(Sermon prepared for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

Matthew 7:24-27, “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.”


Matthew recorded this parable after Jesus had taught the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. A similar set of condensed teachings can also be found in Luke 6. The ESV Study Bible gives the following three options for their similarity:

  1. Same sermon with different summaries.
  2. Different sermons with similar content.
  3. Similar sayings complied from various sermons.

“Option 2: They Record Two Different Sermons,” seems best because Matthew has way more content than Luke and would seem odd to leave out so much. It is to assume that Jesus would have have been repeating much of His teachings in different locations as an itinerant preacher.

Think about this: Jesus is recorded as speaking around 39,000 words in all the gospels combined; however, the average man speaks about 7,000 words a day. Therefore, we only have about 5-6 days worth, if even that, of Jesus’ words.

If Jesus was speaking an average of 7,000 words a day for three years he might have spoke around 7.6 million words. Then if every word of Jesus was written down in one book it would be bigger than nine Bibles combined!

This is important to know and consider because Jesus is giving the parable to make sure His disciples build their lives on the things they heard Him teach. But would this parable relate to all of Jesus’ teachings? I believe so. Can any true disciple think of a teaching of Jesus that we should not build our lives on.

As a result, I would like to suggest that there are four paths to discover the teachings of Jesus aside from the direct teachings found in the Sermon on the Mount.

  1. First, though the parable was probably said after two different but similar sermons it can be safe to assume that the lesson of the parable, (“Building Your Life On Jesus’ Teachings”) would apply to the things people didn’t hear but would later be written down. For example, a disciple during Jesus’ earthly ministry upon learning new information from a sermon he wasn’t present at couldn’t say, “I don’t have to build my life on that because I personally wasn’t there.”
  2. Second, this would not only be true for the disciple during Christ’s earthly ministry, but also after His ascension. The evidence of this is found in Jesus farewell address in Matthew. The all encompassing command to obey all of Jesus’ teachings is explicitly giving in the Great Commission of Matthew 28 when Jesus said, “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  3. Third, I would like to remind us that Jesus doesn’t just confine His teachings to the time of His earthly ministry, but also to His heavenly ministry via the Holy Spirit. He said in John 16:12-14, “12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”
  4. Fourth, Peter declares that even the Old Testament prophetical writings were inspired by the “Spirit of Christ.” He writes in 1 Peter 1:10-12, “10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.”

Therefore, we see that entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation can rightly be considered the teachings of Christ from these four paths. Certainly, the Old Testament must be interpreted within the context of the New Testament (Jesus didn’t come to abolish the previous writings but rather fulfill them). However, I see no better way to understand the reason why Paul said, “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 if it wasn’t from the same source, mainly, Jesus.

All Scripture has been delivered to us from the Father by the enteral Logos through the Holy Spirit. For us to take seriously this parable of Jesus we must see all of Scripture as Christ’s teachings (not just the few preceding verses).

Having said that… I feel led by the Holy Spirit to just focus on four teachings Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount.


  1. Sexual Purity, Matthew 5:27-30 
    1. Cut out whenever causes you to stumble
    2. Let there not be a hint of sexual immorality named among you, Ephesians 5:3.
    3. God will judge the sexual immoral, Hebrews 13:4.
  2. Love For Enemies, Matthew 5:43-48
    1. F.E.M.O, “Forgive Em’ & Move On.”
    2. No one’s offense or hurt against you is worth going to hell over.
    3. Let no one take your crown, Revelation 3:11.
  3. Prayer, Matthew 6:5-15
    1. Practice God’s presence, 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
    2. Seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in other tongues, Acts 1:8, 2:1-4;38-39, 10:44-48, & 19:1-7.
  4. Worry Free Living, Matthew 6:24-34
    1. Worry is a weed that can choke the life from your soul, Matthew 13:22.
    2. “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength,” Corrie ten Boom.


  1. Build On Jesus’ Words: Jesus expects us to be like a wise builder and build our life on His teachings (v. 24.) Therefore, We are responsible to:
    1. Hear Jesus’ teachings by studying the Scriptures to show ourselves approved.
    2. Put them into practice by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8-10.
  2. Storms Come to Everyone: Remember, even the righteous (like the wicked) will experience storms in life (v. 25).
    1. The Christian is not promised a life without storms, but rather peace and victory in the midst of life’s storms (John 14:27 & 1 John 5:2-5).
    2. God will never give us more than we can handle with His power, He will always led us through our trials (Psalm 23:4 & 1 Corinthians 10:13)
  3. The Foolish Builder Will Suffer: The foolish builder who hears Jesus’ words but doesn’t practice them will suffer a great crash (vs. 26-27).
    1. Revelation 11:18 reads, “The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small —and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
    2. Though some people’s lives may seem to withstand some of the storms of life, the greatest storm (God’s judgment) will bring everything they did down (Revelation 20:15).
    3. Even the Christian can suffer loss of rewards, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.


In Luke 6:48Jesus adds the phrase, “dug down deep,” to describe the process the wise builder uses to insure he lays the foundation on solid rock. This extra insight helps us know that laying the foundation of Jesus’ teachings will require going deeper than the surface issues of our lives. We can’t fool God- He knows how deep His teachings really go.

Today, the teachings of Jesus must be preached for the entire world to hear. We as preachers must first be responsible to hear them and faithfully put them into practice. Let us set the example by letting Jesus’ teachings go deep into every area of our hearts and allow God to build our lives.

Consider what happened when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Grand Isle, a place I had fished for many years was completely destroyed by the storm’s wind and water. It didn’t matter how beautiful and expensive those beach houses were, when the storm came they were destroyed like castles in the sand.

If we do not build our lives on Jesus’ words, we too will one day have our lives be destroyed. As for me, I have decided by the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, to build my life on Jesus’ teachings. I want what God builds in me to last after the storm.

King Solomon reminds us in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” And Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

1. 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.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

(“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”)