Scripture Reference: Matthew 7:24-25
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against the house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell- and great was the fall. (Matthew 7: 24-25 NASB).”
The words of our Messiah meant as both an encouragement and a warning.
His words an encouragement to those who proclaim Jesus as their Lord. Believers in Messiah are those who have built their lives upon the Rock, the very Word of God. This Rock will never crumble and our faith in this Rock will be the fortification that will enable us to stand in the midst of tribulation.
The words of Messiah, as a warning to those who reject Him. He warns those who deny His majesty that they will meet hardship. They have chosen to build their houses upon the sand. The sand representing the ever changing promises and lies of mankind. Confusion and discord taint the words of those who deny the Messiah. The words of mankind, just like the sand, can be easily manipulated by external forces. Our words can be tossed to and fro, just like sand, by the torrent of the sea. The sand provides no firm foundation on which to build.
Jesus warns those who refuse to acknowledge Him, to consider what they are willing to endure. He promises that He will return and He will establish His throne (Zechariah 14:9, 2 Peter 3:10, Mathew 24:44). Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:9-11). In this hour, Jesus is giving us the opportunity to pay Him honor out of our love. The time is coming when those who reject Him, will give Him honor out of recognition. They will recognize the gift that they denied and they will bow in fear of and angry God with whom they have caused wrath to increase (Revelation 22).
I believe we can all understand the teaching Jesus offers as recorded in these verses by Matthew. Jesus did not mince words or speak incoherently. The parable that Jesus develops is spoken in clarity. Often as we read this parable, we focus on the foundation. We consider only the substance that the foundation of the two houses are built upon. This interpretation is correct and sufficient to give us instruction. We are getting what Jesus is preaching. But I believe we can go a little deeper.
One thing that we often neglect to consider is the fact that within this parable, Jesus tells us that the rain fell upon both houses. Now, looking at this aspect of the parable, we can get into an eschatological debate as to whether Jesus is talking about pre/post tribulation rapture. It is not my intention to address this subject in this writing. The topic of the rapture and when it will happen is something that we will never know for sure until the day it happens. The best teaching, I can offer on this is to prepare for the worst and pray for the best scenario.
Leaving the rapture debate aside, I want to focus on what Jesus means when He says it rains on both houses. We all can easily grasp His intent when He talks about rain falling on the house built on sand. This house is washed away by the trials of this world. The aggression of the sea and the rain cause the very ground that this house is built upon to crumble. The message is that we can built the most immaculate house, but if we are not building upon a firm foundation based in faith in Messiah, then when the tribulation of life hits, the sand supporting our efforts provides no resistance. In other words, there is no substance to push back against that which comes against us.
The interesting aspect of this parable is that Jesus explains that it will also rain on the house built upon the Rock. The Rock, again, represents our faith. Our faith in Jesus is our Rock. Our faith in Him causes us to be able to build our lives upon a foundation that can provide resistance to the tribulations of life. This foundation can offer support in times of difficulty. Unlike the sand, which will be washed away, we can be assured that the foundation of Messiah will be everlasting.
So, as believers in Messiah, we can expect to get rained on. There will be times in our lives that are difficult. Jesus tells us this, not as a discouragement, but as a directive to stand firm. He is our Rock. He is our resistance. He is our strength. He is the only firm foundation. I am reminded of the Hymn:
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”
We cannot rely on the word of mankind to provide us with any type of functional, lasting, trustworthy support. Without Jesus our words are sinking sand.
Acknowledging that it will also rain on the house built upon the Rock, we as those of faith can ascertain our call. We are a witness to the house built upon the sand. The words of Jesus are not meant to be about doom and gloom. His words are an encouragement to those who have faith in Him to use the circumstances that life throws at us to be a living witness to the world around us. The rain falling on our houses should provide fodder for our weapons of spiritual warfare. We are to demonstrate fortitude, love and determination to those who are living atop sand. Our homes and our lives should be an example. We are called to be a living testimony. As the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the church in Rome. Chapter 12: 1-3 reads:
“Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed by this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God allotted to each a measure of faith (Romans 12: 1-3 NASB).”
We are called to be a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. Our lives are to be a living testimony and witness to those around us. The world is to see that we are different, by the glorious Holy Spirit of God living within us. His Holy Spirit is to shine a light of His presence as a beacon to the lost. We are to intentionally make choices and act according to the will of God. As Paul writes “to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” We are no longer slaves to this world corrupted by sin. We are made new and alive by the washing of His presence in our lives. We wear His robe of righteousness. We are to do His work on this earth. His work is to seek out the lost and call them home.
We are to help them build upon the Rock. All of us hurt. All of us experience suffering. As Paul warns us “not to think more highly of himself than he ought.” In humility, we are to come alongside of our neighbors. We are to help them up. Walk beside them. Offer them friendship and acceptance. We are to allow them to see the light of God’s glory shining within us. The result of our efforts is to give them a glimpse of the glory, mercy and peace of knowing Messiah. Because those with faith in Messiah, have a hope that is beyond hope. We have peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Let your light shine and in humble friendship, become a carpenter for the Kingdom of God. Help your neighbor build upon the Rock. Show them the peace and mercy of Messiah.
I have included a link to a beautiful song which eloquently brings our call to light. The link is:
I pray that the rain that falls upon my house will help me to stand more firmly in Messiah. He is my Rock and my strength. He is my hope and the hope of all mankind. By His Blood alone am I healed. Help me Father to be your servant. Help me to do your will. Help me to hear you call for my life. Help me to reach the lost. Speak through me and allow the ears of mankind to be opened. Only your voice has the power to convict. I am also a sinner. I am no witness in my own flesh. Allow your voice and the determined will of your Son to shine through me.
Rain falls on both houses.
Today's Teaching from Philia Contributor Corby Shuey @ Becoming Bereans Ministries https://www.becomingbereans.com/