By Semi-retired Pastor Jeremy Stopford


24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

–Matthew 7:24-29 (NKJV)

Hey, let’s sing it together:

The wise man built his house upon a ROCK!

The wise man built his house upon a ROCK!

The wise man built his house upon a ROCK!

And the rains came tumblin’ down!

The rains came down and the floods came up,

the rains came down and the floods came up,

the rains came down and the floods came up,

But the house on the ROCK STOOD FIRM!

If the storms of life were to attack your foundation, would your house stand?

By the way, the world is often wiser than the Christian. We attack the issues: abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc – all growth from a foundation of unbelief.

The world goes right to the foundation and attacks the integrity of our Savior and His Word! The world sees Biblical Christianity as merely another religion, another social club with “do’s and don’ts”, rather than a LIFE lived in response to the Savior and His Word.

In completing His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus gives at least 3 MARKS, distinguishing characteristics of those who have heard (or read!). Those who either respond in faith, or they completely reject what they hear.

The first is MARKED BY THE SAVIOR, found in verses 24-25: I WILL LIKEN him to a wise man…”. A wise man is RESPONSIBLE, TEACHABLE, CORRECTIBLE, and SUCCESSFUL.

The wise man is RESPONSIBLE:

* Proverbs 14:16a: “A wise man fears and departs from evil…”

* Psalm 56:11: “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

* Hebrews 13:6: ““The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

The point here is that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both wisdom and knowledge, as relayed in the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs.

The wise man is TEACHABLE:

* Proverbs 1:5: “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel…”

* Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

He is a man of learning! He not only reads God’s Word; he reads good literature; and he reads good magazines. He does NOT read raunchy stuff that will tear down his walk with the Lord.


* Proverbs 9:8b: “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

* Proverbs 17:10: “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool.”

A wise man recognizes that he has a life to be molded into the image of God!


The wise man is SUCCESSFUL:

* Proverbs 21:22: “A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and brings down the trusted stronghold.”

Don’t forget the wise words of Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Secondly, the Lord Jesus talked about one who is MARKED BY THE WORLD, found in verses 26-27.

The Savior gives a smooth transition to this second mark: “will be like”. This means “it will be apparent to all, and will have no need for special markings by the Lord.” One might ask, “Who is he trying to fool?”. His real foundation is noticeable by all: he has NO FOUNDATION. In the words of Scripture, he is a FOOL.


* Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, there is NO GOD.” His life is the religion of practical atheism. He worships himself and all that the devil is pleased with!

He has NO VALUES: Proverbs 15:20: “A foolish man despises his mother”

He has NO STEWARDSHIP: Proverbs 21:20: “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.

He has NO REST: Proverbs 29:9: “If a wise man contends with a foolish man,
whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.”

Remember what Isaiah 48:22 says? We often use it in jest, but the Lord is quite serious about it: ““There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Lastly, our great and wise Savior closes His Sermon with words that were MARKED BY ETERNITY (verses 28-29).

Those that heard the message – the disciples and, in this case, the multitudes – made this amazing observation: “He taught them as one having authority”. “Authority” is “the right to teach as One Who has direct understanding of the truth”.

The scribes – including pastors and many others – teach BY authority. That authority is handed down by tradition.

However, the Lord Jesus taught WITH authority! This is quite different, QUITE (!!!!!!!) different! It is teaching as HAVING authority, out of His own soul, as belonging TO HIM ALONE!

Even the Apostle Peter knew this. Remember his comments in John 6:68, ““Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU HAVE the words of eternal life.” What was Peter saying? “YOU ALONE HAVE”, that is, TO YOU ALONE BELONGS the words of eternal life!

All eternity marks the Savior as the only One with ETERNAL AUTHORITY. That ETERNAL AUTHORITY gives Him the right to be Lord of our heart, home, church, world!

So let’s wrap up this amazing sermon.

If YOU were to be marked – labeled – as WISE or FOOLISH, how would your foundation withstand the storms of life?

And the BIG QUESTION of this sermon is wrapped up in 4 simple words:



the foolish man builds his house upon the sand