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Matthew 7:24-29

Is your faith built on rock? Is the Sermon on the Mount a central part of your faith?

Tom Faletti

June 9, 2024

Matthew 7:24-27 The house built on rock


What are the two things Jesus says a person must do to be like the wise man?


What does it mean to truly “hear” God’s word?


What does it mean to “act on” these words?


Jesus uses the metaphor of building a house.  What does the “house” stand for in our lives?

There are many possible answers, including: your faith, your principles, your worldview, your habits, your character, your life choices, etc.


How does a “wise” person built this kind of house?


What is the “rock” on which your life stands?  And how does it operate as a “rock” for you?


What might be some examples of “sand” that are not solid things on which to build your life?


What are the rain, floods, and winds that will test the “house” you have built?


Why does Jesus contrast “hearing and doing” vs. “hearing and not doing”?  What does this tell us about the role of obedience and action in our lives?


What is something you might consider doing that might help ground your life more fully on the rock rather than on shifting sands?



Matthew 7:28-29 The effect of Jesus’s teaching


Matthew ends the Sermon on the Mount by saying of Jesus, “he taught them as one having authority and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29, NRSV and NABRE).  What does this mean?

Among other things, the scribes only explained and interpreted what the Law said; they did not add to it.  Jesus is speaking as one who has the authority to create new teachings for people to follow.


In what ways do you see the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount as manifesting Jesus’s authority?


The fact that Jesus is acting like he has the authority not just to interpret but to re-think and expand upon the law, and to do other things that mere scribes cannot do, will soon get him in trouble with the religious leaders.  Stay tuned by continuing the study of Matthew.



Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount


Skim back over the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7).  Which of Jesus’s teachings strikes you as being most uniquely Christian – that is, which of the teachings of Jesus seems to be most distinct from the teachings of other religions or ethical systems?


What does this uniquely Christian message tell you about God or people or God’s desires for us?


How important is the Sermon on the Mount in your understanding of your faith?


What passage or teaching from the Sermon on the Mount do you think God is calling you to give special attention to right now in your life?  What is one concrete step you can take to live out that teaching more faithfully?



Take a step back and consider this:


We know that Christians are not perfect.  We don’t live up to the fullness of the gospel as presented by Jesus.  As Peter said to Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” (Matt. 19:25, NABRE).  Jesus’s answer – “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26, NABRE) – is a comfort to modern Christians, who believe that God will indeed save them.


It is sad, however, that many Christians, when they study the Sermon on the Mount as we have, are surprised to learn these details of the kind of life Jesus calls us to live.  Perhaps too many people have not been effectively taught the full gospel, or even the full Sermon on the Mount.  (And, of course, too often, we hear but don’t act on what we hear.)


A detailed study of the Sermon on the Mount prompts many Christians to embrace new habits.  That’s a good thing.


But there is a danger. It would be easy to turn every teaching in the Sermon on the Mount into a new law.  We could add to the Ten Commandments another 10 or 20 laws to follow, just from these three chapters.


The risk is that we might turn into modern-day Pharisees, focused on the laws as ends in themselves rather than living in a vital relationship with the God behind the teachings.  Without that relationship, the Sermon on the Mount will seem like an impossibly difficult, ever-expanding work list.  But with a relationship with God, the Sermon on the Mount is a continual invitation to keep become more like Jesus, to keep being empowered by the Holy Spirit to respond to ever-new opportunities to bring God’s love and grace to the world.


How can we encourage ourselves and our fellow believers to embrace the full Sermon on the Mount, but do so in ways that avoid turning it into another soul-deadening Law?


How can we find joy in our relationship with God in responding to the dos and don’ts of Jesus’s teachings?




Click here for the bibliography.

Copyright © 2024, Tom Faletti (Faith Explored, This material may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration, for nonprofit use, provided such reproductions are not sold and include this copyright notice or a similar acknowledgement that includes a reference to Faith Explored and See for more materials like this.

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