“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” Matthew 7:24-27
Jesus reaches the end of His Kingdom manifesto with a contrast of two builders. One builds a house on rocks and another on sand. A storm comes to both houses, and only the one built on the rock has a firm enough foundation to stay standing. The house that was built on the sand falls greatly.
And so ends the Sermon on the Mount with a challenge. The people have heard the words of Jesus as He delivered a vision for what life in the Kingdom should look like. And they had a choice to make. A choice we all have to make when we hear the words of Jesus’ Kingdom manifesto. There are only two possible responses when you hear the words of Jesus. You either do what He says, or you don’t. There is no middle ground.
In the previous section of the Sermon Jesus taught us to do as we said – to back up our profession of faith with acts that displayed fruit for the Kingdom. And he finishes with a plea for us to do as we hear. To not just do what we want for Him, but to do what He wants. He wants us to build not on our own ideas and notions but on the firm foundation that is Christ, the solid rock.
We come with all the best intentions, but next to God’s perfect plans that have been in place frtom before time began our idea are insignificant folly. As we seek to be about the Father’s business and build the Kingdom on earth as in Heaven we need to be like the wise builder, building on rock that will last and weather the storm.
There is much we can and should do for God. But we must make sure all we do is based on the firm foundation of Christ the solid rock. If we do not build on Christ then all we do is liable to collapse at the first sign of trouble, when the storm hits. If we build on the rock however, the rain will fall and floods will come and winds will blow but the building will not fall for it is founded on the rock.
So what does it mean to build on the rock of Christ? It means letting God design the building, not us. It means doing His will, His way rather than His will our way, or worse our will our way. It means digging deep firm foundations of prayer, seeking His guidance every step of the way to make sure that what we are doing for the Kingdom is what he wants. It means listening to God’s voice, soaking ourselves in the Word so that we know intimately what His Kingdom looks like. It means that as builders of the Kingdom we follow His construction code, building the way He would have us build, and living the way He instructs us to live. It means we realise we are part of a construction project that is bigger than us, that isn’t about us, that isn’t about our tastes or preferences but is about the reconciliation of God and sinners. It means we make Christ the foundation of all we do, not an afterthought, not the decorative touch at the end, but the first thought and the continued thought throughout all we do to build the Kingdom on earth. Build all that you do on Christ our solid rock, for all other ground is sinking sand.
Focus verse: “For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ” 1 Cor 10:4