What Type of Builder Are You?
See full series: the-teachings-of-jesus-2020-21
What Type of Builder Are You?
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
Passage: Matthew 7:24-27
Sunday, December 20, 2020 am
THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS 2020 (31)
The Sermon on the Mount (30)
Well, we have finally reached the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount, part of our 20-21 theme about the teachings of Jesus. This has been by far the most extensive examination of this sermon I have ever done. And in so doing, I have been impressed with its relevance today, even though our Lord spoke this some 2000 years ago, and likely on more than one occasion.
Jesus has emphasized righteous living that is manifested by our actions, attitudes and characteristics, things that ought to set us apart from the world? Jesus has truly called us to a higher purpose, and recall how at the beginning of this sermon, He challenged us to let this be seen by others (Matthew 5:13-16)
As we have noted these past few lessons, Jesus concluded His lesson with a challenge to choose. We have noted that you MUST choose and there is no middle ground. Either you are for Him or you are against Him. As Jesus has noted – we are either on the broad way or the narrow way, we are producing good fruit or bad fruit, we are doing His will or we are not. Jesus concludes this sermon (at least Matthew account) with a parable. Parables were very much a teaching technique of Jesus. We will begin that part of our study of His teachings next year (2021). Today, the parable of the two builders.
He who hears and does
- Therefore – 1) This is tied to our last lesson which also dealt with obedience. Recall Jesus said it is not enough to merely say, ‘Lord, Lord’. We must DO as the Father instructs. This will be demonstrated when we stand before Him in judgment.
2) This is Jesus summarizing His entire sermon, and to us, the entirety of His teaching.
- Whoever hears these sayings of mine – this is dealing with one being taught. The first step to learning the truth – you have to hear the truth before you can respond.
Remember that WITHOUT EXCEPTION every case of conversion in the NT came as a result of man taking the message to them. That accords with the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and every example in Acts, even occasions where miracles are involved (Philip taught in Samaria with miracles, Paul was told what to do by Ananias, Cornelius was taught by Peter, etc.)
I do not believe this was by accident – but to drive home the point that we ALL can and must be seeking to teach others.
Furthermore, there is authority behind these words (see vs. 28-29 of our text). Jesus is making a bold declaration about hearing Him. In Matthew 3:17 after Jesus is baptized, we are told the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove and a voice from heaven declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That declaration points listening to Jesus. Later, God will sound again at the Mount of Transfiguration – uttering the same words but adding, “Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5).
- And does them – again, we emphasize as with our last lesson, hearing is not enough. It is meaningless if we do not respond.
Recall James 1:21-25 which challenges us to be doers of the word and not hearers only.
NOTE: Again, the word “does” (along with the word “hear”) is a present tense verb – this is ongoing action. Jesus is calling for a life of obedience.
- He is like a wise man – we have been studying wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes. A book written to encourage us to pursue TRUE wisdom – not the wisdom of this world, but godly wisdom. Similarly, the book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom and it devotes the first several chapters (1-9) to the value of wisdom before giving us numerous gems of wisdom applied throughout life.
Proverbs 10:8 says, The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall.
Psalm 111:10, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
- He built his house on the rock – a solid foundation. Obviously, the rock is something sturdy that cannot be easily moved by anything (f at all). This is one who thought through his plans as he built. He didn’t cut corners, especially with the foundation and main structure. He built it “to code” trusting “the experts” who directed him.
We understand the importance of a solid foundation.
- The storms came – here storms would be anything that beats against the house physically. In California, building codes require buildings to be able to withstand an earthquake. In Florida code require the ability to withstand a hurricane, etc.
- Because it was founded on the rock – because of the firm foundation, this house “weathered the storm” and survived. More on this rock in a few moments
He who hears and does not do
- BUT – the contrast here Jesus makes – again this is about the choices we make.
- Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine – everyone (and whoever) indicates all are making choices. Here Jesus describes the majority – many will hear the truth, but hearing does not necessarily mean obeying.
- And does not do them – again, many will reject His teachings. Some will SORT OF do what He says – that is the parts they like (like what we addressed last week).
- He is like a foolish man – a fool is one devoid of sense or understanding. The one who says, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Proverbs 1:7 says “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge ,but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
- He built his house on sand – un unsure foundation. After a tempestuous season of rains, we sometimes see houses built on the beach collapse as the cliffs they are built upon give way – the foundations were not strong and the result is disaster.
The same would be true of building your house in a flood plain or in a forested area where wild fires can devour your house. It is an unsure foundation.
- The storms come – the same storms as the wise builder. Trouble is an equal opportunity foe. It comes to everyone at some time or another. MORE often to the unprepared, but the same things happen to all – we have emphasized that throughout our study of Ecclesiastes.
- They beat on the house and it fell – and great was its fall. It was a disaster, or complete ruin or destruction.
What type of house are you building?
- Obviously, Jesus was not concerned about building codes and property locations. He is making spiritual application, as this sermon has been about.
- Are you building on the solid foundation of Jesus?
The Bible speaks of Jesus being our foundation –
- 1 Corinthians 3:9-11 – HE is the ONLY foundation we are to build on
- Ephesians 2:20 – we are no longer strangers… but the household of God having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus being the chief cornerstone.
- 1 Peter 2:4-6 – again emphasizing He is the chief cornerstone.
- The teachings of Jesus need to be the foundation of our lives (and these include the teachings of His apostles and other inspired men – cf. John 14:26, 16:13, etc.)
- Or are you building on any other foundation?
- Psalm 127:1 – unless the Lord builds the house…
- Far too many today build their lives on anything but God and His word – they seek security in the things of this world, OR they build their lives on false doctrines that give false hope.
- Ephesians 4:14 – speaks of those tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine
- 2 Timothy 4:1-4 – where Paul warns Timothy to preach the word always, he notes that many will be turned aside to fables
- Just be reminded, IF you are not building your house on the rock of Jesus, it is a foundation of sand.
- Will your “house” weather the storm?
- Storms in this parable are reference to the troubles of life – things that beat against us as we live our spiritual lives – it could be physical struggles – disease, problems in life, mental struggles, crimes, things breaking, loss of loved ones, etc., OR it could be spiritual struggles – persecutions, false teaching, apathy and discouragement, etc.
- The point is: STORMS ARE GOING TO COME! And it is the same storms regardless of what you have built your foundation upon. BUT the difference is in HOW you weather the storm. Will your “house” survive so that you stand firm, prepared to stand before God in judgment for what you have built? (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
- How can the sayings of Jesus weather the storm?
- Notice how Jesus worded our obedience – “Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them” – while we ought to apply that to everything He taught, as well as His teachings trough His apostles, make a special notice of the Sermon on the Mount.
- The beatitudes – are qualities that will help us deal with troubling circumstances. Maintain godly and helpful composure in dealing with others.
- Our righteousness which is exceeding (Matthew 5:20) – clearly that will help us stand firm.
- Are your prayers and acts of worship genuine? Do they show God that He is first?
- Is your treasure in heaven? Firmly secured so that the storms of life cannot destroy them?
- Are you genuinely seeking first the kingdom of God – and thereby not letting the cares of this life cause you to worry to the point of devastation?
- Are you striving to stay on the narrow path that leads to eternal life?
- When our foundation is solid we make wise judgments concerning others
- Are you producing good fruit?
And thus we conclude this sermon that Jesus taught, likely early in His time of ministry on earth. In this, we can see the power of His teachings to impact our lives for good – both now and the time to come. How about you? What impact has His teachings had on your life? Is your spiritual life founded on the rock, or does it need to be bolstered? If there is some way we can help you, as always, we stand ready. Think about it.