I’ve been thinking about the words of Jesus in Matthew 7, about the wise man and the foolish man. You’re probably familiar with the passage, and maybe you’ve even sung the song. We think of it as a children’s lesson, but it’s really more than that:
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.”
The point is not that smart people are more righteous, or even that we should build on a solid foundation, as good (though vague) as that sounds. The issue is what we do with the truths we learn.
But, according to Jesus, a solid foundation is really not all about what we take in. It’s not about what we listen to, what we read, or how many verses we’ve memorized.
Both the wise man and the foolish man hear the words of Jesus. The difference is not in what they take in; the difference is what they do with the information they receive. They both hear the words, but one “puts them into practice”, while the other “does not put them into practice.”
The believer who hears, reads, sings or memorizes the words of Jesus – and then puts them into practice – is like a wise man who builds on a solid foundation. What have you heard, and how have you put it into action?
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.