- Sermon Notes
Building on the Rock
Intro: Try again.
Leading up to this, Jesus has illustrated two paths, the narrow and the wide; the narrow path leading to life and the broad toward destruction. He then
spoke of two types of prophets, with two types of fruit, the good and the bad; declaring that a good tree (the one whose heart belongs to Jesus) bears
good fruit. And lastly, toward two foundations, the wise builder and the foolish, one who builds on the rock and the other on the sand. The houses
built represent our lives. Knowing that our lives will ultimately be determined by the foundation upon which our lives are built.
Read: Matthew 7:24-29
Here Jesus points us to the foundation of our lives. As He has continually throughout His sermon, He narrows the scope and heightens our awareness to the truth that His word is a foundation upon which our lives can be built. Not all will choose that foundation, just as all with not walk the narrow path. Here again, however, Jesus makes clear His desire for those who are His disciples.
I. Be Firm on His Foundation
Matthew 7:24, 26; Everyone who hears these words of mine…
- Both the wise man (V. 24) and the foolish man (v. 26), heard the words of Jesus.
Matthew 7:24, Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Matthew 7:26, Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
- Jesus ends His sermon with this parable, and in it, those who hear Jesus’ words are compared to builders.
- One hears Jesus’ words and builds his life on them. This builder is compared to the wise man who built his house on the rock.
- The other, hears Jesus’ words, acknowledges them, but does not build his life on them. This builder is compared to the foolish man who build his house on the sand.
- There are similarities to note between each man:
- They both have heard the best way to build, both proceed to build a house, they seem to be in the same geographical location, and ultimately, their houses are hit by the same storm.
- It seems to be that the outward circumstances of their lives (what they built), looked similar.
- Keep in mind that Jesus was on the side of a hill, giving this sermon to many. Some who would come to follow with changed lives, others who would listen and think about His words but nothing more. And others, who would leave from that hill unaffected.
- The two builders also had a critical difference which were not noticeable from the outside, but were much more important than their similarities:
- One built on the rock with a firm foundation, and the other built on the sand, with a foundation of their own.
- There are those who hear Jesus’ words, know what His word says, yet choose to give priority to their own thoughts, plans, preferences and positions.
Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (ESV)
- Jesus uses the word petra for rock, which pictures a bedrock, or solid rock foundation. This is the same word Jesus later used to describe the foundation upon which He would build His church.
- The house built on the rock represents the one who hears Jesus’ words and acts on them. It is the life that pursues all that Jesus has been explaining throughout the sermon the mount.
- His Word is the truth upon which their life is built, that from which everything else flows.
Illus. We’re firm on that!
- Jesus has given a description of what our lives look like when His words are the foundation. That description is not something He encourages us to delay pursuing.
A. Let His words determine your ways
- In both cases, Jesus uses present tense: whoever hears and acts (v. 24), or, whoever hears and does not act (v. 26). Rather than past tense: “whoever heard and acted,” or “did not act.”
- This speaks to the choice you have today and each day to let His words determine your ways.
Luke 6:47-48, Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
Illus. In Genesis 6, the Lord gave a man named Noah specific instructions as to the construction of a boat that would save he and his family.
- A cubit is 18 inches, this being the case, the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
- Noah worked on the Ark for over 100 years, everything was specific. The design, the build, the type of wood, where the window would be and the need for it to be 18 inches from the top.
- And by the way…Noah had never seen rain.
Genesis 6:22, Thus Noah did; according to all God has commanded him.
- What if Noah decided to alter the building plans? What if he decided to go with an open top ark instead of a roof? What if he thought that windows on the lower deck would be a nice touch? Well…What he built would have been flooded out.
- Perhaps he had a better plan, to speed up or improve upon the process.
Illus. “Turf Builder.”
Matthew 7:25, 27; And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.
- Jesus’ words serve in our lives as instruction. His words determining our ways does not make us exempt from the storms of life, storms will come…Though they come, those whose lives are built on Jesus’ words will not fall when the storm comes.
John 16:33, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- When you choose to let His words determine your ways, you are like the wise man who hears and acts.
- Jesus is opening our eyes to the truth that hearing is not the same as doing. Even wanting to do it, is not the same as doing.
- Someone might say, “I have really appreciated this study of the sermon on the mount, it has given me a great deal to think about.”
- But if it isn’t affecting your actions, the way you live and what you do; if you, in the midst of reading and hearing Jesus’ words, yet do not do them, you are building your house on the wrong foundation.
- Let His words determine your ways.
James 1:22-24, But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
- The picture is of one who looks in the mirror, examines their natural face, admiring the image, and as soon they leave, that person no longer remembers what they saw.
- James is saying that when we read the Word, we are able to see ourselves clearly. I am able to understand more clearly the life I am being called to and where my life is today.
- But if I read the Word, understand that change is needed, but am not a doer of the Word, I am like the one who looks in the mirror (hears the Word), and chooses to forget about what I saw.
Illus. I know someone who can help.
- The interesting thing is, Jesus isn’t even talking necessarily about what others see. They may discern the fruit, but they don’t know. He is talking about the foundation of your life, to the places He wants to bring about transformation that no one knows.
1 Samuel 16:7, God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
B. Let Him take control
- Whose specifications are determining your steps?
Matthew 7:28-29, When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
- They recognized Jesus as having authority, but did they give Him the authority in their lives?
- Jesus did not simply show the narrow gate, but pleaded with all to enter it.
- The life built on Jesus words is the life that is available to Jesus, trusting Him in the process knowing that their pursuit will be worth it all.
- It is the life that determines to be essential, yet distinct in full pursuit of becoming who He says you are in this world: salt and light.
- The life that stays on course, pursuing the deeper level righteousness Jesus points us to, rather than merely the outward form. The one who seeks to love without a limit, lives for an audience of one, prays to the Father.
- Ultimately, it is the life that not only recognizes Him as one with authority, but decides that He is the authority in their lives.