Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus, the Rabbi

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

//Scholars have often pointed out that the sayings of Jesus often mimic those of the rabbis. I’ve even heard the Jewish opinion that “anything good in the gospels is nothing new; anything new is nothing good.” If you thought Jesus’ manner of speaking in parables was unique for his times, that’s just not true; Jewish literature preserves more than four thousand rabbinic parables. Today’s verses may be a derivation of one such rabbinic saying:

A person in whom there are good deeds and who has studied the Torah extensively, what is he like? A man who builds first [of] stones and then afterwards [of] mud bricks. Even if a large quantity of water were to collect beside the stones, it would not destroy them. But a person in whom there are not good deeds, though he has studied Torah, what is he like? A man who builds first [of] mud bricks and then afterwards [of] stones. Even if only a little water collects, it immediately undermines them.

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