Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock:
Read Chapter 7
Cornelius a Lapide
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, &c. This is the Epilogue by which Christ concludes His lengthy Sermon on the Mount. It is as though He said—"Thus far have I taught you how ye ought to live wisely and holily according to the will and law of God, if ye wish to arrive at the kingdom of God and everlasting happiness. For this is the direct way to them, and other way there is none. Wherefore if ye do those things which I have taught you, ye shall be like a prudent man who built his house upon the rock. For it will resist all winds and storms which rush against it."
Christ here alludes to Proverbs 10:25, "As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more; but the righteous is an everlasting foundation." And Pro ix1: "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars."
Observe, the spiritual house of the soul is the perfection of virtues, for as a material house is builded with much labour, and rises by degrees with various stones and beams, so is the s...
In the Greek text, "I will compare him "an apposite comparison, to show the necessity of good works. It is the duty of each individual to erect this spiritual edifice of good works in the interior of his soul, which may be able to resist all the attacks of our spiritual enemy: whilst those men who have true faith and no works are compared to a fool, and are sure to perish. (Menochius)
Here again our Saviour dispenses his rewards to such as order their lives according to his instructions; but as before he promised the kingdom of heaven, divine consolations, and other rewards, so here he promises them the numberless blessings attendant on virtue in this life. The just alone are surrounded with virtue as with a strong guard, and amidst the high swelling waves of worldly troubles, enjoy a calm and unchangeable tranquillity. Thus was Job strengthened by his virtue against the attacks both of men and satan. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxv.)
Whereas his teaching has up to now largely focused on the future kingdom, its unspeakable rewards and its consolations, now he shifts his focus to the present life, its current fruits and how great is the strength of virtue within it. What then is its strength? It is living with security, not being easily overcome by any of life’s terrors and standing above all those who treat others maliciously. What could be as good as this? For not even the one who wears the royal crown would be able to furnish this for himself. But one who pursues the way of excellence can have this stability, for that one alone is possessed of this equilibrium in full abundance. In the crashing surf of the present circumstances such a one experiences a calm sea. This is amazing. It is when the storm is violent, the upheaval great and the temptations continual that such a person is not shaken in the slightest. This is not a way of living that applies to fair weather only. For he says, “The rain came down, the flood...
Having now, you see, finished all, having discoursed accurately of all virtue, and pointed out the pretenders to it, of various kinds, both such as for display fast and make prayers, and such as come in the sheep's hide; and them too that spoil it, whom He also called swine and dogs: He proceeds to signify how great is the profit of virtue even here, and how great the mischief of wickedness, by saying,
Whosoever therefore hears these sayings of mine, and does them, shall be likened unto a wise man.
As thus: What they shall suffer who do not (although they work miracles), you have heard; but you should know also what such as obey all these sayings shall enjoy; not in the world to come only, but even here. For whosoever, says He, hears these sayings of mine, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man.
Do you see how He varies His discourse; at one time saying, Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, and revealing Himself; at another time, He that does the will of my Fath...