“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 Sermon on the Mount takes place near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. People who were building homes in that area would have been tempted to build on the sand, which was firm and stable during the dry months of the year.
However, during the rainy season, there would be storms and flash flooding, and houses that were built on sand could easily get ruined and washed away.
By contrast, a wise builder would dig about ten feet below the sand to find the solid basalt rock underneath. That provided a much firmer foundation. You can imagine how much work that would be in those days, without any power tools or excavators. But the hard work proved worthwhile whenever storms came.
Jesus wants us to have a secure foundation to base our lives on—and that means doing some hard work to put his teachings into practice. It’s not enough just to listen to Jesus’ teaching as we go through life. Jesus calls us to be followers; he urges us to be not just hearers but “doers” of the Word. Obeying his will helps us to avoid unnecessary storms of our own making. But even when we face tough times in life, we can trust that we will have what we need in the sure hope of God’s love for us.
Lord, help me to do the work of putting your teachings into practice so that my life is built on the strong foundation of a sure relationship with you. Amen.