The Sermon on the Mount, as relayed in the Gospel of Matthew, ends with the Parable of the House Built on Rock. Jesus teaches the crowd through parables. After making a warning against false prophets, Jesus teaches us about what qualifies a man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is then that the Lord recounts the story of two houses whose foundations’ strength determined the fate of the entire house. Let us therefore discover in these Words of Jesus in-depth and learn what it means to build your house on rock.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does 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?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “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.
25 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.
26 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.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
This parable is closely related to the warning that the Lord Jesus gives above. He tells those who listen to him that it is not in calling him Lord alone that we will have access to Heaven, but it is because we will have lived the will of God. This is a warning for us believers. When we call Jesus Lord, we commit ourselves to fully giving our lives to him and doing what he asks us. He said again in John 14, 21: Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” A person who will live eternally with God is one who loves Jesus by taking to heart and walking in accordance with what God says.
Of the two houses, the one that has been able to hold in spite of the harshness of the rain, the wind, and the storms is the house built on rock. Thus, it was because the foundation of the house was solid that the whole house remained standing. This house is us, as it is written: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9). And “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Thus, this rock on which God wants to build our lives is Jesus Christ! If we are to resist the persecution, seductions and lies of the world, we must base ourselves on the teachings of Jesus. This foundation is the most stable that can exist, indeed: All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:24-25)