Week 2: The Wise and Foolish Builders
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Jesus wants us to listen to him and obey.
The story is told by Peter:
Oh, hello again. It’s Simon. Or Peter… I told you all about my names last week. You can call me Peter.
I loved to listen to Jesus’ stories – he was great at telling them. Each one had a meaning behind it. Every time Jesus told a story, I used to think, ‘What’s the hidden meaning?’
Anyway, one day Jesus took his disciples, and anyone else who wanted to listen, up the side of a hill. He sat down on a rock; I sat at his feet and looked straight up into his eyes. He smiled at me, and then he started speaking. He taught us how to pray and how we should act. Some of the things he said were really difficult to follow. I’ve always had a strong temper, and if someone, used to hurt me, I’d thump them… But Jesus said ‘If someone hits you, don’t hit them back. Love the people who hurt you!’ Then he started talking about the words we say. Sometimes I can say some really bad things, but Jesus told me to only let good things come out of my mouth.
The he started telling this story. He said there were once two builders. One of them decided to build his house on rock, so that when the wind and the rain came and the river flooded, the house was OK. The other built his house on sand, though, and when the wind and the rain came and the river flooded, his house fell down. What a stupid man, I thought. Of course you don’t build your house on sand! Then I thought ‘Why did Jesus tell that story?’ This time, Jesus told us what the story meant. He said ‘Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock… And anyone who ears my teaching and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish man who built on sand.’
I decided right there and then, while I was sitting at his feet, that I want to build my life on rock and do everything that Jesus tells me to do! Oops, gotta go – I can feel a storm coming along! See you next week… Bye.
To find this story in the bible you will need to look at Matthew 7:24-27.
The wise and foolish builders song can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu5bBDRpzPM
What material did the two builders build on in Jesus’ story?
Jesus was an excellent storyteller. Both men in the story we have just heard were building a house. Jesus said that the people who listen to him and obey him are like are like the wise man who built on rock. He also said that the people who listen to him and do not obey him are like the foolish man who built on sand. What do both sorts of people do? The answer is that they both listen to what Jesus says. Lots of people don’t know what Jesus has said because they have never listened to his stories or read the bible. I’m really glad you’re here to listen this week!
If one house is the wise man’s and the other house is the foolish man’s, what did the wise man do in the story that the foolish man didn’t? The wise man built on rock which was the best thing to do! If both wise and foolish people listen to what Jesus says, what do only the wise people do? The answer is that they obey, which is the best thing to do. Peter decided not just to listen to Jesus, but to obey him. Do you think that was the wisest thing for him to do?
Jesus said, ‘Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock.’
Think about how important it is to have strong foundations in our lives. What could some of those strong foundations be? What about finding some good friends you can trust will stick by you, talking to someone about your worries or reading more bible stories because they often contain very good advice?
One house with foundations dug squarely
And one house built all willy-nilly.
When the storms came along
The first house stood strong
But the second collapsed like a jelly!
(Lucy Moore, The Gospels Unplugged, BRF, 2008)
Please help us to build our lives on firm foundations and to have a good and successful year. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name.
(Prayer from http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2046/setting-firm-foundations)
Build Duplo/Lego bricks to build on a hard surface like rock and also on sand (or you could use a cushion) and see how it stands. Is it strong or does it fall over?
(Seaside Rock by Dave Godfrey, 2003, Scripture Union)