THE PARABLES OF JESUS

The Two Builders

 
Scripture:  Matthew 7:21-29

21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22 On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works  in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'  24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;  25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon 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." 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Meditation: When Jesus told the story of the builders he likely had the following proverb in mind: When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand form for ever (Proverbs 10:25).  What's the significance of the story for us?  The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come.  Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best.  It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions.  Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster!  Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool humans with our speech, but God cannot be deceived.  He sees the heart as it truly is with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a person's sincerity can be proved, and that is by one's practice.  Fine words can never replace good deeds.  Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we are tested.  Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you?  Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you  injury or embarrassment?  A true person is honest and reliable before God, himself, and his neighbor.  His word can be counted on.  What foundation is your life built upon?

"Lord, you are the sure foundation upon which we can build our lives and live securely.  Give me wisdom and strength to live according to your truth and to reject every false and erroneous way.  May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only."


Return to | The Parables of Jesus | Daily Readings & Meditations |
(c) 1998 Don Schwager