A sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church of Manhattan, KS, 27 November 2011
7:21 Not everyone who is saying to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven,
but rather the one who is doing the will of my Father in the heavens.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, Didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?”
7:23 And then I will confess to them, “Never did I know you; depart from me, workers of lawlessness!”
7:24 Everyone therefore who is hearing these words of mine and doing them
will be likened to1 a smart man who built his house upon the rock,
7:25 and the rain came down
and the rivers went [up]
and the wind blew and dropped down before that house,
and it did not fall down, for it had been founded upon the rock.
7:26 And everyone who is hearing these words of mine and not doing them
will be likened to a stupid man who built his house upon the sand;
7:27 and the rain came down,
and the rivers came [up], and the wind blew and battered that house,
and it fell down, and its downfall was momentous.”
7:28 And it came about that Jesus finished these words, [and]
the crowds were astounded at His teaching,
7:29 for He was teaching them as though having authority, and not like their scribes.
I don’t have much knowledge about building houses, but, last year, I decided to build a garage around the concrete slab where we parked our cars in front of my house and use that concrete slab instead for the floor of a new garage. I knew that the walls of the new garage would need to rest on a foundation that was more sturdy than the 4-inch-thick concrete slab, however, so we dug a 3-foot-deep trench around the slab, tied iron reinforcing rods into it, and emptied the contents of a cement truck into it. Now that foundation would hold any amount of weight we wanted to put on it!
The next step was to build the walls on top of the foundation, but we ran into a problem – actually lots of problems, but I’ll only tell you about one: When we tried to join the two sides of the front over the garage door opening, we discovered that the Northwest corner of the foundation was about four inches lower than the Southwest corner. You see, the concrete slab had been graded downhill so that rain water would run off it – away from the house rather than toward the house. Which was a good thing for a driveway, but not a good thing for the floor of a house! The result was that the entire West wall is a little bit crooked!
The first time it rained, I noticed another thing: rainwater seeped in under all the walls into the garage! So I learned another important thing about foundations: the ground around a foundation should be sloped downhill away from the foundation so that rainwater drains away from the building rather than into the building. As it was, the dirt all around my foundation sloped inward towards my new walls so that when it rained, rain ran into my garage! I had to fix that by digging the dirt lower than my foundation all around and covering the foundation with tar so that rain wouldn’t come in under the walls anymore.
Later on, when we were ready to put in the garage door, we, of course, had to install it level so that it would roll open and closed properly on its tracks, but when we closed that 16-foot-wide door for the first time, the crookedness of my West wall really became obvious. Since my foundation wasn’t level, and the bottom of the garage door was level, that meant we had a diagonal gap that widened up to two inches on the North side between the bottom of the door and the floor of the garage. The day we installed the garage door, it snowed, so there I was, wishing I could shut the cold out, but this big gap under half of the door let all the cold air and blew snow right in to my new garage. How disappointing!
The moral of this story is that your foundation matters a great deal. Everything in the building depends on that foundation being done right. In my ignorance and carelessness, I did my foundation poorly, and I had to spend huge amounts of time fixing what I did wrong. If I had known how important it was to get the foundation right, I would have worked harder to get it all level, and I would have saved myself a lot of time in the building process!
“[T]o live means to build. Every ambition a man cherishes, every thought he conceives, every word he speaks, and every deed he performs is, as it were, a building block. Gradually the structure of his life rises.” ~Wm. Hendricksen
In the parable of the two builders, Jesus compares the maturing of our lives to the construction of a building. He compares a smart man who uses bedrock as his foundation with a stupid man who uses sand for a foundation.
7:24 Everyone therefore who is hearing these words of mine and doing them [acts on themNASB/ puts them into practiceNIV] will be like1 a wise/smart man who built his house upon the rock.
Mat 7:24 Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτοὺς, ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ, ὅστις ὠκοδόμησε τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν·
ὁμοιωθήσεται – he will be like/ likened/ I will compare him to
· I don’t want to contribute to any unhealthy paranoia here, but you are being watched. Jesus is watching how you live your life. Your family and friends and co-workers are also watching how you live your life.
· And they will all make some kind of evaluation of how you live your life. We can’t help the fact that people will compare us to other people they know, whether wise or foolish. The important thing of course is which Jesus will compare us to. Will He compare the way we’re living our life to a wise builder or a foolish builder?
· It’s interesting that Jesus so often divides us into two and only two categories. We’re either on the wide path or the narrow path, we’re either known by Him or not known by Him, we’re either wise or foolish. There’s no inbetween.
· As we survey the way Jesus makes these likenesses/comparative judgments throughout the Bible:
o What we don’t want is to be likened to those who “go down to the pit” to whom God will not speak (Psalm 28:1 To thee, O Lord, have I cried; my God, be not silent toward me: lest thou be silent toward me, and so I should be likened to them that go down to the pit.)
o We don’t want to be likened to “cattle” which are destined to be slaughtered, as the “foolish and senseless men” apart from God are likened to in the parable of Psalm 49 (…I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my riddle on the harp… When he shall see wise men dying, the fool and the senseless one shall perish together; and they shall leave their wealth to strangers. And their sepulchres are their houses for ever, even their tabernacles to all generations… And man being in honour, understands not: he is compared to the senseless cattle, and is like to them. This their way is an offence to them: yet afterwards men will commend their sayings… But God shall deliver my soul from the power of Hades, when he shall receive me. Fear not when a man is enriched, and when the glory of his house is increased… Man that is in honour, understands not: he is compared to the senseless cattle, and is like them. (Brenton)
o We don’t want God to decide that we are like Sodom and Gomorrah, as He judged Israel to be in Isaiah 1:8-10 “The daughter of Zion shall be deserted as a tent in a vineyard, and as a storehouse of fruits in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. And if the Lord of Sabaoth had not left us a seed, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been made like Gomorrha. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; attend to the law of God, you people of Gomorrha.” (Brenton)
o We don’t want to be “likened to the nighttime” because we refuse to live in the light of the knowledge of God and have God “reject” us as he did Israel in Hosea 4:5-7 “Therefore they shall fall by day, and the prophet with you shall fall: I have compared your mother unto night. My people are like as if they had no knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall not minister as priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. According to their multitude, so they sinned against me: I will turn their glory into shame.” (Brenton)
o We don’t want Jesus to say, “Those people call themselves Christians but they act like Pagans, so I’m going to break them and not listen to them:” Zephaniah 1:11 “Lament, you who inhabit the city that has been broken down, for all the people has become like Canaan; and all that were exalted by silver have been utterly destroyed.” (Brenton)
o Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles
do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (NASB)
Instead, we want Jesus to liken us to a man who is:
φρονίμῳ - Thinking, intelligent, smart, prudentJFB/ sensibleHend./ wise
· Proverbs 15:21 “The ways of a foolish man are void of sense; but a wise man proceeds on his way aright.” (Brenton cf. Proverbs 3:7; 11:12; 11:29; 14:6; 14:17; 15:1; 15:21; 17:10; 17:21-28; 18:14-15; 19:7; 19:25; 20:5. Gen. 41:33 – 39;1 Kings 3:12, 4:30; 5:7)
· Jesus told His disciples in Mt. 10:16 – “be shrewd as serpents”
· And he told the Parables of the Shrewd Manager (Lk. 16:18) and of the Wise & Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:2) to encourage us to be smart, prudent, and sensible:
· Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (NASB)
· Now, it can be a fault – “Do not be wise in your own eyes” (Rom. 12:16), when we rely so much upon human common sense that we disconnect from the wisdom of God,
But here the builder is wise in Jesus’ eyes because he is building:
ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν – “upon the rock”
· Luke’s parallel account of this parable (Luke 6:48) adds that this man had to “dig deep” in order to build on the rock. One Bible commentary I ran across said that the author’s friend had witnessed the construction of a house in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth where the owner dug 30 feet down in the soil to lay the pillars of his house on bedrock. That’s 10 times deeper than I dug my garage foundation!
7:25 and the rain came down/fellNAS/descendedKJV and the rivers/floodsKJV/streamsNIV went [up] and the wind blew and beatKJV/slammed againstNAS that house, and it did not fall down, for it had been founded upon the rock.
Mat 7:25 καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέπεσον τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσε· τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.
· “True religion is not easily distinguished from pretense until it comes to the test.” ~J. Calvin
· Not every detail of a parable necessarily has a 1:1 correspondence with real life, but I would suggest that the three elements of rainwater, groundwater, and wind are intended to correspond to generally to the difficult things that come along in life:
o You get your daily schedule all organized, and then your boss changes your job. Or maybe you get demoted – or even fired. There’s some stress!
o Or you get your family all situated in your home… and then your parents’ health fails, and you have to figure out how to fit them into your house and your daily routine.
o Or maybe God gives you more children when you weren’t expecting any, or conversely, He doesn’t give you a child when you were all geared up for one.
o Maybe it’s a spouse that gets sick or moody and is hard to get along with. Maybe that spouse goes off and does something you really wish they hadn’t…
o Storms like these that threaten our security are simply part of life in a world distorted by sin, and sometimes it is our own sin that God uses the furnace of adversity to bring to our attention so that we will turn away from those sins where we fail to trust in Him.
· These storms will cause stress that reaches to our foundation, and they will reveal whether we have a solid foundation for our life or an unsound foundation which is not capable of handling stress.
· Of the remaining 7 times prospiptw occurs in the NT, all refer to someone falling at the feet of someone else and bowing down to them. This leads me to wonder if the wind is actually being pictured as subdued before the walls of the strongly-built house rather than being pictured as beating against those walls. When the same wind hits the house built on sand, Jesus uses a different word, proskopw – which means to “strike or beat against.” Anyway…
· The smart man’s house stands firm in the storm because it’s foundation was laid upon “the rock.”
§ The definite article “the” rock may indicate bedrock, or it may point outside the setting of the parable to what a solid rock foundation symbolizes: 1 Cor. 10:4 “that rock was Christ”
§ Deuteronomy 32:3-4 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He… 15 But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked… then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation… 31 their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves. (ESV)
§ Jesus is also called a “rock” in Romans 9:33 “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame." (ESV, cf. 1 Pet 2:8, quoting Isa. 8:14; 28:16) Belief in Jesus is the foundation that will not put to shame.
§ Matt. 16:18 – “upon this rock I will build my church” – Peter had just confessed “You are the Messiah, the son of the Living God,” and Jesus was affirming that Peter’s foundation of faith is the one upon which the congregation of God’s people from henceforth would be built.
In this parable of the two builders, one built his foundation on the rock and his house stood in the storms, but what about the other builder?
7:26 And everyone who is hearing these words of mine and not doing them will be likened to a stupid/foolish man who built his house upon the sand.
Mat 7:26 καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ μὴ ποιῶν αὐτοὺς ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ μωρῷ, ὅστις ὠκοδόμησε τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν ἄμμον·
A) The word translated “foolish” is μωρῷ - moro – from which we get “moron” – stupid, foolish, heedless, uninformed, immature, in psychiatry: the intelligence level of a pre-teen child.
1) This is the insult Jesus warned us not to throw at people in Matt. 5:22,
2) but God uses it several times, first to chide the Israelites who forsook God their rock in Deut. 32:6,
3) then of the Jews who thought God didn’t see their sin (Psalm 94:8 – with αφρονες “mindless/ unthinking” as a synonym, and suneimi “able to put things together” as its opposite).
4) It also refers to those who act vainly, lawlessly and uncharitably in Isaiah 32:6.
5) These words for “smart” and “stupid” are the same words Jesus chose to describe the wise and foolish bridesmaids in His parable of the 10 Virgins.
6) It’s also the same word for “foolish” used in 1 Corinthians for the simple truths of Christianity in contrast with the sophistry/sophisticated wisdom of Pagans (1Cor. 1:25-27; 3:18; 4:10),
7) and it is the kind of foolishness described in the pastoral epistles as starting quarrels over unimportant things (2Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9).
It is the kind of foolishness that would lead a man to build a house on sand:
B) Sand is notoriously unstable.
ILLUSTRATION: My family used to live near the Great Sand Dunes National
Monument, and there you can watch as wind and water change the shape of the
sand before your eyes.
From the welcome station, you have to wade across a shallow river in order to get to the sand dunes, and if you stare at the stream, you can see the shape of the stream changing before your eyes as the force of the water rearranges the sand underneath it in wavelike patterns.
Once your cross the stream, you start to notice that the wind stings because it is hurling little grains of sand at your face. The geography of the place is such that there is a steady wind which blows sand across the San Luis valley and deposits it in huge mountains of sand at the foot of the Rocky mountains there, and the shapes of those sand dunes are constantly changing as the wind shifts them around. Sand shifts too easily to make a solid foundation.
2) ILLUSTRATION 2: Last year, my parents recently had to rebuild the foundation of their house because the clay which the foundation had been laid on was starting to shrink. A drought caused the aquifer underneath the layer of clay to dry up, so the clay dried out and contracted, causing half of their house to sag an inch or so!
3) Since we’re looking at a parable, we need to see what it means: building on sand represents the foolishness of forsaking God (Deut. 32:6), hiding sin (Psalm 94:8), acting lawlessly and uncharitably (Isaiah 32:6), and placing your priorities over God’s (2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9).
Another way of saying the same thing is to frame the metaphor in terms
of the previous verses and say that the sand refers to “an empty profession and
mere external services” (JFB) – saying, “Lord, lord,” but not doing God’s will,
or doing many things in Jesus’ name but never knowing Him personally.
7:27 and the rain came down and the rivers came [up] and the wind blew and battered/ beat/ slammed againstNASB that house and it fell down, and its downfall/crashNIV was tremendousHend/ greatEng/ momentous.
Mat 7:27 καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέκοψαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἔπεσε, καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη.
ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς – its downfall (Show CBS photos from the 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO)
· Whether you build on sand or rock, the storms are going to come, but houses built on sand will fall.
· The Greek word in v.27 translated “fall” is found only one other place in the N.T., and that is in a prophecy made over Jesus when He was 6 weeks old: Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel…” (Lk. 2:34, NASB)
· Throughout the writings of the O.T. prophets, this word is used to describe God’s judgment of destroying a nation or ending the reign of a king (quotes from Brenton follow):
· Isaiah 17:1 “Behold, Damascus shall be taken away from among cities, and shall become a ruin”
o Jeremiah 6:2-15 “Now your pride, O daughter of Zion, shall be taken away… 6 For thus says the Lord, ‘Hew down her trees, array a numerous force against Jerusalem.’ O false city; there is all oppression in her…. they knew not their own disgrace: therefore shall they utterly fall when they do fall, and in the time of visitation shall they perish,” says the Lord.
o Ezekiel 26:15 For [plundering Israel], thus says the Lord God to Tyre; “Shall not the isles shake at the sound of your fall, while the wounded are groaning, while they have drawn a sword in the midst of thee?” (cf. 27:27, and fall of Lebanon 31:16)
o Ezekiel 32:10-12 “Many nations shall mourn over you [Egypt], and their kings shall be utterly amazed, when my sword flies in their faces, as they wait for their own fall after the day of your fall.” For thus says the Lord God; “The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you with the swords of mighty men; and I will cast down your strength: they are all destroying ones from the nations, and they shall destroy the pride of Egypt, and all her strength shall be crushed.”
o Zechariah 14:12-18 “And this shall be the overthrow with which the Lord will smite all the nations, as many as have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they are standing upon their feet… And there shall be in that day a great panic from the Lord upon them.”
· Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and folly before a fall.”
Consider this catastrophe well:
· Jesus calls us to consider the wreck we could make of our lives if we fail to obey Him. That’s the last thought that He leaves His hearers with that day. We too should consider well what a mess we could make of our lives through our disobedience to God.
· Randy Alcorn, in his little book, The Purity Principle, mentioned an exercise he goes through to strengthen his resolve to obey God in the realm of sexual purity. He made a list of all the people who would be hurt – and how they would feel – if he were to act unfaithfully to his wife. Now, when he is tempted toward sexual sin, he pulls that list out and it sobers him up. Not a bad idea!
· One of the most dangerous things you can do on a Sunday morning is listen to a sermon and then ignore it. That is building a life on sand headed for a great crash. When you hear God’s word, you become accountable for putting it into practice.
What did Jesus’ audience do with His sermon?
7:28 And it came about that/when Jesus finished these words; the crowds were astounded at His teaching, 29 for He was teaching them as though having authority, and not like their scribes.
Mat 7:28 Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε [συν]ετέλεσεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους, ἐξεπλήσσοντο οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· 29 ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων, καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν-C,L,Maj.
A) Here is the endKJV/conclusion/finish/telew of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” and now we see the reaction of His audience: they were literally “knocked out” (ἐκ-πλήσσω)/ smitten/ impressed/ struck with amazement/ astonishedKJV.
B) The Imperfect tense of this verb indicates it was not merely a momentary effect, but a continuing amazement at Jesus’ teaching. “A buzz of astonishment,” as A.T. Robertson put it.
C) And Matthew explains why: Jesus didn’t teach like their Bible scholars in the synagogues, who said, “Well, Rabbi so-and-so says it means this, but Rabbi so-and-so says it means that.” Instead Jesus taught like He had authority.
D) We have many sermons from those scribes preserved today in the Jewish Talmud, but A.T. Robertson called them the “driest, dullest collection of disjointed comments.” He went on to say that a reason for this was their lack of authority: “they were afraid to express an idea without bolstering it [with a quote] from some predecessor.” Jesus, on the other hand, taught with authority:
E) ἐξουσίαν Authority – expressed in the Bible as:
1) Ownership of property: Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” Acts 5:3-4 (NASB) Jesus, as the Word of God in the flesh literally owned the Scriptures and controlled its content, therefore He could speak authoritatively about what it means.
2) Forgiveness of sins: “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”--then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:6 (NASB) As God in the flesh, all sins committed against God were also personal offenses against Jesus, so He had the authority to decide what offenses He would forgive.
3) Command over spirit beings: They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Mark 1:27 (NASB) As God, Jesus had angels at His beck and call, and every demon obeyed Him unquestioningly.
4) The decision to give or withhold the gift of eternal life: “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:25-27 (NASB)
F) Jesus’ authority is total and higher than any other authority, therefore He is worthy of our continuing awe, trust, and obedience:
1) Daniel 7:13-14 I beheld in the night vision, and, lo, one coming with the clouds of heaven as the Son of man, and he came on to the Ancient of days, and was brought near to him. And to him was given the dominion, and the honour, and the kingdom; and all nations, tribes, and languages, shall serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed. (Brenton)
2) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Matthew 28:18-19 (NASB)
3) “…He [God the Father] raised Him [Christ] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:20-21 (NASB)
G) Anyone who studies the sayings of Jesus in the Bible will be impressed, but it is important that we not stop with the feeling of amazement. What is important, according to Jesus in His parable of the two builders, is what we do with the rest of our lives in light of what we’ve heard. Will we start building on His words, or will we forget them and look for the next thing that offers us some excitement (as the crowds of Jews by-and-large did)?
1. Put what you hear and read from God’s word into practice.
· v.24 the person whose house stood firm in the storms was the one who heard what Jesus said and then did what Jesus said.
· James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (NASB)
· Luke 11:28 “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (NASB)
· Romans 2:13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. (NASB)
· 1 John 3:6-7 Everyone who is remaining in Him is not sinning; everyone who is sinning has not seen Him and has not known Him. Dear children, no one must lead you astray; the one who is doing the right is righteous, just as He is righteous” (NAW)
2. Establish your life on the Rock of Jesus Christ
· “The rock of true discipleship [is] genuine subjection to Christ.” JFB
· “Christ is our only Way to the Father, and the obedience of faith is our only way to Christ... Those build upon Christ, who having sincerely consented to him, as their Prince and Saviour, make it their constant care to conform to all the rules of His holy religion, and therein depend entirely upon Him for assistance from God, and acceptance with Him, and count every thing but loss and dung that they may win Christ, and be found in Him.” ~Matthew Henry
· Isaiah 8:14 “And if you will trust in Him, He shall be to you for a sanctuary; and you shall not come against Him as against a stumbling-stone...” (Brenton)
I’m reminded of the words of the great hymn:
“How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He has said? - to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”
 This is the reading of the Critical text on the basis of א, B, Z, θ, f1, f13, several other miniscules and the Vulgate. The Textus Receptus has ὁμοιώσω αὐτὸν (“I will liken him”) based on the reading of the Byzantine majority and a few Uncials and ancient Latin versions. Both readings have fairly wide bases of support, and both are theologically consistent with the rest of the Bible, but I’m in favor of the older manuscripts represented by the Critical text.
 This list of Bible verses contains selected uses of the same word “like” from Mat. 7:24. Interestingly, the word is also used in Jesus’ parables: Matthew 13:24 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field… 18:23 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves… 22:2 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son… 25:1 Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” (NASB)
 The Septuagint uses this same word in Gen. 3:1 to refer to the serpent who deceived Eve.
 Word Studies in the New Testament, by Marvin Vincent, Vol. I, p.51.
 Ptwsis is also the word for “carcass/dead body” – generally also part of God’s curse. See esp. Revelation 11:8.
 No manuscript older than the 8th Century AD has this extra preposition “together with,” although it is in the Majority text and thus the Textus Receptus. It does not change the meaning, however.
 No manuscript older than the 8th Century AD omits this word “their” except for one 5th Century uncial which adds “and the Pharisees” – an addition also found in all the ancient Latin and Syriac translations of this passage, although Greek manuscript support for this additional phrase about the Pharisees is very slim.
 Professor of N.T. Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, KY. As quoted from his Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. 1, p.63.