The best stories in the life of Jesus are often told more than once.
The story I am thinking of is found in both Matthew and Luke. It’s a very popular story. Even has its own song. “The wise man built his house upon the rock, the foolish man built his house on the sand.”
There is so much in common between the wise man and the foolish man in the story. They both built a house. They both dealt with storms that blew and beat against the house. In fact, I have a theory that the two men might have been next door neighbors. They bought lots in the same subdivision. They might have even shared tools and picnic lunches at the job site.
So what happened? Why did one house fall and the other stand? How did THIS spot become so fundamentally different from THAT spot? Well, Tracy, THIS spot was OBVIOUSLY ROCK, and THAT spot was OBVIOUSLY SAND. Don’t you remember the song?
But how did one guy find rock and the other only sand? If only there were SOME way to avoid the sand and find the rock. Our good doctor Luke reminds us of Jesus’ secret to successful home building. “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built” (Luke 6:47-48).
The Millennium Tower in San Francisco sits 58 stories tall. It costs $350 million dollars to build. And it’s sinking. 17 inches in the past 10 years. And it’s tilting. 14 inches in that same time frame. Engineers have proposed a fix, a fix that will cost somewhere between $200-$500 million dollars. What is this very expensive fix? They want to drill hundreds of steel and concrete “micro piles” to form a new foundation for the building. And where would these micro piles be positioned? On top of the bedrock below. An engineer for a neighboring property summarized the cause of the problem in two words: “inadequate foundation.”
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built (Luke 6:47-48). How do you build a good house? You dig. Because those winds are coming. Those storms will be on top of you before you know it. You fill yourself with God’s word and then…and don’t miss it…you do something with it. James would tell the outcasts, “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). As for everyone who comes to me AND hears my words AND puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Sing with me: “And the house on the rock stood firm.”
–Tracy Thomas, Director of Alumni Relations at Lincoln Christian University