I remember singing “The wise man built his house upon a rock” when I was very young. I didn’t totally understand the concept, but I knew it was important. It took age to begin to see not only why the man was wise but also what (who, actually) was the Rock.
Listening: Jesus gave an interpretation for us. The wise man listens to what He is saying. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? However, if you think about listening, how much of it do we really do? In a conversation we tend to be concentrating on what we’re going to say next rather than truly listening to what is being said. When someone is teaching or preaching, our minds can wander and we miss what’s being said.
Acting: The true test in listening is how the listener acts after someone has spoken. Jesus knew that some of the people wouldn’t listen and therefore wouldn’t act. He knew that others heard Him, but wouldn’t obey. Actions speak louder than words, especially in this case.
What did He want? The actions Jesus wanted were repentance and love. He was fully man; He knew what temptations we face. He was fully God; He knew that He was the only One who could resist them totally. He preached repentance of our sins and love for God and man. It seems so easy, but it is sometimes very hard to do.
What happens if we succeed? When we can repent and we forgive, we are forgiven. Jesus’ death on the cross opened the door to direct communication with God. He hears us, and if we listen, we can hear Him. The listening part now is not always in words. It can be a prompting to notice something or to act.
Once again, we come to listening and acting. With that direct line, we are placed amongst Jesus’ disciples hearing this for the first time. Our actions will show our redemption and that we love others, including forgiving those that hurt us.
There is another reward for this. We may never be rewarded in our life, but if we remain faithful to the end we are promised that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. We will spend eternity with Him. There will be no more pain, no more tears and no more fears. Death will no longer exist. That is why we should follow the example of the wise man and build our house on the Rock…Jesus Christ.