What does Matthew 7:26 mean?
ESV: And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
NIV: 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.
NASB: And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
CSB: But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
NLT: But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.
KJV: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Verse Commentary:
Jesus is illustrating the difference between living by His teaching versus not living by them. The person who follows Jesus' teaching is a like a man who built a house on foundation of rock. When the violent storms came, the house stood firm. The "house" of one's beliefs and faith must be built on something solid and true—which is Christ only (John 14:6)—in order to withstand the attacks of the world (Matthew 7:24–25).

Now Jesus says that those who don't follow His teaching, once they have heard it, are like a man who built a house directly on the sand. He calls this man foolish for using sand as the foundation for a house. The result for this house, once the storm hits, will be very different than for the wise man's house.

Jesus is emphasizing that the difference is not between merely hearing or not hearing His teaching. The difference comes in living by Jesus' teaching. Those who truly believe Jesus' words will follow them as they carry out their everyday lives (John 14:15).
Verse Context:
Matthew 7:24–27 contains Jesus' famous illustration contrasting two foundations for life. One is lived according to His teaching, the other is not. Foundations matter, both in construction and in the way a person views the world. Those who follow Jesus' teaching are like a wise man who built a house on a rock. Those who ignore Him are like a foolish man who built a house on sand. One will survive the violent storm. The other will fall hard. The same is true of those who face the storms of life.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 7 is the last of three chapters that record what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus commands His hearers not to pronounce shallow or hypocritical judgment. He describes God as a generous Father eager to give good things to His children when they ask. He commands His followers to enter the narrow gate and walk the hard road to life. False prophets can be recognized by their fruit, meaning their actions and choices. At the same time, good deeds are not absolute proof that someone has true faith. To live by Jesus' teaching is like building the house of your life on a solid foundation instead of shifting sand.
Chapter Context:
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5, discussing the Beatitudes and the idea that inner thoughts are very much part of sin and righteousness. Chapter 6 denounced hypocrisy, modeled prayer, and opposed anxiety. Chapter 7 discusses the proper manner of judgment, including how to gauge the teachings of others. Jesus also warns against spiritual self-deception. He concludes with an analogy about foundations and storms. The crowd's amazement at Christ's teachings leads into the miracles and encounters of chapters 8 and 9.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 4/13/2024 8:09:35 AM
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