On what foundation do you make every choice, capture every thought, process every feeling, or offer every prayer? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus painted the picture of a foundation upon which His disciples could build their hearts and lives. Jesus summarized it as building one’s house on the rock (Matthew 7:24-29). He closed the greatest speech ever given with a comparison of two builders — one wise, one foolish; two foundations — one solid, one shifting; and two fates — one eternal, one temporary.
The Foundation and Fate of the Wise Builder (Matthew 7:24-25)
The foundation of the wise builder was the solid rock of Jesus Christ including His righteousness and message of heart transformation. Jesus taught that whoever heard His words and put them into practice was like the man who built his house on the foundation of the rock (Matthew 7:24; cf. James 1:22-25).
The fate of the wise builder was eternity. Though the storms of life came, the house did not fall because its foundation was on the rock (Matthew 7:25). Everyone in Palestine knew that a house had to be built on the rock (30′ below grade) because storms washed out the veins of sand underlying the topography. Jesus used a construction analogy to describe the wisdom of His teachings compared to the foolishness of that of the Pharisees. Jesus’ words might have alluded to the Jerusalem Temple, which was often referred to as the house on the rock.
The foundation of the rock is wisdom. Wisdom is God’s righteousness combined with street smarts. Every foundation has a vertical and horizontal component. Wisdom resides in the sweet spot where the vertical (God’s righteousness) intersects with the horizontal (street smarts). Jesus Christ is the ultimate embodiment of the vertical (fully God) intersecting with the horizontal (fully man). The wise builder hears Jesus’ words (vertically) and does them (horizontally).
The Jews’ ultimate name for God was Wisdom. Paul defined the wisdom of God, not as a principle, but as a person — Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24). He went on to define Christ as the only foundation (1 Corinthian 3:11). This was not a new idea. Proverbs, the book of wisdom, described the pre-incarnate Christ as the wisdom of God (Proverbs 8:22-31). Solomon elaborated that a successful house is built on the foundation of wisdom (Proverbs 24:3). Christ’s message of heart transformation is the foundation for a wise life. Jesus told Peter that He would build His church on the rock (Matthew 16:18). Peter knew that Jesus was referring to Himself and that we would build our lives on His (1 Peter 2:4-5).
Has a storm of life revealed your foundation? If so, what is it?