A Tale of Two Houses

David Bast

READ : Matthew 7:24-29

Like all good teachers, Jesus ends his lessons on the good life with a memorable application. He tells a story which is really a call to action.

The two houses in the story represent two different ways of living. But how are they different? Not in their outward appearance or environment. They were built with the same plans. The same storms struck both. The same forces battered them.

The difference between the two houses was in their foundations. What separates these two lives is where they are built. One house was built on the rock and the other on sand. Every life is based on some foundation. The question is: What sort of foundation?

The smart person is the one “who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice.” The fool is one “who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice” (vv. 24, 26). What makes people wise or foolish, saved or lost, is not whether they hear Jesus, but whether they obey him.


Almighty God, give us grace to be not only hearers, but doers of your holy word; not only to admire, but to obey your teaching; not only to profess, but to practice your religion; not only to love, but to live your gospel. So grant that what we learn of your glory we may receive into our hearts, and show forth in our lives: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer composed for the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops of 1948)