The Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builder
by Emily Hechler
The childlike faith kids need to come to salvation in Jesus is a blessing, but it can also lead them to believe some ideas that aren’t true. How do you explain to a child how to discern truth from error?
As a Sunday school teacher, it is important to make sure the children in your Sunday school class know that they need to turn to God’s Word, the Bible, for truth. We can teach this through the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Read this parable to your class from Matthew 7:24-27.
Let’s put these verses into context. In this chapter, Jesus gave His followers a lot of practical wisdom in the Sermon on the Mount. Right before this, He told them to beware of false prophets. These are people who teach things that are different than what God says. They aren’t lying to just other people—they are lying to themselves! They believe God will let them into heaven for their good works, but Jesus told His disciples that God’s will for their lives is to put their faith in Christ as Savior. Only then will they spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Since we’ve established the context of the parable, we can understand the meaning more clearly. Imagine two houses. One house is built on a rock and the other is built on sand. When a storm brings in rain, a flood, and a lot of wind, which house will be able to endure the impact of the weather? The house on the rock. The rock is a sturdy foundation for a house. Sand isn’t sturdy; it’s unstable and dangerous.
They believe God will let them into heaven for their good works, but Jesus told His disciples that God’s will for their lives is to put their faith in Christ as Savior.
We need a strong foundation for our lives. We need a foundation that will protect us and keep us safe when we face difficult situations. These circumstances are the rain, floods, and wind in our lives. There are a lot of different things that beat us and cause destruction. What storms are the children in your class facing? Maybe they’re falling behind in school, feeling left out by their peers, or going back and forth between mom’s and dad’s houses.
They will be like the wise builder if they choose to obey God’s Word. If someone is not obeying Jesus’ words, they are not really trusting or believing in it. What will they fall back on if they are not trusting in His Word? A foundation very similar to the one the foolish builder used.
The other foundation—the foundation of the world—is unstable and full of lies. What foundation are the children in your class standing on? Are they standing on the world’s wisdom or are they standing on the foundation of God’s Word? They might fall back on the foundation that false teachers have built. The Bible says in many places, like in Psalm 18, that God is a rock and a solid foundation.
If someone lives their life built on the foundation that the world has made, they won’t have strength when difficult situations arise. The foundation of the world is unsteady, just like sand. But if someone follows Jesus and His wisdom, they will have strength in difficult times. They have strength that only comes from God.
When your children don’t know what to do in a tough situation, encourage them to turn to Jesus and the Bible for wisdom and answers.
When your children don’t know what to do in a tough situation, encourage them to turn to Jesus and the Bible for wisdom and answers. He is the sturdy foundation that they need. Visit the blog on our website to see an activity to reinforce this truth or watch “House on the Rock” on U-Nite TV.
Join us next time to learn how to teach another parable of Jesus, our solid foundation, to the students in your Sunday school.
Now you’re ready to SING!
If you need song ideas, you can find visual aids, CDs, and music downloads at CEF Press.