24 ¶ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
24 Verse 24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine]
That is, the excellent doctrines laid down before in this and the
two preceding chapters. There are several parables or similitudes
like to this in the rabbins. I shall quote but the two
Rabbi Eleasar said, "The man whose knowledge exceeds his works,
to whom is he like? He is like a tree which had many branches,
and only a few roots; and, when the stormy winds came, it was
plucked up and eradicated. But he whose good works are greater
than his knowledge, to what is he like? He is like a tree which
had few branches, and many roots; so that all the winds of heaven
could not move it from its place." Pirke Aboth.
Elisha, the son of Abuja, said, "The man who studies much in
the law, and maintains good works, is like to a man who built a
house, laying stones at the foundation, and building brick upon
them; and, though many waters come against it, they cannot move it
from its place. But the man who studies much in the law, and does
not maintain good words, is like to a man who, in building his
house, put brick at the foundation, and laid stones upon them, so
that even gentle waters shall overthrow that house." Aboth Rab.
Probably our Lord had this or some parable in his eye: but how
amazingly improved in passing through his hands! In our Lord's
parable there is dignity, majesty, and point, which we seek for in
vain in the Jewish archetype.
I will liken him unto a wise man] To a prudent man-ανδρι
φρονιμω, to a prudent man, a man of sense and understanding, who,
foreseeing the evil hideth himself, who proposes to himself the
best end, and makes use of the proper means to accomplish it.
True wisdom consists in getting the building of our salvation
completed: to this end we must build on the Rock, CHRIST JESUS,
and make the building firm, by keeping close to the maxims of his
Gospel, and having our tempers and lives conformed to its word and
spirit; and when, in order to this, we lean on nothing but the
grace of Christ, we then build upon a solid rock.