Parables of Jesus (The Builders)

In this article we will discuss the parable of the wise and foolish builders. It is a parable Jesus used to teach on the importance of faith, foundation, and himself. Let’s dig in to this parable. 

This parable is listed in the gospel accounts according to Matthew and Luke. I will provide Matthew’s account below and reference to Luke’s account. Here is Matthew’s account of this parable:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

In this parable, we have a comparison between two builders. One builder built his house on the rock, the other built his house on sand. There is a lot of symbolism and meaning in this parable so we will try to dissect it as carefully as possible. 

It is safe to assume that we could interpret the builders as being us, people living day to day in the busyness of life. The house could be interpreted as our lives. As we live our life, we are building something and it will be left behind when we are long gone. The builders then build their house on two different foundations, rock and sand. These two foundations can easily be interpreted as the rock being Christ and the sane being basically anything else that is not Christ. Money, fame, lust, selfishness, etc. The rain, flooding, and winds can be interpreted as the temptations and evil that Satan throws at us each and every day and if our foundation is on Christ, we will not fall but if our foundation is on anything else, we will crumble. The important part of this whole parable Jesus mentions at the beginning. If we want to be the wise man, we must hear the words of Jesus and put them into practice. Both accounts of this parable come after important teachings of Jesus like loving our enemies and judging others. This wasn’t just a parable about building a good life. It’s about hearing and living out the words of Jesus, just as he did. By doing this, we will have laid for ourselves a foundation built on Christ. 

The account Luke gives has a little more detail than Matthew’s account does. Luke mentions that the wise man “dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock” (Luke 6:48). Luke tells us that the wise man had to dig down deep to lay the foundation on the rock, telling us that more work had to be done in order to build the house. The foolish man built the house, “on the ground without a foundation” (Luke 6:49). The foolish man had no foundation had all and provided little resistance to the weather because he did not take the time to lay the foundation. In the same way, work must be done on our part to dig down and lay the foundation for our lives. We must put the teachings of Jesus into practice. If we do not, Jesus provides us with a warning that our lives will fall and collapse and we will destroy ourselves. 

In conclusion, let this parable sink in and meditate on its teaching. We must practice and live the teachings of Jesus and build on the foundation of Christ so we can stand and live. 

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