Therefore 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 rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount with a parable of two men who built houses. One was wise and built his house on a solid foundation of rock, while the other was foolish and built upon the sand; we all know what happened when the storms came…
Of course Jesus wasn’t teaching an engineering class; He has a greater purpose, to be sure. His message here is really the summation and conclusion of His remarks: You’ve heard the teaching, now put it into practice. Putting His message into practice is the meaning of building the house on a solid foundation; not doing so is the meaning of building in the sand.
In the previous part, I made much of the idea that having a relationship with our Lord will result in a response on our parts and Jesus is in a sense saying the same thing here: Put my words into practice that is the response that grace demands. Make no mistake, Jesus’ purpose in making this address was not to get His name in the history books as a “great moral teacher”, it was to see lives change.
So, to conclude our look at His teachings in chapters 5-7, we are at the very same place His original hearers were: how will we respond?