Wisdom Wednesday : Wisdom of the Builders PART 2
The Wise and Foolish Builders
Submitted by Debbie’s Dad
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 NASB)
The Scriptures speak of wise builders in several passages throughout the Old and New Testaments, and in this series, we are examining the references and the insight they provide about building a wise life. Today we look at the conclusion of Jesus’ extended sermon given to large crows in Galilee, recounted by Matthew in chapters 5, 6 and 7. Extending just over 100 verses, and covering — distinct topics, including the beatitudes (conditions of blessedness), glorifying God as salt and light, the Law and the Kingdom of heaven, sins of the heart and true righteousness, forgiveness, sincere prayer, and the many ways we must focus our lives.
Known as the Sermon on the Mount, the message is perhaps the most well-known sermon of all time, and it is a treasure of Godly wisdom. When Jesus completed the sermon with the featured verse for today, Matthew reported that, “the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew 7:24b–29 NASB)
Concluding the prior 100 verses, Jesus focused on two outcomes for those who heard (and today, for those who read the sermon):
- The wise man—Those who hear and take action- are wise. Jesus explained the actions in the sermon for example: to pray to the Father (6:6-13), to forgive others (6:14-15), to trust the Lord (6:22-34) and lay up spiritual treasures in heaven by focusing on the Lord (6:19-21). By taking action to focus on true righteousness, we are like the wise man that builds his house on a solid rock for the foundation–the storms, wind and floods of life could not move him.
- The foolish man—Those who walk away and do not take action–are foolish. Their life is built on the temporal sands of this world that are passing away- and the ravages of life will bring the house down. Jesus emphasized,” and great was its fall”–the sad loss of eternal life by rejecting the message of the Son of God.
The word picture of this parable is powerful—a great house that falls under the sand, broken by the wind, tattered by the storm and slipping into to the waves of the flood. I have seen pictures of homes along coastal areas that fall into the sea, beautiful homes with wonderful ocean views, but lacking a sound foundation. This is a tragedy, just as the tragedy of a life that follows the broad road to destruction (earlier in the sermon) introduced the two ways that correspond to the wise and foolish men (7:13-14)).
What makes us a wise builder of our life? To listen to the sermon and to take action on its message. Here is wisdom, the wise person listens to Jesus and acts.