Parable Surprises – The Wise and Foolish Builders

This particular parable is one of the most recognizable parable in the English language. This is the second of the parables found in the sermon on the mount and as mentioned in the previous post, it is intended for Christians to understand, and heed.

It’s utter simplicity of message has one point to it, and that point is… Hang on, let’s read it first.

The Parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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.”

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and delve into this parable

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

As mentioned in the previous post, the audience is the disciples primarily. Some of the crowd may have hears it, dang it all of the crowd may have heard it, but without being a committed follower, many of these teachings may have fallen on deaf ears. As a matter of fact, let’s remember that is the purpose of the parables.

Selective teaching based on the recipients!

When did the Lord give this parable?

The Sermon on the mount was one of Jesus earliest messages, and many believe it was given in the first year of His ministry.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

I got some nice graphic in our previous post that is nice eye candy, but for the sake of brevity, tradition speaks of the mount of the beatitudes being on the northwest shore of the sea of Galilee, just a stones throw away from Capernaum.

Why did the Lord give this message?

This parable was not initiated by the enemies of the Lord, in asking some challenging question, or in trying to trip Him up. This teaching is directed to those who want to follow, and is not defensive in its posture.

Even saying that, I can’t think of one question that set the Messiah into defensive mode. He has all knowledge, full of grace and truth and is the embodiment of wisdom. Those that question or challenge Him were using the gift of intelligence He gave to them against Him – how utterly ridiculous!

Back to the question at hand. He gave us this parable to associate true success in living with heeding His word.

What was the message for the original audience?

The parable’s message was to direct the disciples attention to the Lordship of Christ, to the hearing of His teaching, His instruction and to understand the message, maybe struggle with it, but ultimately follow His lead.

By the way, if you do not struggle with the life of faith, consider if you are living a life of faith. Many give lip service to the words of the Messiah. I admit I am guilty of this crime too often.

The message was to hear His word and do it! I think James gave us a great summary of this parable in verse 22 of his first chapter.

… be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

What is the message for us today?

A couple of questions back I mentioned that the parable’s intention was to associate true success with heeding His word. I though I heard a harumph as some may have read that, thinking how utterly simplistic.

Really Carl – How bout those who have obeyed and been destitute, martyred, betrayed by family and friends? How can you make a statement like “true success in living is associated with heeding His word”, without considering the history of the church?

By the way, this very thinking of worldly / financial success as being God’s best is rampant in the modern church and needs to be repented of!

If He speaks the truth, (which is why you have placed your faith in Him), this means we are to align our crooked thoughts with His priorities. So if that is correct, lets consider what one thing in Jesus life was of paramount importance?

I will give you a moment…

Success, in the modern mind, is a two car garage, a buck or two in the bank, a comfortable home and a loving family. Jesus had none of that, except for the loving family. Ooops, well at least His mother loved Him.

And yet He was so successful in God the Father’s eyes, that He raised Him from the dead, never to see corruption again.

I’m thinking that is perty successful!

So, how are you gauging your success?

By the way, I am still waiting on your response to my question above, about what was of paramount importance to Jesus. I will let you respond in the comments, to give you time to consider.



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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

One thought on “Parable Surprises – The Wise and Foolish Builders

  1. Hi Carl,

    The Lord spoke to my heart very strongly about this small parable, back in 2018. I noticed how it followed on from verses in Matthew 7:19-23 where Jesus said;
    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
    You wrote, “…the parable’s intention was to associate true success with heeding His word,” and I agree. “DOING the commandments of Jesus in the right manner is the ultimate key to a Storm-proofed Christian Life, that is built firmly on the rock.”
    I think it is very important to periodically do a “building inspection” and ask ourselves – Are we building upon sand or rock? Will we ultimately hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or will we hear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you”? Crucial questions indeed, as Jesus taught that there are only two types of foundation materials and two kinds of heavenly responses to what we have built. There are no grey areas; no sandy rock or rocky sand in His stories!

    Blessings
    Helen
    Ps my post can be found at https://grainofwheatblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/a-storm-proof-christian-life-the-ultimate-key/

    Like

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