Having completed His teachings on the Mosaic Law, Matthew completes this first section of teachings by showing Jesus boldly stating His authority:
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt 7:24-27, ESV)
Here, Jesus is saying that those who follow His teachings are setting their lives upon a firm foundation--and, those who reject His teachings are destined for disaster when the storms of life arrive. And just as a reminder, what were His teachings? He taught that we were to follow not only the letter of the Law, but its spirit; and that we were not to seek to judge men or receive their praise, but to keep our eyes focused on God and His Kingdom.
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Matt 7:28-29, ESV)
And as is typical of Matthew, whenever he finishes one of his sections on Jesus' teachings, he is sure to record the astonishment of the crowds. And their astonishment should not be surprising, for Jesus' philosophy was as revolutionary as any they had ever heard, and it managed both to reaffirm and destroy the Law at the same time.
Recall that we said as we started this series that Matthew's gospel contains six general sections of Jesus' teachings, collected by topic, and separated by sections of the actions of His ministry.
Recall that before recording Jesus' teachings on the Mosaic Law, Matthew had told us about Jesus entering the ministry. Chapters 8 and 9 record the next phase of His ministry, as He travels around and performs miracles.
In next week's post, we will move on to the second phase of Jesus' teaching ministry, in which He teaches us about discipleship.