice. In other words, wise people seek to live lives that are fully obedient to Christ.
Jesus doesn’t leave room for any in-between or wishy-washiness. He said everyone who doesn’t put His words into practice is foolish. That means those who flagrantly disobey and totally disregard God are foolish. But it also means that people who try to pick and choose which of His words to obey and which to disregard are foolish as well. Jesus presented only two options.
Jesus knew that life is not going to be smooth sailing. He knew it wasn’t a matter of if storms hit, but when. In order for us to be able to stand, He knew that we would need to build our lives on a firm foundation. But every worldly thing is unstable! Our best chance to withstand the storms of life is to build our life on something that is solid, sure, and unchanging—a rock, instead of sifting sand.
When we go back to the Bible, we see that the Lord God is often described as a rock. One example is in Psalm 62:1-2 where David wrote: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
We also see God prophesy that another was coming who was also described as a rock, the cornerstone, or a firm foundation. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 28:16: “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: “Whoever believes will not be in haste.”’”
Peter quoted this prophecy in 1 Peter 2:6: “For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’” Then, Peter goes on to describe the foolishness of those who reject Christ and disobey Him. “So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word…” (1 Peter 2:8, quoting Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14).
So who is the sure foundation that the Lord God Himself laid? Who did He send to be the cornerstone of the church, the rock of our salvation, and the foundation of our faith? Paul answered that for us in 1 Corinthians 3:11: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Friends, Jesus is a sure foundation. He has shown Himself to be faithful, steady, and unchanging. Those who build their lives on Him are wisely building on the Rock. When the storms of life come, no matter what happens, they will have stability and sure footing. But those who reject Jesus and choose not to obey Him, are foolishly building their lives on an unstable foundation. As Edward Mote wrote in His well-known hymn: “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Jesus, You are my Rock and my firm foundation. I put my trust in You because You never change and You never fail. Help me to faithfully obey Your Word so that I do not stumble. Amen.