1. Parable of the Two Builders
A few notes on the lesson format:
- Each lesson will open with a section from The Outline Bible (a wonderful resource) that will help you put the parable in context (where Jesus was, who he is teaching, etc.).
- Next, you can read the parable in the English Standard Version.
- Finally, I give you some of my thoughts of what I learned from the study.
- I will include my Bible journaling (in a Dex card or a Travelers Notebook) to give you ideas to help you Bible journal.
- When it is time for you to Bible Journal, you can write notes in a notebook, copy a verse, doodle in your Bible or use the kit I designed to make a dex card, or whatever method you prefer.
- Please share what you learned and your Bible journaling in the Facebook group to encourage others.
There is a printable PDF and a zip file at the bottom of this lesson. It includes images and verses for the first three lessons.
A few times a week I will add more free images and Bible verses to the class. Visit daily so you don't miss any. Save the PDF to your computer before printing. If you are not Bible journaling digitally, you do not need the zip file.
Parable of the Two Builders
The parable is in 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. 25 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. 26 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.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.”
Jesus told this parable to Jews. In Israel the land can be dry in the summer but flooded in the autumn or winter. A foolish builder might find smooth and level ground in the summer and proceed to build there, but the autumn rains would come with a mighty downpour and his house would be swept away. A wise builder would know that a place that looked safe in summer could possibly flood, so he would look for a rock which would stand above the flood.
Two builders can use the same blueprints and the same material and the two houses may look the same. The test is when the storm comes. The house not founded on the rock crumbles and falls. The true Christian is founded on the Rock, Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 3:11).
A crisis will reveal one’s character. The Bible is full of stories of those whose true character came to the surface in times of troubles. Many wanted to go back to Egypt when things became difficult in their journey. Several deserted Paul in his time of need in Rome (2 Tim. 4:9–18). True men of God—Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Peter, Paul, and many others proved their faith by clinging to the rock during storms.
Jesus is the Rock. Rocks symbolize strength and permanence, a place where people in danger often took refuge, and also a strong foundation. See "The Rock" lesson in my "Titles of Christ” class.)
What Does this Parable Mean for Us?
In this one short parable, Jesus puts the meaning of life in perspective. There are two ways to live life:
- Apply God's teaching to your life and you will have an unshakable foundation.
- Do not apply God's teachings; build on a shallow and weak foundation that will collapse.
This theme occurs all through the Bible. Deuteronomy 30:19–20 is about blessings or curses that result from either listening to or ignoring the wise counsel of God. Many of the Proverbs are about wise and foolish paths.
How do you apply God's teachings to your life? To apply his teachings you have to know what they are. We do this by prayer, reading the Bible, getting involved in Bible studies, listening to teachers of the scriptures, and by fellowshipping with Christian friends who can teach and instruct us.
There are a lot of false teachings going around, so it is important to study the Bible yourself. Many church members rely on their pastor to interpret the Bible for them. The Bible says, “One is your teacher—Christ.” (Matt 23:10) You must study diligently on your own rather than being spoon-fed. I taught my children that anyone teaching that God’s character is anything but loving is false. God’s love permeates his essence in all he is and all he does. (Psalm 136).
It takes diligent private Bible study and daily prayer, which are the steps needed to grow in Christlike character. Only then can we stand against trials.
In Matt. 11:29 Jesus said, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Read your Bible, study the life of Christ. Pray to develop Christ-like character.
Matthew 7 Outline
Matthew 7. The Sermon on the Mount, part 3: Jesus teaches us to ask God for what we need, how to treat others, and how to live as a true child of the heavenly Father.
I. Jesus’ Exhortations (7:1–12)
II. Jesus’ Illustration (7:13–27)
C. The Two Kinds of Disciples (7:21–23)
- 1. True disciples (7:21a): On judgment day, the true disciples will be separated from the false ones.
- 2. False disciples (7:21b–23): On judgment day, the false disciples will be condemned.
- a. The wondrous deeds they will say they did (7:22): They will say they prophesied, cast out demons, and performed miracles in his name.
- b. The wicked deeds Christ will say they did (7:21b, 23): They disobeyed the Father, and God will say he never knew them.
D. The two trees (7:16–20)
- 1. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit (7:16, 18).
- 2. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit (7:17, 19–20).
E. The two builders (7:24–27)
The structures (7:24, 26)
- a. One man built his house on solid rock (7:24).
- b. One man built his house on shifting sand (7:26).
2. The storm (7:25, 27)
- a. The house on the rock stood firm (7:25).
- b. The house on the sand fell flat (7:27).
- Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Lk 6:47–49
- By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3–4
- For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 1 Co 3:11–14
- Willmington, H. L. (1999). The Outline Bible (Lk 12:24–26). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
- The two Bible houses are from clipart.email
- I colored the black and white drawing of woman washing Jesus feet from The Complete Bible Story Clip Art Book. This is an excellent resource for Bible journaling.