Matthew 7:21-29 – On Being Hearers and Doers


Matthew 7:21-29


The Sermon concludes with a summary that underscores the seriousness of the call for repentance and new life that characterizes the righteousness of the kingdom. Its twofold reference to the importance of doing “the will of my Father in heaven” (7:21, 24) is sealed with a short parable contrasting wise and foolish hearers who build their houses, respectively, on rock or on sand.


This summary of the Sermon bears witness to its reliance on wisdom traditions for its view of a wholeness of life that is centered in a heart that is anchored in the blessing and gifts of God and responsibly hearing and doing together in a way that bears practical fruits in daily life. Much in the Sermon is traditional material and common sense. Nevertheless, its anchoring in the initial assertions of the blessing of God and its status as the initial and authoritative teaching of Jesus (who has already been announced as Emmanuel and Savior) launch a narrative that will eventually place these words also in the context of the promise of the resurrected Lord as he commissions his disciples to confident obedience to all that he has commanded (28:20).