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Product reviews are always helpful and potential buyers are wise to notice them. Here Jesus reviews his own sermon and reassures us of his ultimate reliability.

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Bible passage Matthew 7:24–29

The Wise and Foolish Builders
    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.”

 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

In conclusion
Jesus concluded his Sermon on the Mount with the analogy of a house built on a bedrock foundation rather than on loose soil. The implication is clear: you can be either wise or foolish as you build your life.

The sermon is a compressed summary of Jesus’ most compelling spiritual lessons. At its heart is the Father’s specific attention to each of us – ‘for your Father knows’ (6:8) – and he invites us into a closer and wholehearted relationship. The Beatitudes, where the sermon began, promise deferred rewards to ‘those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ (5:6).

Intimacy with God
Then the sermon moves from broader social topics – murder, adultery, and divorce – to the more intimate human needs of food and clothing. It concludes, very personally (in 7:11), with ‘your Father in heaven’ giving good gifts ‘to those who ask him’!

What stands out is Jesus inviting us to dismiss our distant and detached images of the Father in favour of a more intimate vision.


You may still have doubts about the Father’s care for you. If you do, be sure to take up the invitation Jesus offers to ask and seek assurances from the Father. It’s an investment God promises to reward.

Ron Frost

Deeper Bible study

‘By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.’ (Proverbs 24:3)

Jesus wraps up the Sermon on the Mount by drawing on the illustration of how a house was built. A foolish builder was shortsighted, ignoring the forces of nature that would hit the house, resulting in complete destruction. On the other hand, the wise builder was a prudent builder who carefully considered all possible weather conditions and the forces of nature in building his house. As a result, what he built withstood the test of nature and time.

The sayings of Jesus here bear some echoes from Proverbs, where we read that ‘the house of the righteous stands firm’ (Proverbs 12:7) while ‘the house of the wicked will be destroyed’ (Proverbs 14:11). Allusions to these passages reinforce the message in the Sermon. The wise builder is like the righteous man who puts the teaching of Jesus into practice. The foolish builder is like the wicked man who disobeys the teaching of Jesus by failing to act on it.

The foundation of a building is often not visible to the naked eye, but it is the most important structure of any building. We can only produce strong and lasting buildings if the foundations are solid and strong. Therefore, we must build a solid foundation that combines authentic commitment to Christ and his teaching, demonstrating it with obedience in our lives. Otherwise, we build our house on shaky ground and all that we build will be destroyed eventually and come to nothing. Therefore the Sermon on the Mount is not just a collection of sayings to be admired. Jesus’ sayings are to be obeyed. They call us into action. They call us to live according to the values of the kingdom.

Kar Yong Lim

The house built on pebbles

The consequences of not living the Sermon on the Mount are all too easily seen in the scandals that occasionally appear in public and church life. The façade crumbles, and life will never be the same for that person again. We’re not like that, are we?

The rain came down, the streams rose
Singing ‘the rains came down and the floods came up’ so dilutes the power and effectiveness of this image. The house built on sand ‘fell with a great crash’ (v 27). Such finality belittled in the triviality of a song.

Are we stupid enough to build on sand? Well, in Britain we’re certainly stupid enough to build on flood plains. And most summers, now, we learn the consequences of that at first hand.

A 50-50 foundation
I suspect that most of us, though, are building a house that is mainly built on rock, but with a bit built on sand. We’re experimenting with how much obedience we need to show, and trying to see how much we can get away with.

A 50-50 foundation is not an option Jesus recognises as valid. Instead of hoping that the floods never come, it’s time to tear down the part built on sand and start afresh.

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Genesis 26,27

Matthew 10

Worship song

Spend some time worshipping Jesus, who is your life’s foundation, as you listen to this song.

This song was written and recorded by the artist Mark Stevens for Kingsway Music. You can find out more about Kingsway Music here.

©2002 Thankyou Music


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‘Search me oh God’
Peformed by : Vicky Beeching
Written by: Vicky Beeching
Copyright: © 1997 Thankyou MusicYou can buy this and other great worship songs at

Awesome God (Your Voice)
Vicky Beeching
Copyright© 2001 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)
Buy this and other great worship songs at

  • Enyobi Chukwunonso | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Food for thought : "the Sermon on the Mount is not just a collection of sayings to be admired. Jesus’ sayings are to be obeyed. They call us into action. They call us to live according to the values of the kingdom." Thank you DAVID for the information, my prayers goes out for GILL. She will be well

  • Ray Skinner | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Thank God for yesterday's reading, and then all the notes: Explore the Bible, Deeper study and Comments. Scripture Union, you are to be congratulated for Wordlive. How to effectually capture the internet, social media etc., for the Gospel is a question that churches around the world must quickly find the answer to, Why should the devil have all the good media? And thankyou Vicky for two great songs. The experience of the Nigerian church may seem far from many of us, but it is of course totally relevant. Last night I went to sleep after reading of a very poor area in rural Madagascar where there are many new, little congrgations facing serious oppsition from ancestor worshippers.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    The rains, floods, and the winds came against both houses exactly the same. The difference was not the storms but rather the foundations. Everyone of us will have problems come their way but those who are rooted and grounded in knowing and doing the Word of God will stand. It’s much harder to put a foundation in rock than in sand. This is further explanation of yesterday's reading v14 as to why few find the narrow way that leads to life. Most people are taking the path that demands the least effort, with no thought of the future.

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    The teaching from Jesus is clear; God will disown those who break His laws.......the wise listen, obey and follow them. (Matthew 23&24) As I have just read today, I cannot build my life on a 'pebble' foundation; only fools deceive themselves and try to justify actions that please themselves but not God.

  • John Hartley | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    My memory of singing that "triviality" of a chorus as a five year old is the finality with which we made sure in our actions and shout that the house "fell flat" - the actions louder than the words! And the message went home! Thanks for reminding me.

  • Roger Hall | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    The illustration at the top reminds me of my very beginning as fighting the tide a feature of beach missions from the past. But what I also remember, was the joy of singing "The foolish man built his house upon the sand. .." in the echoing churich Hall, where it smelled of tea, and we thumped our great feet with a satisfying crash to illustrate the fate of the foolish man! I know that foolishness has been a feature of my life and the thump of the falling house echos down the years, yet -- "Yes, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me."

  • John Davenport | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    I was disappointed to read that the song 'The wise man built his house upon the rock' is considered trivial surely the third verse 'So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, and eternal life your soul shall have' sums up the the teaching of the Apostles, evangelist, Bible teachers throughout the ages.

  • Ruth Chisholm | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    50-50? When i planned a surprise birthday party for my husband, I found having a secret and withholding part of my life a most unsettling time, I didn't like not sharing everything with him. If the secrecy had continued i could see that it could have potential to harm our relationship. When he asked about my day, I'd had to avoid total honesty. Does that reflect our relationship with God? He longs for that intimate relationship with us, to share all of our life, and delights in our narrative of our day, imparting his wisdom, offering guidance, giving comfort, a strong presence in us, but when we hold back, not only are we keeping Him out, we are giving the devil a way in.

  • Lynda Spencer | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    I, too, have vivid memories of singing lustily about the wise and foolish men, and I have also used that same song, old-fashioned though it is, with the children I currently teach in Kids' Club. I think it makes the point very well, and so long as it is used to reinforce sound Bible teaching I do not consider it trivial. But I understand the WL commentary as well. If we, as adults, reduce what we have read this last two weeks to be summarised in a children's song then we have perhaps glossed over the serious message in Jesus' teaching. I intend to spend a chunk of this weekend reading Matthew ch 5 - 7 over again and meditating on what Jesus is saying to me. There is so much to take in that two weeks has hardly been enough! Thank you once again Word Live Team and all who have shared of themselves. A precious ministry for which I am profoundly grateful.

  • Barbara Sabin | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Let's never underestimate the teachings we received as children, they are indeed the bedrock, the seeds that are sown grow and eventually if fed and watered grow into a beautiful plant. In our dear Lord’s garden, Planted here below, Many tiny flowerets In sweet beauty grow. Christ, the loving gardener, Tends these blossoms small; Loves the little lilies As the cedars tall. Nothing is too little For His gentle care; Nothing is too lowly In His love to share. Jesus loves the children, Children such as we; Blest them when their mothers Brought them to His knee. Jesus calls the children, Bids them come and stand In His pleasant garden, Watered by His hand. Lord, your call we answer Take us in your care; Train us in your garden, In your work to share.

  • John Hartley | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Yes, Lynda - couldn't agree more with your proviso for adults!

  • Sandra Laythorpe | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Our present house was built on clay at the back and sand at the front. We suffered from 30 years of building work and underpinning. The house now stands on long pins of reinforcement, problems solved. These verses were very appropriate to our situation, thank you Jesus.

  • Lynda Spencer | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Amen to that, BARBARA! I came to faith when I was nine years old, and I have worked all my teenage years and adult life with children from pre-school to end of primary (11yrs) in various church groups. They are indeed precious little people, specially loved by the Lord Jesus. I'd never heard the song you quoted but I love its sentiments!

  • Deborah Lechmere | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    I recall nearly 40 years ago hearing from some Bible translators that for one of the languages they were translating the Bible into they had to reverse this verse to be the wise man building on sand and the foolish on rock. This was due to the unusual geology of the country concerned meaning sand was safer than rock. I wish I could remember where, I have a feeling it may have been near one of the poles.

  • Oakley Bookworm | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    LYNDA, you hit the nail on the head there! 'The Wise Man...' is a children's song. In fact, we probably remember this sermon, most clearly, because we sang that song as children. However, as mature Christians, and as you pointed out, we don't stay on a child's diet forever. If we do, we remain babies. 'The Wise Man...' isn't trivial. It has real depth, and covers all aspects of the sermon. In my opinion, compared to (some) of the current worship songs, written by and for adults, I think it stands head and shoulders above.

  • Hannah Watson | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    I didn't post Mike's blog yesterday so I'm posting it today, alongside his blog from today.

  • Hannah Watson | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Mike's blog for today

  • Graham Keen | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    Further to Enyobi's comment yesterday: it's not just Nigeria, though much false teaching in Africa does originate from there. I worked in an African country for 7 years and also saw this. But where I was, as someone else mentioned. ancestor and spirit worship was more pervasive, even in a country that has an apparently strong Christian presence (like the West 50 years ago). It's there just below the Christian surface. They (we) need trained teachers of the Word who also have the ability to expose the false.

  • Roger Hall | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    I have put an inappropriate sign on your message about the blog of Mike. Personally I believe that somebody produce his own material really rather undermines the entire offer from Scripture Union. I would suggest that he does his own marketing.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 13 January 2018

    ROGER I totally agree with your comment about the blog. And have hit the inappropriate.

  • Elizabeth Sadler | Sunday, 14 January 2018

    I have been hitting that inappropriate button for some time for this blog.I think I might be correct in thinking that this blog was advertised on this site some time ago as well ,and admin took appropriate action .

  • Elly Pearce | Sunday, 14 January 2018

    Hannah. You obviously value mike’s blog but I think what people are saying is that to link to it once is enough. Anyone interested can then follow for themselves. I can’t comment about the blog as I haven’t really done more than glance at it. Please don’t stop commenting yourself.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Sunday, 14 January 2018

    HANNAH I echo ELLY please don't stop sharing your comments on the daily readings

  • Lynn Creation | Monday, 15 January 2018

    HANNAH, I appreciate Mike's blogs too. I'm glad you brought it to our attention initially, but I can see where people are coming from though. I think, if anyone wants to find it now, they can. No need to keep posting the link. Do keep commenting though.

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