“Listen the LORD, the Wise Foundation” | Matthew 7:24-27 Sermon

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My hope is built on nothing less,

than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,

all other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground is sinking sand.1


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14).[1]

The LORD is our Redeemer and our Rock. His word is a wise foundation. Therefore, we must listen to the LORD.

But, as I’m sure we realize, there’s a difference between hearing and listening. Ever had to ask somebody, “Did you hear what I just said?” “Did you hear what I just said?”

Hearing vs. Listening

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve hated pickles. I don’t like the smell, I don’t like the texture, I don’t like the taste. So ever since I was a kid, I’ve been ordering burgers with no pickles.

But every once in a while, I’ll go through the drive-thru, and order my pickle-less burger, only to find out that somebody wasn’t listening. I asked for no pickles; looks like I got four pickles.

And you know even if you take the pickles off, during the ride home, the pickle juice just seeps through the whole bun. And I feel like driving back and asking them, “Did you hear what I just said?”

Maybe you can relate; maybe it’s just me. But it irks me when people don’t listen.

You see, there’s a difference between hearing and listening. To hear merely means to audibly perceive something with one’s ear; to listen means to respond to what was heard with appropriate action.[2]

I’m sure many parents can relate. “Hey, it’s time to put the games away.” – “OK, I’m almost finished!”—“Almost finished? Did you hear what I just said? You better put the games away now, before I put ‘em away for you!”

“Hey, it’s time to get off the phone.” – “OK, I’m almost done.” – “Almost done? Did you hear what I just said? You better get off the phone now, before you have to call the repair shop!”

In my parent’s house, it was important not to just hear their commands, but to obey their commands.

“Did you hear what I said, when I said no running in the house?” – “Yes” – “No, I don’t think you did. Because if you did, there wouldn’t be no broken glass in the kitchen!”

Now when I didn’t hear and obey what my parents said, they would remind me of what they said – while they spanked me. Didn’t. I. Tell. You. Not. To Run. In. The House. They would get a little carried away at times.

I say all that to say that there’s a difference between hearing and listening. And Jesus makes this distinction in Matthew 7:24-27. It’s not enough just to hear His words; we must also obey His words.

The Words of Christ, the Solid Rock

And in contrast to all other words, Christ’s words endure forever.

Later, in Matthew 24:35, Jesus says:

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mt 24:35, NIV cf. Is 40:8).

This is what sets Christ’s words apart from that of every other philosophy, organization, and movement. He is the same yesterday and today and forevermore (Heb 13:4). His enduring word does not change.

Remember when bell bottoms used to be cool? I don’t; at least not the first time. Bell bottoms were really big in the 60’s and 70’s, and then they made a comeback in female fashion in the late 90’s to mid-2000’s.

That’s the thing about this world, things go in and out of style. One day something is cool, the next day it’s old-fashioned.

Remember VCR’s? Who has a bunch of VHS cassettes collecting dust somewhere in the attic? VHS tapes used to be all the rage. Now you can’t even find them in stores.

In the last few decades, we’ve moved on to DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s. Could you imagine dedicating your life to making VCR’s in the 1980’s? Where would you be today?

Look at us now: now we’re recording and streaming video on the internet with no physical film. But, in a few years, even Facebook Live will likely go out of style.

If you’re closer to my age, you’ll remember that before there was TikTok, there was Vine. But Vine went out of business. And before Facebook, MySpace was the social media giant. But now, MySpace isn’t so cool anymore.

Every product, every company, every cause outside of Christ is temporary. Why dedicate ourselves to things in this world which likely won’t even outlive us? How many fads have we seen come and go?

Essentially, the only constant in this world is change. Things are always changing. And this also applies to morality.

Thanks be to God, much of what was cool in the 1860’s and even the 1960’s is no longer cool today. But public opinion does not always shift for the better.

I say all that to say, if you are adopting moral practices from the shifting sands of society, you’ll always be trying to hit a moving target.

Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, we should be keeping up with Jesus. Because, whether or not the culture currently says it’s cool, Christ’s word don’t change.

He is the solid rock. We must listen to the LORD, the wise foundation.

Context: The Sermon on the Mount

As we read in verse 24 He says, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine[3] and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the (bed)rock” (Mt 7:24, AT).

As we often hear in sermons, whenever you see a “therefore” in Scripture, it’s wise to ask: “What is the ‘therefore’ there for?” Jesus is wrapping up what is likely the greatest Sermon of all time – the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5

As we see in the beginning of Matthew chapter 5:

“…when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.” (Mt 5:1-2, NIV).

He begins with the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12), before telling them that they should be salt and light in this dark and decaying world (Mt 5:13-16).

Back in the day, they didn’t have refrigerators to keep food fresh. Salt was used as a preservative. And Jesus says that His followers ought to be like salt – preserving this fallen world from moral decay.[4]

They must be shining examples of righteousness in a sinful society. We must be different from our surrounding culture,[5] in order to influence our surrounding culture.[6]

How are we going to make a difference in the world if we act the same as the world?

Then Jesus says that He has not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the Prophets, but to fulfill them[7] (Mt 5:17).[8]

That is, as it’s been said, Jesus is “[bringing] the law to its intended goal”.[9] In Christ, the true intent[10] and the full meaning of God’s standards is revealed.[11] He is not doing away with God’s righteous demands; He is deepening them.[12]

Case in point: the Law of Moses says, thou shalt not murder (Ex 20:13). Jesus says, don’t even harbor the hatred that leads to it (Mt 5:21f.) The Law of Moses says, thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex 20:14). Jesus says, don’t harbor the lust that leads to it (Mt 5:27-30).

In fact, He says anyone who looks a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt 5:28). According to Christ, it’s better to cut off your right hand if it causes you to sin, than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell (Mt 5:30).

And, though He is likely exaggerating to make His point, cutting off one’s hand was likely a euphemism for castration.[13]

In any case, by today’s standards, where all kinds of sexual immorality is celebrated and exploited for profit, Christ’s preaching against even thinking about sex outside of marriage[14] is uncool.

Jesus then talks about men divorcing their wives (Mt 5:31-32),[15] not swearing oaths (Mt 5:33-37), not taking revenge (Mt 5:38-42), and loving one’s enemies (Mt 5:43-48).[16] According to our culture, much of this would also be uncool.

Matthew 6

In Matthew 6, Jesus preaches against hypocritically[17] making a show of one’s religious deeds[18] (Mt 6:1-18).[19]

When you give, don’t announce it; do it in secret (Mt 6:3-4). When you pray, don’t do it to be seen; do it in private (Mt 6:5-8). When you fast, wash your face so others don’t know (Mt 6:16-18).

Then Christ says that our heavenly ambitions should outweigh our earthly ambitions (Mt 6:19-24).[20] He says not to be overly concerned with earthly things pagans worry about, but to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:25-33).

Matthew 7:1-12

In Matthew 7, as we’ve discussed in Bible Study, Jesus says that His disciples should not be condemning, hypocritical, nor gullible in their judgment (Mt 7:1-6).

Then, He says to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking in prayer to the Father who gives good gifts to His children (Mt 7:7-11). Then, He affirms the Golden Rule (Mt 7:12), that sums up the Law and the Prophets (an inclusio cf. Mt 5:17).

Four Warnings, Two Paths (Mt 7:13-27)

Finally, beginning at Matthew 7:13, Jesus wraps up the Sermon on the Mount with four warnings about two paths.[21]

When it comes to following Christ, there is no neutrality.[22] There are only two ways to live.[23] One way leads to life; the other to leads destruction.

Now, my wife is from West Philadelphia. Born and Raised. And Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks. Because of her Philly pride, she has very high standards when it comes to cheesesteaks.

She says she wouldn’t call herself a “cheesesteak snob”, but she likes to just accurately call things what they are. In her mind, many stores just don’t make the cut.

I be like, “Hey I got a cheesesteak from Wa—“That’s not a cheesesteak; that’s a steak sandwich.” And, I’m like, “OK…” You gotta pick your battles.

But in any case, apparently you can order a Philly cheesesteak two ways: “Wit’ or Wit’out”. That is, with fried onions or without fried onions.

Similarly, you can order your steps in life two ways: With Christ, or without Christ. And, if we’re truly with Christ on earth; we’ll be with Christ in eternity. If we live without Christ on earth, we’ll live without Christ in eternity.

Many preachers would rather end with words of encouragement than with talk of “fire and brimstone”.[24] And, nowadays, society sees talking about hell and judgment as uncool.

But in Christ’s most popular sermon, they are prominent features in His take-home message.

Warning #1: Two Roads (Mt 7:13-14)

In the first warning, Matthew 7:13-14 says:

“13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Mt 7:13-14, NIV)[25] (cf. Lk 13:24-27).[26]

The wide gate and broad road symbolize the more popular path taken by those who refuse to follow Christ. This way leads to destruction.[27] The small gate and narrow road is the road less traveled – taken by those who follow Christ. This leads to life.

When Christ talks about destruction and life, He’s referring to the Final Judgment on the Last Day. Jesus is claiming to be the standard that determines one’s eternal destination.[28]

Now, it can be tempting to go with the flow – to follow the majority. But the majority won’t follow the Master.[29] If we’re following Christ, we shouldn’t fit in. Following Christ is unpopular.[30] It’s not “cool”.

I used to be “cool” (or at least I thought I was). I was an entertainer; it was my job to please people. And, let me tell you, it’s easy to please people when you play their song. It’s easy to please people when you tell them what they want to hear.

But Jesus tells people what they need to hear. The question is, are we going to follow the crowd, or follow the Christ?[31] Are we going to be swayed by public opinion,[32] or stay with the Prince of Peace?

Warning #2: Two Trees (Mt 7:15-20)

In the second warning, beginning at Matthew 7:15, Jesus says:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Mt 7:15, NIV).[33]

Christ goes on to say that there are good trees and there are bad trees (Mt 7:16-18).[34] The difference between false prophets and true prophets is that true prophets produce good fruit – the fruit of godly obedience (cf. Mt 3:8-10, 12:33-37, 21:43).[35] False prophets do not (Mt 7:16-20)[36] (cf. Lk 6:43-46).[37]

A person can claim to speak for God and preach and teach, but if they do not obey the Lord, it will not go well for them. Verse 19 says:

“Every tree that does not bear [lit. do: poieō] good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Mt 7:19, NIV). If we don’t produce godly fruit; we likely lack godly roots.[38]

And again, this fire refers to the Final Judgment.[39]

Warning #3: Saying and Obeying (Mt 7:21-23)

In the third warning, beginning at Matthew 7:21, Jesus says:

“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does [poieō] the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’[40] 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Mt 7:21-23).[41]

As we find in elsewhere in Scripture, there were other exorcists besides Jesus and His disciples (Mt 12:27, Mk 9:38-41).[42] Some even tried to invoke the name of Jesus as a source of power (Ac 19:13-16).[43]

And even Jesus says that there will be false messiahs and false prophets (cf. Mt 7:15-20)[44] who perform signs and wonders in order to deceive God’s chosen people (Mt 24:24).[45]

Here, Jesus says neither a mere verbal profession of faith, nor incredible works of apparent power, are sufficient without obedience to Him.[46]

Now false prophets[47] deceive others; those who profess Christianity but do not practice Christianity deceive themselves.[48]

On the Last Day, the Day of Judgment,[49] Jesus the Judge[50] will tell such people that they look unfamiliar. And again, He is the standard.[51]

What is the Therefore, There for?

So, what is the therefore, there for? What does Jesus mean by “these words of mine”?

Matthew 7:24-27 is the final warning in the conclusion[52] of the Sermon on the Mount.

In light of all that He is said in the Sermon,[53] especially in the previous warnings about the Final Day of Judgment,[54] Jesus says that it is wise to hear and do (to hear and obey) His moral instructions.

Simply saying without obeying is not enough (Mt 7:21-23).[55] Merely ministering without obeying is not enough. And here, we will see that merely hearing without obeying is not enough[56] (cf. Mt 10:14; 13:19, 22; 15:12; 19:22).[57]

One must say and hear and do.[58]

Matthew 7:24

(cf. Lk 6:47-49)[59]

Once again, in Matthew 7:24, Jesus says: Therefore, everyone[60] who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the (bed)rock (Mt 7:24, AT).

The adjective wise (φρόνιμος | phronimos) pops up quite a bit in Matthew (cf. Mt 10:16, 24:45, 25:2, 4, 8, 9.[61] Also see LXX: Pr 3:7, 11:12, 29, 14:6;[62] cf. Pr 1:5, Job 34:2)[63]

In this context, doing (poieō), which is also an important word in the previous warnings,[64] refers to obeying Christ’s commands.[65] As we’ve said, there is a difference between hearing and listening.

To hear means to audibly perceive something with one’s ear. To listen means to respond to what was heard with appropriate action.[66] And, upon hearing the words of the Lord, the appropriate action is obedience.[67]

As far back as Mount Sinai, and throughout the Old Testament, God’s people are commanded to both hear and do the word of the LORD (Ex 15:26, LXX Ex 19:8, LXX Ex 23:22, Ex 24:3, 7; Dt 5:27, 6:3, 7:12;[68] cf. Jos 1:7-8).[69]

When the Israelites are on the cusp of entering the Promised Land, before Moses gives them what Christ later calls the greatest commandment (Dt 6:4-5; cf. Mk 12:29-30), Moses says to them in Deuteronomy 6:1-2:

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children’s children may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long.” (Dt 6:1-2, NRSV).

Then in verse 3, He says:

Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey” (Dt 6:3, ESV).[70]

By similarly preaching that people should both hear and do His word, Jesus is putting His word on the same level as God the Father’s.[71]

Also, in Ezekiel 33:32, the LORD tells the prophet that, to the Israelites

“…  to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” (Eze 33:32, NIV).[72]

And the theme of hearing and doing is also found throughout the New Testament (cf. Jn 13:17;[73] Rom 2:13).[74] In Luke 8:21, Jesus says:

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Lk 8:21, NRSV; cf. Mt 12:50).[75]

In James 1:22, Jesus’ half-brother says:

“So be doers of [the] word and not only hearers – deluding yourselves” (Jas 1:22, AT).[76]

Here in Matthew 7, the rock refers not to individual stones but to bedrock.[77] Bedrock is a firm foundation[78] (cf. Ps 40:2)[79] for a house.

In the Old Testament, the LORD was metaphorically depicted as the Rock of His people[80] (Dt 32:4, 18, 31; 1 Sam 2:2; Ps 18:2, 31, 46, 27:5;[81] cf. 1 Sam 22:3;[82] also see Mt 16:18 though the context is different).[83]

He was their security. For example, before speaking, I typically pray the words of Psalm 19:14:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your Sight, O LORD my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14).[84]

Also, Isaiah 28:16 says:

“So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.’” (Is 28:16, NIV;[85] cf. Is 28:17).[86]

Jesus employs this rock imagery and applies it to Himself,[87] equating His word with the Father’s.

Matthew 7:25

Verse 25 says: The rain downpoured, and the floods[88] came, and the winds blew and fell upon[89] that house. But it did not fall, because it had its foundation[90] on the[91] rock (Mt 7:25, AT).[92]

In biblical wisdom literature, we find wisdom associated with houses and foundation[93] (cf. Pr 9:1-18).[94] Proverbs 24:3 says: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;” (Pr 24:3, NIV).[95]

Now Christ likely knew a thing or two about building houses since both He (Mk 6:3)[96] and His stepfather Joseph were carpenters[97] (Mt 13:55).[98]

During the summer months, the sands on the shore of the Sea of Galilee would be solid on the surface.[99] Yet, wise builders knew not to build on the sand.

For when the winter rains came and the Jordan River overflowed into the Sea, the sand would become a flimsy foundation.[100] Palestine was known for torrential downpours.[101]  Heavy rains and flash floods[102] would sweep the house away.

Therefore, wise builders would sometimes dig as deep as ten feet below the surface to build on the bedrock.[103] With such a solid foundation, buildings built on bedrock could withstand the rains.[104]

Similarly, those who are wise put the teachings of Jesus into practice[105] (cf. “fruit” Mt 7:16-20).[106] His words are the wise foundation (cf. 1 Cor 3:10-11).[107] They will endure forever; everything else is temporary[108] (cf. Mt 24:35).

Don’t be a slave to the shifting sands of this world and the current cultural climate.[109] All other ground is sinking sand.

Matthew 7:26

Verse 26 says: But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand[110] (Mt 7:26, AT).[111]

In this context, not doing refers to not obeying Christ’s commands.[112]

And, apparently, the adjective translated foolish (μωρός | mōros) (cf. Mt 5:22, 23:17, 25:2, 3, 8;[113] also 1 Cor 4:10)[114] is from where we get the word “moron”.[115]

Notice that, unlike in the parable of the two roads (Mt 7:13-14) where there is a clear line between outsiders and insiders (cf. Mt 13:24-30), in this parable, the wise and the foolish builders both hear the words of Jesus.[116]

The difference is that the wise hear and do, while the foolish hear and don’t.[117]

In ancient Palestine, only a foolish builder would lay a foundation on sand.[118] And, even today, those who hear Christ’s words but do not put them into practice are fools[119] (cf. Ps 14:1, 53:1).[120]

In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees and others were promoting a superficial righteousness with a flimsy foundation of hypocrisy.[121]

In our day, we need to be wary of movements and philosophies that preach principles on flimsy foundations. The world’s foolish philosophies might look nice now, but they can’t stand the rain.

Matthew 7:27

Verse 27 says: The rain downpoured and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against[122] that house – and great was its fall (Mt 7:27, AT).

Now from the outside looking in, in good weather, these houses likely looked pretty similar.[123] Similarly, from the outside looking in, in good weather, false followers and faithful followers of Christ may look pretty similar.[124]

You ever buy into something that looked appealing, but upon further inspection, it turned out to be a disappointment?

Many Things Look Good at First…

I’ll never forget: when I was young, watching my Saturday morning cartoons, I would always see commercials for Cocoa Puffs. And whenever the cartoon bird would eat Cocoa Puffs in the commercial, he would go, “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!” His eyes would bug out, he would run around everywhere and start bouncing off the walls.

So, of course I’m like, “I wanna go Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, too!” One day, I convinced my parents to get me a box. I remember like it was yesterday: I shook some cereal in a bowl, I  poured some milk, and I told them, “OK, I’m about to go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

Then, I took a big bite – and nothing happened. It just tasted like chocolate. Chocolate and disappointment. Many things look good at first. But upon further investigation, they often prove to be disappointments.

A lot of times, people are just trying to sell us something. We should listen to God, He’s always trying to tell us something.

Politicians often want our votes for power; companies often want our money for profits. God always wants our heart for His purpose.

Another example: I recently went to the store and saw what I thought was a great deal. Two bath towels for like $7.99. I like the color black, so I stocked up and bought like four black towels.

I was so proud of myself when I told my wife how much money I saved. But she didn’t share in my excitement. Because there’s this thing about cheap bath towels. They shed.

After I showered and dried off, there was black lint everywhere. It was like snowing black fuzzies in the bathroom. I told my wife and she just looked at me with a look on her face like: Mmmph, Mmp, Mmmph.

After I vacuumed the bathroom, I’m like, “How do I make these towels stop shedding?” And she’s like, “don’t buy cheap towels!” And I’m like, “Oh, gee. Thanks.”

So, at this point, I’m determined to get these towels to stop shedding. So, I did some research online. “How do I make towels stop shedding?” The top answer: “Don’t buy cheap towels!”

Yet, I was determined. I washed them in cold water, I washed them in hot water, I even washed them with baking soda. Nothing worked.

My wife is like, “You know, it probably costs less to buy some better towels, than to use all this water washing these cheap ones.” And I’m like, “Ha, ha, ha. Very funny.”

So, I’m going to go towel shopping soon and I’m not going to buy any more cheap towels. And we shouldn’t buy into worldly philosophies that look good at first, but upon further inspection, will prove to be disappointing.

Following Dreams vs. Following Christ

If you’ve watched the movie, Pinocchio, you’ll likely remember one of the most famous Disney songs of all-time:

When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme, when you wish upon a star, as dreamers do.

Now this sounds good. Just wish upon a star, no matter what it is, and your heart’s desire will come to you. But upon further inspection, such a philosophy proves to be a disappointment.

Keep in mind that Pinocchio came out in 1940; many of us couldn’t even vote back then. When it comes to following dreams, it definitely make a difference who you are.

Yet we have generations of youth who are captivated by this Mickey Mouse philosophy. We are more concerned with following dreams than following Christ. But, any other way of living apart from following Christ will lead to a crash.

A Great Crash

Jesus’ wording in verse 27 suggests that this was a “great crash”[125], total destruction,[126] a complete collapse.[127]

And, throughout Scripture, we see how the wise withstand, but the foolish fall (cf. Job 22:16).[128] The righteous are rooted, but the wicked are washed away (cf. Job 8:15, Ps 11:6, 83:15; Pr 14:11; Is 28:18; Dn 9:26;[129] cf. Is 28:2, 19).[130]

As we read in Proverbs 10:25,

“When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation” (Pr 10:25, NASB).[131]

Proverbs 10:8 says:

“The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin” (Pr 10:8, NRSV).[132]

Proverbs 12:7 says:

“The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand” (Pr 12:7, NRSV).[133]

Finally, Proverbs 14:11 says:

“The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish” (Pr 14:11, ESV).[134]

Storms of Judgment

The rains and floods and winds may metaphorically refer to our various troubles in life,[135] or the tests and trials that come with following Christ.[136]

Now we know that when things are going well, everyone’s your friend. But, when the storms start raging in your life, that’s when you find out who your true friends are. In times of adversity, people show their true colors[137] (cf. Mt 13:21).[138]

During rainfall, fairweather fans fall away. It may be the case that Jesus is saying that, when the floodwaters rise in life, those with foolish foundations will be exposed.

Yet, as we have seen, the previous three warnings in Matthew 7 refer to the Final Judgment (esp. Mt 7:13, 19, etc.).[139] Thus, this final warning likely also refers to the Last Day.[140] (cf. Eze 13:10-16;[141] Jer 22:13-14;[142] Mt 25:2, 8).[143]

Those who build their lives on foolish foundations will not be able to stand in the Day of Judgment.[144] One can have a great faith, or have a great fall. We can have a great spiritual destination or a great spiritual disaster.[145]

Where You Wanna Be?

Now this may seem harsh, but Jesus is not going to force anyone to be where they don’t want to be.

Because, in Heaven, we will serve and worship the Lord forever (cf. Mt 25:20-23; Revelation 4-5; Rev 5:9, 7:9-12f., etc.). If someone doesn’t like serving the Lord on earth, why on earth would they want to serve the Lord for eternity?

If listening to Christ’s word for thirty minutes seems like an eternity, maybe we don’t really want to live with Christ for an eternity. Who would want to live forever with someone that they don’t like to be around now?

Choose Wisely

At the end of His Sermon, before Jesus drops the mic, He emphasizes His main point: Obey my commands[146] – His commands, which fulfill the Law and the Prophets.[147]

As we see towards the end of Leviticus in Leviticus 26[148] and towards the end of Deuteronomy in Deuteronomy 28[149] (esp. Dt 28:15, 30[150]; also Dt 28:1-2, 24, 30, 45, 58)[151] and 30 (esp. Dt 30:15f.),[152] Jesus presents a radical choice[153] between blessings and curses.[154]

Those who are wise will obey Christ’s teachings,[155] choosing the way of blessings and life. Those who are foolish will reject Christ’s teachings, choosing the way of curses and death.

We can submit to the King and enter His dominion[156] or we can rebel against the King and enter our damnation.[157] We can hear and do, or we can hear and don’t.[158]

It’s not merely about a verbal commitment to Christ;[159] it’s about a moral commitment to Christ.[160] Not only about intellectual knowledge of Christ the Lord;[161] but about personal knowledge of Christ as Lord.[162]

We need to hear Christ, profess Christ, and obey Christ.[163]  And we need to do so continually[164] – no matter what our culture says is uncool.

In Matthew 10:22, Jesus says:

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mt 10:22, NIV cf. Mt 24:13).[165]

Are we willing to be hated for Jesus? Are we willing to be uncool for Christ?

True Faith(fulness): Believe That vs. Believe In

Now, of course, this is not works-righteousness. We do not earn our way into heaven by our works.[166] We are saved by grace through faith (cf. Rom 3:21-26).

But true faith – true faithfulness to the Lord – produces godly works of obedience.[167] As James says in James 2:14-26, so-called “faith” without works is dead[168] (esp. Jas 2:17, 26).[169]

In 1 John 2:4, the apostle says:

“Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person” (1 Jn 2:4, NIV).[170]

As we’ve said before, there’s a difference between belief that and belief in. Believing that something is true merely entails intellectually agreeing with a proposition; believing in something means putting it into practice.

For example, vegetarians don’t believe in eating meat. Of course, they believe that there is such a thing as eating meat. But they do not participate in the practice of eating meat.

Furthermore, you can’t call yourself a vegetarian if you don’t consistently abstain from meat. And you can’t call yourself a follower of Christ if you don’t consistently follow Christ.

If we don’t produce godly fruit; we may not have godly roots.[171]

Now we can go the doctor’s office and the doctor may tell us that diet and exercise are necessary for our physical health. Of course, we can believe that following the doctor’s orders can make us healthy.

But, if we don’t believe in the doctor’s orders – and actually start dieting and exercising – what good is it (cf. Jas 2:14)?

In the same way, we can believe that Jesus is Lord without believing in Jesus as Lord. Even demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Mk 1:24, Mk 3:11, cf. Jas 2:19).

The question is will we believe in Jesus as the Son of God – the Resurrected Lord who died for our sins. Christ is the Divine Doctor, the Great Physician. Will we follow the Doctor’s orders?

Two Ways

Will we take the unpopular path of discipleship that leads to life, or the popular path of rejection that leads to destruction (cf. Mt 7:13-14)?[172] Will we follow false prophets or the one, true God (cf. Mt 7:15-20)?[173]

Will we give Jesus a verbal commitment or a moral commitment (cf. Mt 7:21-23)?[174] Will we wisely build our lives on the Rock or foolishly build our lives on the sand (Mt 7:24-27)?[175]

Which of the two ways[176] will we choose?[177] There’s two roads (Mt 7:13-14), two kinds of trees (Mt 7:15-20), two kinds of foundation (Mt 7:24; Dt 30:15, 19; Jer 21:8; cf. Psalm 1).[178]

There is no middle ground.[179] There is no neutrality.[180] As Jesus later says in Matthew 12:30:

“Whoever is not with me is against me” (Mt 12:30a, NIV)[181].

Jesus essentialy says, “You are either with me or against me!”.[182]

Godly Teaching, Godly Authority

Now who could claim so much authority for their words?[183] Only God in the flesh.

As it’s been said, “The ultimate issue posed by the whole Sermon concerns the authority of the preacher.”[184]

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, it’s not appropriate to clap for the preacher, but to bow to the preacher.[185] This is the manifesto[186] of the Master.

We can’t just hear His words; we must heed His words.[187] We can’t just admire His teaching, we are to all model His teaching.[188]

You can’t claim that Jesus was just a good teacher (cf. Mt 16:13-16)[189] when He taught that He was more than a teacher.[190]

He’s not just offering helpful tidbits of wise advice. Jesus is claiming to be the very standard by which people’s eternal destination will be determined.[191] Jesus is Judge (cf. Mt 3:11-12, 16:27, 19:28, 25:31-56).[192]

Jesus claims to be God. Thus, as it’s been said, He is either liar, lunatic, or Lord.[193]

But God the Father vindicated Christ’s claims by raising Him from the dead (cf. Ac 17:31). As we read in Acts 17:31:

“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead” (Ac 17:31, NIV).

Therefore, it is foolish to accept some of His godly teaching while rejecting His words about His godly authority.[194] And it’s foolish to choose to live any other way[195] than by the one taught by the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6; cf. Jn 15:1-8).[196]


We live in a world where many people reject notions of objective truth and absolute moral standards (i.e., postmodernism[197] and moral relativism).

Others say that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you sincerely believe in something.[198] Many try to be politically correct and say that all religions and worldviews are equally valid (i.e., pluralism).[199] All foundations can be solid. Such philosophies are taught in many schools, colleges, and universities.

Yet, this can’t logically be true since many religions and worldviews contradict each other. And, as it’s been said, only Jesus is the “true [F]oundation and [f]ountain of life”.[200] All other ground is sinking sand.[201]

About those who have never heard Gospel, we can have confidence that the Righteous Judge will judge with justice.[202] But we who have heard are presented with a radical choice.

How we live our earthly lives has eternal consequences; we should conduct ourselves accordingly.[203]

Don’t be a slave to the shifting sands of society or what the currently culture calls cool. Let’s be uncool for Christ.

Let’s not be concerned with being on the right side of history; let’s be concerned with being on the right side of His story.

Whether this is our first time hearing the Sermon on the Mount, or the 21st time hearing the Sermon on the Mount, we can ask ourselves this question, “Did I hear what Jesus just said?”

Let’s truly listen to – and obey – the words of the Lord, the wise foundation.

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.[204]


Friends, it is challenging (if not impossible) to meet the divine demands in the Sermon on the Mount without divine assistance. It’s hard to produce godly fruit – the fruit of the Holy Spirit – without godly roots.[205]

We need to be rooted in our relationship to Christ – believing in Him as our Lord and Savior. Causes come and go, movements come and go, but the Master’s word’s endure forever.

Moreover, His love endures forever. He loved us so much that He died for our sins on the cross, paying the penalty that we justly deserved for our foolishness.

And He was raised on the third day, vindicated by God the Father as the Only Way for salvation. We can’t work our way into Heaven; We have to trust in the work that the Lord graciously did for us on the cross.

He made it possible for us to have a reconciled relationship with the Father, and to dwell with Him in Heaven forever.

If spending eternity with God sounds appealing to you, please choose wisdom and life: surrender to Christ the King with true faithfulness – with true loyalty. Hear and do His word. Build your house on the rock.

If you would like someone to walk with you as you begin your journey of following Jesus, please give us a call at 609-877-6500 or visit us at alphabc.org/contact-us. You’re not in this alone.

Join Christ’s family of brothers and sisters who strive to hear and do God’s word. God bless you.

Bibliography & Footnotes

  • Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. [BDAG]
  • Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. [EDNT]
  • Brown, Jeannine K. “Matthew” in Burge, Gary M., and Andrew E. Hill, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Black, David Alan. It’s Still Greek to Me: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Intermediate Greek. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998.
  • Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.
  • Carson, D. A. “Matthew.” In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition), edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, Vol. 9. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.
  • Evans, Craig A. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew–Luke. Edited by Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck. First Edition. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2003.
  • France, R. T. The Gospel of Matthew. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007. [France]
  • France, R. T. Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 1. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985. [France TNTC]
  • France, Richard T. “Matthew.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 904–45. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994. [France NBC]
  • Green, Michael. The Message of Matthew: The Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
  • Hagner, Donald A. Matthew 1–13. Vol. 33A. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1993.
  • Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI;  Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009. [Keener]
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Second Edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014. [IVPB]
  • Keener, Craig S. Matthew. Vol. 1. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. [Keener IVP]
  • Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996. [LN]
  • Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1992.
  • Mounce, Robert H. Matthew. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.
  • Newman, Barclay Moon, and Philip C. Stine. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992. [UBS]
  • Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2005.
  • Osborne, Grant R. Matthew. Vol. 1. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.
  • Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. [NIDNTTE]
  • Stott, John R. W., and John R. W. Stott. The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian Counter-Culture. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985.
  • Turner, David, and Darrell L. Bock. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 11: Matthew and Mark. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005. [Turner CBC]
  • Turner, David L. Matthew. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008. [Turner]
  • Wilkins, Michael J. Matthew. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004. [Wilkins]
  • Wilkins, Michael. “Matthew” in Arnold, Clinton E. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. [Wilkins ZIBBC]

[1] Keener IVP

[2] “Verses 24–27, which distinguish between valid and invalid hearing, are entitled “What Hearing Really Means” by one commentator. Since valid hearing leads to action, this section forms a parallel with the two previous sections (verses 15–20 and 21–23)”. (UBS, 214)

[3] “The emphatic μου (mou “of mine”) is best understood as a way of forcefully identifying Jesus’ teaching with the will of his Father (v. [ Mt 21]),” (Carson, 231). “’These words of mine’ refer to the teachings of the Sermon as fulfilling the Torah and producing the laws for the community of the new covenant” (Osborne, 275).

[4] Stott, 210

[5] Stott, 210

[6] Green, 110

[7] Turner, 222

[8] Carson, 231

[9] Blomberg, 103; cf. France TNTC, 119; Turner CBC, 85.

[10] Osborne, 181.

[11] Blomberg, 103; Hagner, 191

[12] Osborne, 181. “The Sermon has presented the laws of the kingdom and demanded a superior righteousness ([Mt 5:20]) for the citizens of the new covenant community” (Osborne, 279)

[13] Cf. Is 57:8; Carson, 185

[14] “Adultery to the Jews meant sexual relations outside marriage, primarily by a married person. Jesus generalizes it to refer to all who have sexual relations outside marriage.” (Osborne, 196). “’Adultery’ usually referred to sexual relations by a married person with a partner other than his or her spouse, but v. 28 makes clear that Jesus is not limiting his commandments to married people but speaking of sexual sin in general.” (Blomberg, 108).

[15] The Law of Moses calls for a certificate of divorce when divorcing one’s wife (Dt 24:1). Jesus says, don’t even get divorced except for cases of sexual immorality (Mt 5:31-32).

[16] Stott, 210

[17] Stott, 210

[18] Cf. Wilkins, 329

[19] Green, 110

[20] Stott, 211; cf. Green, 110

[21] Brown, 968; cf. France NBC, 914; Hagner, 191

[22] Osborne, 277

[23] Osborne, 277

[24] Not all of Jesus’ sermons ended this way, however. His final words to His disciples before His crucifixion are more encourage (cf. Jn 16:33). Wilkins, 329

[25] Wilkins, 330; Green, 107; Turner, 221

[26] France NBC, 914; Turner CBC, 118

[27] Brown, 968

[28] Green, 108; Osborne, 276

[29] France NBC, 914

[30] Wilkins, 327

[31] Stott, 210

[32] Stott, 211

[33] Brown, 968; France NBC, 914; Wilkins, 330; Turner, 221

[34] Turner CBC, 118

[35] France NBC, 914

[36] Brown, 968; Wilkins, 330; Turner, 221; Mounce, 69

[37] France NBC, 914

[38] Green, 109

[39] Osborne, 276

[40] “People prophesy in his name (22), and that was something which in Israel was done only in God’s name.” Green, 108

[41] Brown, 968; Keener IVP; Wilkins, 330; Stott, 26; Turner, 221; Mounce, 69

[42] France, 294

[43] France, 294

[44] France, 294

[45] “And even the successful performance of miracles can be traced to other causes (as indeed Jesus’ enemies will allege with regard to his own exorcisms in [Mt 9:34; 12:24])”. (France, 294)

[46] France NBC, 914 ; France, 294. ” Prophecy, exorcism and miracles can be counterfeited. ‘Charismatic’ activity is no substitute for obedience and a personal relationship with Jesus” (France TNTC, 153).

[47] “False prophets are familiar in both Old and New Testaments. Cf. Dt. 13:1–5; Je. 23:9–32; Mt. 24:11, 24; 1 Jn. 4:1–3” (France NBC, 914)

[48] France NBC, 914

[49] France NBC, 914

[50] “Note the extraordinary authority he assumes as judge; to enter the kingdom of heaven depends on his acknowledgment and consists in being with him.” (France NBC, 914)

[51] Green, 108

[52] Wilkins, 326; Turner, 221; Osborne, 275

[53] UBS, 214; Turner, 221

[54] Turner, 221; Carson, 230

[55] Osborne, 275

[56] Osborne, 275. “Whereas the contrast in the previous paragraph was between ‘saying’ and ‘doing’, the contrast now is between ‘hearing’ and ‘doing” (Stott, 208)

[57] Turner, 222. “…doing is clearly approved ([Mt 1:24; 3:8, 10; 5:19; 7:12; 12:50; 13:23])” (Turner, 222).

[58] “To do” (ποιέω) occurs nine times in 7:17–26, where the emphasis is on putting Jesus’ teaching into practice via a lifestyle centered on the will of the Father. Here both verbs are present tense to stress the ongoing nature of obedience; it is lifelong” (Osborne, 275).

[59] Keener, 254 ; France NBC, 914; Wilkins, 326; France, 294; Turner, 221; Turner CBC, 118; Carson, 230; Hagner, 190

[60] Everyone includes not only the primary recipients – Jesus’ disciples (Mt 5:1-2) but also the crowds (Wilkins, 326; cf. Mt 7:28)

[61] NIDNTTE, 621-622; EDNT, 439-440; UBS, 215; Turner, 222; cf. France, 296; Carson, 230; Nolland, 343; Osborne, 275

[62] EDNT, 439-440

[63] Evans, 146

[64] France TNTC, 153

[65] Morris, 182

[66] “The rabbis debated whether hearing or doing the law was more important; most concluded that hearing it was more important, because one could not do it without hearing it. But they did insist that both were necessary.” IVPB, 64; cf. (m. ʾAbot 1:17; 3:9, 17; 5:14; Sifra Behuq. par.; Sifre Deut. 41.2.5–6; b. Qidd. 40b; p. Ḥag. 1:7, §4; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 12:10; Song Rab. 2:14, §5; Dalman 1929: 64; Keener, 254-255). “nearly all agreed that obedience was essential (e.g., ARN 24A; b. Sanh. 106b; Yoma 86a; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 27:9; Lev. Rab. 35:7; Num. Rab. 14:10; cf. Ep. Arist. 127; contrast p. Ḥag. 2:1, §§10–11; Ruth Rab. 6:4). Some held that knowing without obeying led to judgment (Sifre Deut. 32.5.12; b. Sanh. 106b; Yoma 86a; Deut. Rab. 7:4;” Keener, 255.

[67] “But hearing the teaching of Jesus is regarded as genuine only when it is accompanied by doing what Jesus says.” (Turner, 222)

[68] Evans, 146

[69] Osborne, 275

[70] Evans, 146

[71] Evans, 146

[72] IVPB, 64; Keener IVP; Keener, 255; Carson, 230; Nolland, 344; Osborne, 275

[73] Turner, 222

[74] Osborne, 275

[75] Turner, 222; Hagner, 190; cf. Osborne, 275

[76] Keener, 254; Stott, 209; Turner, 222; Carson, 230; Hagner, 190; Osborne, 275

[77] BDAG, 809

[78] NIDNTTE, 736; EDNT, 81

[79] Evans, 147

[80] Green, 108

[81] Turner, 222; cf. Keener IVP; Nolland, 343

[82] Nolland, 343

[83] Turner, 222; Turner CBC, 117; Hagner, 190-191

[84] Keener IVP

[85] Keener IVP; Evans, 147

[86] Evans, 147; France, 296; France TNTC, 153; Turner, 222 ; Carson, 230 ; Hagner, 191

[87] Green, 108

[88] “Lk 6:48f ὁ ποταμός means a river that flows continuously near the house in question, but in the parallel Mt 7:25, 27 οἱ ποταμοί are to be understood as the mountain torrents or winter torrents which arise in ravines after a heavy rain and carry everything before them.” BDAG, 856; cf. EDNT, 141

[89] “προσπίπτω   prospiptō…   fall down before, fall at the feet of; fall upon, strike against.” EDNT, 176. This word can mean to fall down before someone, but here refers to the stormy elements falling heavily upon the house. EDNT, 176. I opted for the more literal “fall upon” to preserve what may be wordplay (the wise man’s house does not fall (πίπτω |piptō) but the house of the foolish man has a great fall (πτῶσις | ptōsis) – a cognate).

[90] The passive pluperfect of θεμελιόω (themelioō) meaning “found, establish” (EDNT, 139). Could be more literally translated, “had been founded…” as in Mt 7:25 NRSV, Mt 7:25 ESV, Mt 7:25 NASB, Mt 7:25 KJV, etc. However, at least in my experience, people often think of founding when starting an organization or movement more than constructing a building. I opt for this translation to avoid potential confusion (cf. Mt 7:25 NIV, Mt 7:25 HCSB).

[91] The definite article is present in the Greek (UBS, 216) but it is likely used generically (Black, 78). That is, Jesus is likely not referring to a particular rock, but just to (bed)rock in general. Other translations simply omit the article (UBS, 216), which may make the meaning more clear (e.g., Mt 7:25 NLT, Mt 7:25 NRSV). But I think the generic use of “the” is clear even in English.

[92] “Later rabbis told a parable very similar to that of Jesus here, but whereas their foundation involved heeding the Torah (e.g., Avot de Rabbi Natan 24A), here it involves heeding Jesus’ words.(IVPB, 64; cf. Keener IVP; Keener, 255; Wilkins ZIBBC, 53; Wilkins, 326; Turner, 221; Hagner, 190).

[93] IVPB, 64

[94] IVPB, 64

[95] IVPB, 64; Turner, 221 FN

[96] Turner, 221

[97] Wilkins ZIBBC, 53

[98] Wilkins, 326; Turner, 221

[99] Wilkins ZIBBC, 53; Wilkins, 326

[100] Wilkins ZIBBC, 53; Wilkins, 326; cf. Mounce, 70

[101] Carson, 230

[102] UBS, 215; France, 296; Morris, 182; Hagner, 191; Osborne, 275

[103] Wilkins ZIBBC, 53; Wilkins, 326

[104] Blomberg, 134. “Excavations in the late 1970s in the region uncovered basalt stone bedrock that was apparently used for the foundation of buildings in antiquity” (Wilkins ZIBBC, 54; cf. Wilkins, 326).

[105] Carson, 230; Mounce, 70; Morris, 181

[106] France NBC, 914; Stott, 26

[107] Wilkins, 327; Frane, 296

[108] “So we dare not be unprepared like the five bridesmaids (25:1–13) or hide the talents God has given us (25:14–30). Rather, we must be disciples who act and follow the ethical guidelines of our Master” (Osborne, 279)

[109] Wilkins, 327

[110] “As with ‘on the rock,’ upon the sand will pose a problem for people who do in fact build houses on sand. They may have to say ‘on top of sand so it was not strong’ or ‘on sand with the result that nothing could give it strength.’UBS, 216.

[111] The wording is almost identical to Mt 7:24 (UBS, 216; Morris, 182; Hagner, 190). “The parable in Matthew is almost exactly symmetrical in the parallelism of the two parts: (1) the wise person’s house, built on rock, vv 24–25; (2) the foolish person’s house, built on sand, vv 26–27. The only slight differences are the lack of ὅστις and the replacement of the indicative with participles at the beginning of the second part, slightly different verbs for “beat upon” (προσέπεσαν / προσέκοψαν), and of course the concluding lines of each section,” (Hagner, 190)

[112] UBS, 215

[113] UBS, 216; cf. Morris, 182; Hagner, 190, 191

[114] Hagner, 190

[115] Osborne, 276

[116] France, 296; Stott, 209; Turner CBC, 118; Carson, 230

[117] Carson, 230

[118] Blomberg, 134; Osborne, 276

[119] Brown, 968; Morris, 182; Hagner, 191; Osborne, 275

[120] Osborne, 276

[121] Wilkins, 327.

[122] Though most of the same wording is repeated from Mt 7:25, this word (προσκόπτω | proskoptō) is different (UBS, 215) and more literally means to “strike” (EDNT, 173; cf. NIDNTTE, 726; UBS, 215).

[123] Stott, 208; Carson, 230; Mounce, 70

[124] Stott, 208

[125] Wilkins, 329; Morris, 183

[126] UBS, 216; Morris, 183; Nolland, 344; Osborne, 276

[127] France TNTC, 153 ; Morris, 183

[128] Evans, 147

[129] Turner, 222

[130] Osborne, 275

[131] Evans, 147; Turner, 221; Nolland, 343

[132] Evans, 147; Nolland, 343 FN

[133] Evans, 147; Turner, 222; Carson, 230; Nolland, 343

[134] Evans, 147; Turner, 222; Nolland, 343

[135] Keener IVP; Stott, 26, 209; contra Turner, 221; Blomberg, 134; Carson, 230; Osborne, 275

[136] Franc, 297

[137] Cf. Blomberg, 134; Carson, 230

[138] Carson, 230

[139] Osborne, 276

[140] UBS, 214; IVPB, 64; Keener IVP; France, 297; Stott, 26, 209; Turner, 221; Blomberg, 134; Carson, 230; Mounce, 70; Nolland, 343; Osborne, 275

[141] Keener, 255; Evans, 147; which also concerns to false prophets: France, 296 and Turner, 221 FN; France TNCT, 153; Carson, 230; Hagner, 191

[142] Turner, 221 FN

[143] Nolland, 343

[144] Turner, 221; Blomberg, 134; Hagner, 191

[145] France, 296; Stott, 211; Turner, 222

[146] Hagner, 190

[147] Turner, 222; Carson, 231. “The standard of orthopraxy, of righteousness, is the words of Jesus, not those of the Torah” (Hagner, 190-191).

[148] Hagner, 189

[149] Hagner, 189

[150] “In the Greek version (i.e, the LXX) we have the verbs ‘hear’ and ‘do’ in v. 15, then the warning that failure to hear and do will result in building a house in which one will not live.” (Evans, 147; cf. Turner, 221 FN; Osborne, 275)

[151] Turner, 221

[152] IVPB, 63; Hagner, 189

[153] Stott, 210; Osborne, 279

[154] UBS, 214; Keener, 255

[155] Brown, 968

[156] Carson, 230

[157] Carson, 230

[158] France, 296

[159] Stott, 209

[160] Green, 109

[161] Stott, 209; Carson, 230

[162] Stott, 209

[163] Stott, 209; cf. Blomberg, 134; Mounce, 70; Morris, 181; Hagner, 191

[164] Blomberg, 134; Osborne, 275

[165] Osborne, 279

[166] Stott, 209

[167] Stott, 209

[168] Stott, 209

[169] Carson, 230

[170] Stott, 209

[171] Green, 109

[172] Wilkins, 330.

[173] Wilkins, 330

[174] Wilkins, 330

[175] Wilkins, 330

[176] Blomberg, 134; Osborne, 277

[177] Stott, 211; Green, 108, 109

[178] Turner CBC, 118

[179] Green, 108

[180] Osborne, 277

[181] France, 294

[182] Wilkins, 326

[183] Usually, “such authority was reserved for the law itself”. (IVPB, 64; cf. Keener IVP)

[184] Stott, 26; “This is widely discounted by those who think the Sermon on the Mount is a collection of ethical maxims such as might have been devised by any cultivated humanist”. (Green, 108)

[185] Green, 109; cf. Blomberg, 134

[186] Green, 110

[187] Osborne, 276

[188] Morris, 182

[189] Keener, 255

[190] Keener IVP; Keener, 255

[191] Cf. Keener IVP; Keener, 255; Wilkins, 329; Green, 107-108; Turner, 222; Carson, 230

[192] Keener, 254.

[193] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

[194] Cf. Keener 255

[195] Wilkins, 335

[196] Cf. Green, 107

[197] Wilkins, 336

[198] Green, 109

[199] Wilkins, 336

[200] Wilkins, 36

[201] “Not many ways, just two. We can either build on him and his teaching, which we will find is as solid as rock; or else we can build on any other religion or philosophy in the world, and we will find that it is sand, and in the last day it will spell ruin.” (Green, 109)

[202] Green, 110. “The end of Matthew’s Gospel tells us one thing we can do if we care about them. We can go and tell them the good news of Jesus and the kingdom ([Mt 28:19]). And the end of the Sermon here informs us of the other thing we can do if we really care. We can make sure that we personally are wholeheartedly committed to Christ”

[203] Wilkins, 330; France, 296; Stott, 26; Turner, 222; Carson, 231

[204] Wilkins, 336

[205] “You cannot have the fruit of righteousness without the root of relationship with the Righteous One.” (Green, 111)


  1. https://hymnary.org/text/my_hope_is_built_on_nothing_less
About @DannyScottonJr 241 Articles
Imperfect Servant ✝📖⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist