The Wise And Foolish Builders
The Wise and Foolish Builders –
How Weathering the Storms of Life Adds Value.
For many people our home is our largest investment. We understand property value and all the positive and even negative implications. The world- over understands property value. To have a strong, well built, safe home to live in is a priority… many understand it to even be a right. Jesus understood this and that is why he finished his first teaching series with a very powerful illustration using houses.
While a house is a material possession it is in fact a very important place. It is at this place that family happens. We call our house “home.”
The theme of household goes deep into Hebrew thought as well.
It is no surprise that Jesus uses the illustration of a house, a personal house, a place of incredible importance to conclude his first and foundational message.
So today I want to look at this illustrative conclusion from Jesus’ sermon on the mount to both challenge us and encourage us in our walk with Jesus.
Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount with the promise of stability for his followers.
The Wise and Foolish Builders –
Matthew 7:24-27 “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.
- Jesus said putting His teaching into practice is like building your house on the rock.
- Notice that Jesus said the wise man built “his” house on the rock. Our house is a very personal thing.
- Cutting your foundation out of rock is hard work, but the payoff is a house (a life) that will weather the storms.
Jesus taught us in the parable of “The Wise and Foolish Builders” to build the foundation of our lives on His Word. We build on this foundation so that when the storms of life come our house (life) does not collapse. While we go through tough situations in life that make us feel like everything is falling a part, we still stand because the bones of the house are good. Building on the solid foundation of hearing and putting Christ’s words into practice make the bones good.
The words of the “Sermon on the Mount” are the “words of mine” that Jesus tells us to build on. That doesn’t mean that we ignore the rest of the Bible. We can and should build our lives on the whole counsel of God’s Word. I believe we can learn the “whole counsel” using the Sermon on the Mount as our launching pad.
The whole point of this short and seemingly simple parable was that putting Jesus’ teaching into practice is the foundation on which a house can be built that stands unshaken, and unharmed by fiercest storms. Everyday we have a choice to make for ourselves. That choice is of the wise and foolish builders, which do we want to be?
The only way to put the words of Jesus into practice is to first believe in Him, to be born from above. He gives us the grace to begin to grow and mature in putting these things into practice. Experiencing salvation will produce great change. Growing in Christ will continue to produce change.
When we listen to Jesus, we do things like treat people the way we like to be treated. We begin to not worry because he told us not to worry about tomorrow. These are the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
But what happens when we begin to walk in the Kingdom life is that there begins to be pushback from the dark forces that have always sought to control and destroy our lives.
Sometimes the pushback comes from the past and even from what seems to be inside us. We move forward in listening to Jesus about worry and we can still get attacked with WORRY! We treat others right, with the golden rule, and quickly realize people can take advantage of that.
The wind, and the waves, and the floods, and the rains symbolize the adversity that comes in life. But even more than that it symbolized specific adversity that comes from following Jesus.
I. The Light of the World –
Now Jesus spoke these words to his disciples. He told them that they are the Light of the World.
Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Again, Jesus brings being a light to the World into the realm of deeds.
But I think that his disciples would have heard a lot more than what we may hear. When we hear good deeds, we think about being a nice person. About helping an old lady cross the street. As Hebrews the disciples would have heard Jesus conferring on them the actual mission of Israel.
Israel was called to be a light to the nations. Isaiah 42:6, 49:6.
The nation was supposed to be a place that reflected what life was like under the rule and reign of King God. King Yahweh. Israel’s mission was to impact the surrounding nations as a nation that didn’t worship idols. Instead, they were influenced by the surrounding nations.
When Jesus called his followers the “light of the world” he wasn’t just describing what they would be like. He was calling them into his mission. In obeying the call of Jesus to be Light, to be on mission with him there will be wind and waves in the form of opposition.
Because darkness will always be at odds with the Light there will be wind and waves and storms that crash against you. Darkness wants to snuff out the light. Darkness is the adversary of the Light.
That is why there is persecution. We have experienced persecution firsthand in the world’s most populated country, as we lived there for 15 years.
Jesus as the embodiment of fulfillment of Israel’s law and purpose brings it back to this mission. Only this mission is the mission of the Kingdom… to tell the Good News of the presence of the Kingdom of God in the life and ministry of King Jesus.
The Wise and Foolish Builders: The mission of the Kingdom
The mission of God is to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15
If it is picking up Israel’s call to be the Light to the nations it also includes the issue of caring for the poor and ministering to those whom Jesus called “The Least of These.”
Please consider taking a moment to visit His Feet international and read about all the amazing work they are doing:
Bible Axiom recommends supporting “His Feet International”. His Feet is actively being a light to unreached nations through discipleship and caring for leprosy patients.
II. What does it mean to “obey”?
The best definition of obey is “to respond.”
It doesn’t mean the ability to keep every letter of the law every single day of your life. This word “obey” has unfortunately been associated with guilt, religious obligation, and duty. Legalism and legalists have made this association. I like to think of it as responding to his invitation to live life better by practicing his wisdom. It is also aligning our heart with the heart of Jesus and allowing that heart to guide our lives.
Therefore to “obey” means to respond to God with action with the right heart.
An Example About Contempt.
Matthew 5:22, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable to judgment; whoever insult his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hellof fire.”
Fool=Raca= A disdain even to the point of making a spitting noise associated with Raca. Click here to learn what the Bible says about RACA
Jesus here is addressing an attitude in the heart, which affects relationships. Taught in the Sermon on the Mount and a principle that you want to be aware of and practice. When you respond to people with the right heart it paves the way for peace. I believe this principle to be foundational for reconciliation.
Trust me we want to put into practice the heart of what Jesus taught because it is really for our benefit in the end.
In marriage I tend to believe that our relationships are a whole lot better if we apply the principles in the Sermon on the Mount and God’s Word.
III. When Tried by Storm Value Increases (Back to the Wise Builder)
When the foundation and structure of a house is tested its value increases. A home that protects you through a storm has intrinsic value to the one protected.
Did you know that Rent prices skyrocketed right after Hurricane Katrina as sound housing that stood the storm were in short supply? Housing prices increased for the surviving houses by 17% by the end of 2005, the year Katrina hit.
Even homes that were more damaged increased in value after the repairs. That recovery took more time and money of course. Homes that were completely destroyed were replaced with houses that had more energy efficiency, new hurricane foundation, and building components to keep the house together for the next storm. God is powerful enough to do complete rebuilds even if you never did build your foundation on His word. It’s never too late this side of the dirt. God’s rebuilds are just as beautiful as any old house. The end result is always added value and strength.
God adds tremendous value in believers by increasing the effectiveness of those who have responded to the words of Jesus and stand throughout the storms and trials of life. There is measureable increase in maturity, strength, and greater trust in God. That brings me to the main point of what I want to emphasize here. Something that is tried and true, tested and proven, strong and durable is extremely valuable. Please note that each and every person is extremely valuable to God even in complete brokenness. What I am stressing here is that value is added to the believer’s life, character, and fruitfulness that result from making it through the storm.
The trials, tribulations, hurts, wounds, and suffering that you have gone through have caused value to be added to your life. For the believer anointing and equipping is gained. The damage gets repaired and ends up stronger. Even those repaired places support the older structure because of their newly added strength. Good contractors will always fix the weak spots to make them stronger then before. Storms can show us where our weak spots are so we can strengthen them. God adds to our ability to minister as a direct result of the very storms we have been through. Value is added with every lesson learned. Spiritually speaking God does tremendous work in our damage making us that much stronger as a result.
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The Wise and Foolish Builders: God adds value to those who’ve gone through the storms
IV. The promise that we will be still standing after the storms
Continuing to respond to Jesus is how we solidify our faith. To hear His words and to put them into practice is how we build the most solid foundation. Not just knowing what He said but also by acting on his teaching. Our culture is fixated on knowing and believing the right doctrine, which is of course important. However, there are those who know the right stuff but don’t put God’s Word into practice. There are so many who have tasted of God’s saving grace but have failed to obey and are easily shaken and even fall away.
It is on the foundation of the practice of God’s Word that we have security. That security doesn’t guarantee that we won’t go through hard times. It guarantees that if we obey Jesus we will still be standing after those great tsunami-like storms have passed.
The wise and foolish builders: Now when the storms of life come it rocks our sense of security. They can call into question the good of our future. This current global pandemic is doing just that. For children of God, we know that the future is good no matter what. While I don’t believe God sends the storms, I do believe He uses the storms we go through and the trials we face for his good outcomes. The most obvious purpose in Biblical teaching is for our own wisdom, maturity, strength, and trust in God. This should leave us more graceful, understanding, and loving.
God doesn’t let anything go to waste. Hang in there during the storms and trials of your life. God is adding value to you in His Kingdom’s economy.