Two houses and two foundations (Matthew 7:24-29)

Published on Friday, 08 December 2017 05:39
The imagery of a building and its foundation is often used in the Bible to illustrate different points. For example, Jesus told Peter about how the church would be built on the foundation mentioned by Peter. Paul described the church as a building erected on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. He also referred to the possibility of believers erecting good or bad buildings on the foundation of Jesus. And here Jesus mentions two foundations, each of which had a good-looking building erected on it.

In this illustration, unlike the other examples just mentioned, the problem with one of the houses is the foundation. The other house had a good foundation, the teachings of Jesus. What would the bad foundation of sand be? Anything apart from the teachings of Jesus. There are lots of alternative foundations – religions, traditions, novelties, philosophies, but the point of a foundation is that it will remain solid no matter the weather.

One day, a storm will come and overthrow the building on the wrong foundation. Probably, the storm here is the Day of Judgement. We can imagine someone expressing confidence that his religion or his other ideas will do him very well when the judgement comes. Picture his surprise and shock when he discovers that it is otherwise. And then picture his sorrow that it is too late.

The obvious application is to obey the instructions of Jesus at all times. That is the mark of real disciples. It is obvious that the crowd were impressed by what Jesus said and by how he taught with authority. But being impressed is not enough. There has to be recognition in our hearts of his Lordship and a determination to practice, with his help, what he requires.


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