Suggested Reading: Matthew 7:24-29
This is the parable Jesus used to wrap up His Sermon on the Mount. Before He concluded His teaching, He pointed out the difference between those who claim to be His followers but ignore His teachings and those who are His true followers, obeying and applying His teachings to their daily lives.
He brings home the point by making a comparison between two kinds of builders. The wise builders ensure that their homes are built on a solid foundation. Therefore, they are not flattened by every storm that comes their way.
The foolish builders, on the other hand, are in a hurry and don’t take the time to build on solid foundation. These words of Jesus may refer to various kinds of foolish building, but one that comes to mind for me is the picture of a greedy and corrupt builder who takes no pride in his handiwork and wants to get the job done as soon as possible so he can move onto the next project and make some more money. People greedy for gain rush to achieve their ambitions and consider the Jesus way the long way. They seek shortcuts and revert to worldly ways to achieve their deeply craved success and the accolades that go with it. For them, godliness is a means to financial gain (see 1 Timothy 6:5). This inappropriate ambition is nothing but greed in disguise and proves to be dangerous in the long run. They may have reached their goals sooner, but when the storms come, they fail. They come crashing down like a house of cards –some never get up again. Even their faith may fail them. Paul warned about the dangers of the love for money which is linked to greed.
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:9-10 NLT).
The wise builders understand how essential it is to their faith to build all their decisions, actions and plans on the teachings of Christ. If we claim to be His followers, it will matter greatly to us what He taught concerning life. “Those who claim to live in Him, must walk as Jesus did.“
Following His teachings may sometimes mean we might have to play second fiddle. It may even mean we appear as the losers in a particular situation, but if we are prepared to obey despite all the loss of status and other things, we will be assured of standing firm when the storms come our way. We will not be down and depressed every time things don’t go our way. Following and applying the teachings of Christ, particularly those He taught in the Sermon on the Mount, will give us a stability we never thought possible. Here is also the secret to not being at the mercy of our emotions. Jesus gives us the stability in life that we crave for. Not because He removes circumstances and our lives become a fairy tale, but because we are given a peace that transcends human understanding. We learn to be content whatever the circumstances. Our happiness is no longer dependent on what happens around us and what people say to us or about us. Our hearts are at peace.
Can you perhaps think of any other kinds of “foolish building”? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
- A Personal Encounter with the Sermon on the Mount – Chapter 20 (Real Treasure) (captivatedbychrist.org)