A Walk through the Book of Luke
March 8, 2023
The Wise and Foolish Builder
If I haven’t mentioned this before, I live in Florida. Our home is located about 4-5 miles from the beach. Before I go any further, let me set one thing straight. I dislike going to the beach. I’m not fond of the sand; ocean water makes me itch. And when we drive home, we always transport a large amount of the beach sand into my car, our shoes, and shorts.
Over the years, I have taken my youth groups to the beach. Why? Because kids love the beach. Occasionally, I observed children and adults building sandcastles during our trips to the beach. However, the sandcastle on the beach above is not one I’ve seen personally. I can only imagine how many hours it took to build this structure.
Looking closely at the above photo, you’ll see the ocean in the background. The sandcastle is made from wet sand. The sandcastle is built on a foundation of sand, which is another way of saying, it has no foundation at all. So, what happens when the tide comes in? That’s right, the castle will wash away. The tide will wash away all those hours put into building the castle.
In today’s reading, Jesus shares a parable of two men who built homes. One was built on a rock foundation, the other with no foundation. Let’s check out what happened to the two houses.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it because it was well-built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed, and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49
When I was young (age 5-12), my mom subscribed to Highlights for Children magazine for me. The magazine was published bimonthly at could be ordered for different age brackets. The magazine had many sections, including coloring pages, jokes, stories, and puzzles.
My favorite section was one of two cartoon boys named Goofus and Galant. The section would always show the two boys in different scenes or the same with different results. For example, you might see Goofus in his bedroom, and the caption would read, “Goofus seldom picks up his room, even when his mom tells him to.” And, then, there would be a picture of Gallant in his clean and picked-up room. This caption might say, “Gallant always picks up and cleans his room because it’s the right thing to do.
When I read today’s Parable from the book of Luke, I immediately thought of Goofus and Galant. Galant would be the man who built his house on a firm foundation of rock, while Gallant would have built his house with no foundation.
So, keeping the two boys’ personalities in mind, let’s look back at the Parable again and what it means.
“The two builders are like two kinds of hearers; the one hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice. The other only hears without putting the words into practice.” (People Bibles Commentary, Luke, Victor H. Prange, Pp.75.)
Jesus doesn’t want us to just listen to and read His words. Instead, He wants us to put the things He instructs us on into practice. Then when troubles come, we will be like the house built on a firm foundation. We can withstand the problems, negativity, and sorrow the world throws at us.
There are countless instructions from Jesus throughout the Gospels. However, we need to do more than read the Gospels; we need to live the Gospels. If you haven’t already, read Matthew, chapters 5-7. This is what we call, The Sermon on the mount. Jesus did not preach and teach this sermon just for us to hear. He gives it to us as a new lifestyle. Jesus teaches about money, love, prayer, murder, and worry. He wants us to live out this sermon, not just listen to or read it.
So here are two final questions for you. First, is your faith built on the Rock of Jesus Christ? Second, are you just listening and reading Christ’s words, or are you living them?