We now come to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount! If you have journeyed with me through the start of this series, I hope you have found it informative! I love your questions and comments, please keep submitting them!
To recap, for a good chunk of time Jesus has captivated the Jews as they sat on the mount, mesmerized. His words were radical and telling and challenging. Those who remained throughout the sermon would have left there extremely stimulated! And never once did Jesus call Himself the Son of God during this sermon, but He revealed it to them through His diction.
The Jews were probably quite overwhelmed, perhaps feeling powerless! How would this new standard that Jesus had just set even be achievable? They may have been exacerbated!
But Jesus gives them an answer. He tells them how to succeed! Jesus tells them to build on the rock.
What is the importance of closing the sermon with this illustration?
Building on the Rock
The structure we use to build our relationship with God is vital. We can build it on the principles of the world, on good works. We can build it with our own strength and by being a law unto ourselves. Or we can build it on faith, with Jesus as the cornerstone. Our foundation will be mostly hidden, and our exterior might be finely constructed, but if it isn’t Jesus, it will never endure. Jesus is telling us that challenges of all sorts and degrees will try and knock the house down. The wise man builds on Him, the rock, unmovable. The foolish man is impatient and wants to hurry and build his house and falls to temptation. Building, though, is a lengthy process.
The strong house is built on Jesus, the Word in the flesh. The last verse in Matthew 7 tells us that Jesus taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. The scribes only passed along and mimicked one another, but they did not draw from a direct line from God. Jesus did, and this was His ultimate and obvious authority. Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus negated the righteousness of the religious establishment. If we seek a right relationship with God along the way, building upon His principles, He will provide all we need to have strong relationships with others.
The Contrasts of Jesus
The sermon Jesus gave on that special day, on the special mount, was His introduction of Himself. His words were transparent. And His message was unlike any the Jews had ever heard before. He gave them a new covenant, a new rule to follow from that day forward. It was a rule of love and self-sacrifice. In fact, the commitment that was mandated would be impossible to follow without the guidance and instruction of a savior, which would require one’s total submission.
Jesus concluded with three illustrations involving contrasts. There were two gates, two trees and two foundations. This message portrays that there are only two ways to respond to this sermon, with no middle road. Accept Him or reject Him.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…