The Stuff You Think You Know

"The wise man built his house upon the rock…"

So starts that old kid’s song that those of us who grew up going to Sunday school would know. It compares the wise man who built his house on the rock with the foolish man who built his house on sand. And the basic conclusion is that the bloke who built on sand is on a very shaky foundation.

Here’s the question though:

What does Jesus mean when he speaks about building our ‘house on rock’?

Think about it before you read on…


(The picture is of Pete showing the kids what happens when you build on rock and sand. Actually I reckon we learn as much here as the kids – visuals are powerful)

If you said the rock is ‘Jesus’ then you are WRONG. Although I sense that is what many of us have grown up believing – that or some permutation of it.

This passage comes right at the end of the sermon on the mount in Matt 7 where Jesus says some rough stuff – where he calls his disciples to radical counter-cultural living and then he finishes by speaking about:

– the narrow path – only a few will find it

– not everyone who says to me ‘Lord Lord’ will be saved but only those who do the things I say

– and then he says "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock’.

Who’s the wise man?

Simple – the person who hears Jesus words and actually does what he says. It seems that Jesus is saying a life of submission to him and conformity to his will is a solid foundation.

Its funny how often you hear people looking for a church with ‘good teaching’, but how I have never heard someone look for a church that ‘actually puts into practice the things Jesus said’.

This isn’t rocket science, but neither is it an area we have done particularly well on as the church. The whole idea of ‘doing it’ seems to resonating with me very strongly at present. Disciples are people who do the things Jesus said – not think about them, talk about them, agree on them…

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