“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.  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.  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.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

There’s a saying in the construction industry: “Cheap, fast, good. Choose two”.  Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount very differently: “Cheap, fast, good. Choose good.”  This parable may be at the end of Jesus’ most famous sermon, but is just the beginning of a life that matters. Many people may hear Jesus’ message, but only those who choose to put it into practice can be His followers.  


Jesus Flips the Script

Jesus tells us that following Him will be difficult. The way He shows us is not an easy or quick project to take on lightly. Startlingly, Jesus flips the script on our intuitions of wise and foolish behavior, in often enigmatic ways.   He says that anyone who wants to follow Him has to live the revolutionary life He has described. We can’t just discuss it or try it as an experiment.  We need to follow Him for a lifetime.  Those following Jesus may seem to be marginalized and pitiful compared to those pursuing worldly success.  Jesus says it is the only way we can know Him in this life and experience eternal fulfillment:


“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

    for they will be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful,

    for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

    for they will see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers,

    for they will be called children of God. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3-10

Imagine building a house on a rock. It would take so much time to find a proper site, to design the foundation, and to do the work of drilling into the rock.  A person might have just gotten started constructing their foundation on rock while a neighbor who built  their house on sand has started putting up curtains and getting ready to move in.  Building on a rock is difficult and it doesn’t give quick satisfaction, and it  could seem to many to be a  fool’s errand.  Jesus tells us that putting his words into practice is the only way we can experience life with Him, a life that can withstand any challenge. 


Jesus Sets the Standard

We may have many ways to assess our actions, but not all of them are Jesus’ ways.  It’s important to remember that we are not in charge. In fact, the “good works” we do in our own strength may fool us into thinking we are following Jesus.  Activities like going to church and listening to sermons, and even volunteering our time or donating money won’t benefit us if we aren’t living a transformed life. Hearing Jesus’ words and walking in step with Him, while being transformed by the Holy Spirit, is a life built on a rock.  



A New Mexico artist, Ra Paulette,  sculpts stunning underground caves out of barely compacted sand. It’s interesting to juxtapose his story and Jesus’ parable. Ra’s artwork is beautiful and unique, but the caves are fragile and risk sudden collapse.  His pursuit of his art has consumed him, putting his marriage and even his life at risk. 

Talk to God about your life. Where are you building on rock? Are there areas of your life that need to be examined and changed? What is keeping you from trusting Jesus in all areas of your life? Ask for encouragement and discernment.    

 Here’s the link to the documentary on Ra Paulette:

 Cave Digger | Oscar Nominated Cave Art Documentary


by Sherry Sommer


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