“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine ..." (Matthew 7:24-27)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matthew 7:24-27)

What is the house built 'on sand'?

This is a metaphorical discussion describes the temporary nature of the physical world and the instability involved in putting our hopes and dreams upon the things and temporary forms of this world.

Jesus' statements are obviously not a lesson on architecture, although they would be applicable. What sense does it make to build upon a shifting, temporary foundation? This physical world is precisely that: A shifting, temporary illusion of permanence.

A person who constructs their life around the premise that money or fame will bring happiness is constructing their life upon a falsehood. A person who constructs their life around the assumptions that this temporary physical world offers any kind of fulfillment is constructing their life around a mirage.

This might be compared with a dream. We might have a vivid dream but when we wake up the dream and all its imagery is over. Vanished.

This is similar with respect to this physical world. When our physical body dies, we become separated from the physical world. Our body will decompose and we will leave it behind.

Our body is like a house - a temporary residence - occupied by the soul. It is not that we have a soul. We are the soul.

Our physical body was designed to last only a few decades. Yet none of us thinks that our body will die. We see physical bodies dying all around us, but we don't think ours will die.

This is illusion. Every body will die including ours. And time flies. With each passing day, we get closer and closer to the time of death. Will we be ready?

First we must realize that we are not these physical bodies. They are like cars. We get in them and drive them for a while. Then we must leave them. We are eternal spirit-persons occupying a temporary physical form.

What is the 'house on the rock'?

Jesus is telling us to put our focus upon the permanent existence of the Supreme Being and His world instead of the temporary nature of this physical body. The physical body and the physical world is changing and temporary. The Supreme Being is eternal and our relationship with Him is eternal.

Just as the eyes or a camera must decide whether to focus upon things right in front of us or things in the distance, we have to decide where to put our focus in life.

If we put our focus upon the things of this world we cannot focus on the Supreme Being. And if our focus stays upon the temporary things of this world - money, fame, appreciation, family and so on - we will lose our opportunity to re-develop our relationship with the Supreme Being.

This human form of life is precious because it gives us the intelligence to explore spiritual knowledge. Our brains and intelligence allow us to probe our identity and our purpose for existing. These abilities do not continue for those who ignore this facility and instead use their intelligence to chase the temporary goals of a temporary existence.

Jesus' analogy regarding building a house is appropriate in that many of us spend a significant amount of time and focus upon constructing our temporary physical lives. We may focus upon our career, our family and our financial position. While some focus is necessary in order to take care of our body and the bodies of our family, the temporary nature of these elements should be realized.

Is this a matter of priorities?

Where are our priorities? Upon something that won't last or something that will?

Our relationship with the Supreme Being will last eternally. But our physical body won't. It is as simple as that.

In Jesus' phrase "words of mine" - "words" is derived from the Greek word λόγος (logos), which means "doctrine, teachings" according to the lexicon. Therefore, Jesus is speaking about his teachings - "my teachings" is a more appropriate translation.

And what was Jesus' most important teaching?
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Matt. 22:37)