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The Two House Builders


 

                          PART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES
 
                              CHAPTER 42

                                                    Introduction

                            The parable of the Two Housebuilders is found both in Matthew 7:24-27
                     and Luke 6:46-49.

                                            The Story

                                  "Therefore everyone who hears these
                           words of mine and puts them into practice
                            is like a wise man who built his house on
                           the rock..

                           The rain came down, the streams rose,
                           and the winds blew and beat
                           against that house; yet it did not fall,
                           because it had its foundation on the
                           rock.

                           But everyone who hears these words
                           of mine and does not put them into
                           practice is like a foolish man who built
                           his house on sand.  

                     The rain came down, the streams rose,,
                   and the winds blew and beat against
                   that house, and it fell with
                   a great crash."   (Matthew 7:24-27, New
                   International Version).

                        "Why do you call me,  `Lord, Lord,'
                   and do not do what I say?  I will show
                   you what he is like who comes to me and
                   hears my words and puts them into
                   practice.  He is 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,  New International Version).

             The climate in Palestine is like Southern California  in
           many ways.  Riverbeds are dry most of the year, except when
           winter and spring rains come, followed by  floods.    (BEACON
           BIBLE COMMENTARY,  MATTHEW,  By Ralph Earle,  p. 90).  The
           picture is a sandy area on which two housebuilders each build
           a house.  They appear the same, except that one dug down to
           bedrock (Greek text, PETRA) and placed his foundation on
           that.  The other built his house on top of the sand.

             Apparently one built his house on the sand (1) to avoid
           work and  (2) because he was short-sighted. (Barclay, DAILY
           STUDY BIBLE SERIES, LUKE, p. ?).

                                            
 

                  The Interpretation
       Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with this parable.

              Jesus, took two figures, rock and sand, and the subject
              He was illustrating  was the importance of foundation
              in building life.  It has reference to the whole
              Manifesto  (Sermon on the Mount)  and to all the
              teaching that had preceded it.
              ...................................................
              Every man is building something.   He is building
              something into which he can go and live, that will
              create for him a refuge, a place of  rest,  a  home
              for his soul.  (Morgan, NOTES ON THE PARABLES AND
              METAPHORS OF OUR LORD, p. 29).
 
            The characters and symbols of the story and the persons
         and things that they represent in reality are:

             1.  First Housebuilder            Christian
             2.  Second House builder       Unbeliever
             3.  Rock                                 Christ and His Teachings
             4.  Sand                                  Substitutes for God and His Word
             5.  House Crash                      Failure During A Crisis
 
           Jesus was an expert (1) in the Scripture and  (2) in
         life.   [He was also a carpenter].  Jesus demanded two things
         of us through this parable:

         (1) We must listen to him.

         (2) We must do: obedience.

         (Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, MATTHEW, p.?).
          In Lukeís account above, Jesus emphasized that it is not enough
          to call him "Lord," that is, make a profession of faith in him
          without obedience.

           The trials and crises of life come to all people.  Jesus
         said that those who hear and heed his Word will stand firm
         during the storms of life.  Those who merely hear and do not
         heed his Word will be devastated.  Carr comments:

         Both classes of men hear the word.   ....  Moreover
         the two houses have externally the same appearance.
         The great day of trial shows the difference. (Carr,
         CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT FOR SCHOOLS
         AND COLLEGES MATTHEW, by A. Carr, pp. 142-143).
 
           The greatest crisis of life will come when we must face
         our Maker.  If we have listened to Godís written Word and
         obeyed him by accepting the Written Word (The Lord Jesus
         Christ) into our hearts, we will stand justified in the presence
         of God.  If we have heard the Gospel and have rejected
         Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we will be devastated.

                             Central Truth

              GOD REQUIRES THAT WE LISTEN TO  
                     HIM AND THAT WE OBEY HIM.

                               Conclusion

           If we listen to God and obey him as a lifestyle, we have
         fulfilled what Jesus was teaching in this parable.  If we
         listen to him and do not do his will, then there are at least
         three possible problems: (1) We have rejected truth:
 
                        My dear brothers, take note of this:
                   Everyone should be quick to listen, slow
                   to speak and slow to become angry....

                       Do not merely listen to the word, and
                   so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.
                   (James 1:19,22, New    International
                   Version).

         (2) We have only mental assent, a substitute for Biblical
         faith.   Or, (3) We have genuine faith but are not exercising
         it.  END.