During his time on earth, Jesus often taught people using parables (stories to teach a moral or spiritual truth). One of his parables involved two men, a wise man and a foolish man. They both decided to build a house.
The wise man built his house on a firm foundation of rock. Even when storms, floods, and winds beat against the house, it didn’t fall. But the foolish man built his house on the sand. This was not a firm foundation at all. When the rain, floods, and winds came, the house crashed down because it had a poor foundation.
What was Jesus trying to teach us through this parable? He started the story by saying “everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).
Jesus is saying that the wise man is the one who listens to Jesus’ words and obeys them. The Bible tells us that God is the source of all wisdom (Proverbs 9:10; Colossians 2:2–3) and that hearing and doing what he says is the path of wisdom (Deuteronomy 4:5–6). Foolishness is the opposite of this. A fool hates wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7) and instead chooses to disobey God. Jesus’ parable encourages us to choose to be wise and build our lives on his teachings.
Summary: The parable of the wise man and the foolish man, who built their houses on rock and sand respectively. As told by Jesus.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 7min
Jesus: One day, I was teaching the people around me about very important things like how to treat people, how to help your friends make good choices, how to keep good things in your heart, and how to not hate people - even people who have done bad things to you. And do you know what? Some of those people were having trouble paying attention. Some of them it was like talking to a wall. Like the words were bouncing off their heads instead of going into their brains. So I decided to tell them a story. I looked around me for what I could use to help tell my story. Do you know what I found? (look down and pick up a handful of sand) Sand. I mean, I pretty much lived in a desert, so no surprise there. And ( look around some more and pick up) a rock. That’s all I need to think of a good story. Today I also have you guys, so I’m going to have you help me a little. I’m going to hand you a card with a picture on it of something I want you to sound like when I hold up my matching card.
(Pass out cards - sections for younger, shuffled for older. The possible cards are : RAIN, thunder and lightening, waves, and Wind. Practice having each section make their sound.)
Nice! Ok, let's get to the story. There once were two men. One was called Mr A K Allenforstright Junior De Montfort. He was rich. Tell them how rich you are, Mr A K Allenforstright Junior De Montfort.
Foolish Man: Very.
FM: No, very. I'm very rich, not quite rich.
Jesus: No, I know you're very rich I was just saying quite to express my agreement with your statement.
FM: I knew that.
Jesus: Sadly he was not very bright. In fact, the word I would use is Foolish.
FM: What did you say?
FM: You said something - some word.
Jesus: Yes. I say a lot of words.$$FM: Oh. Yeah, OK.
Jesus: (to kids) Who can tell me what Foolish means?
FM: I have no idea.
Jesus: I’m asking them.
Jesus: So who can tell me what foolish means?
Jesus: We’ll call the second man …Bob. Bob didn’t really have anything special going for him with money, but his brain had special value. He was very very wise.
Wise Man: Yes.
Jesus: I knew you'd agree.
WM: So did I. Isn't that extraordinary? I wonder if there's some strange biophysical telepathic extremely wonderful type personality matrix thingy here that caused us to think the same thought in exactly the same 70th of a second?
Jesus: No, I just think it was a coincidence.
WM: WONDERFUL! How did you come to such a marvellous conclusion?
Jesus: It's in the script. Look... erm... bla bla... second. And I say, "coincidence".
WM: Oh, okay then.
Jesus: Now. Who can tell me what wise means?
Jesus: Now, it happened that one day that both these men wanted to build a house.
Foolish man: A what, sorry?
Jesus: A House, you know - walls, rooms, ceilings etc?
FM: Oh! Of course! A house. I knew that. A house. What am I supposed to do with a house?
Jesus: You are going to build it.
FM: I am?!? Cool.
Jesus: So, they each set off in search of a nice pretty spot to build their house.
[The FM and the WM act out particular movements, eg, the WM could test the soil, use plans, have a geological survey etc, whereas the FM spins in circles and lounges around. When his name is mentioned again he sits up straight and presents us with his "spot".]
Jesus: The foolish man picked a spot he just happened to end up which was sunny, warm and generally a very nice place to sit around. He ordered his building materials. His house was to be built on sand.
FM: And it’s very nice sand. (Sits down on sand) Very soft and hot. (play with the sand) I like sand.
Jesus: I’m sure you do. You just play there for a minute, ok?
FM: (doesn’t even look up - is too busy playing in sand.)
Jesus: The wise man, however, found a place where the ground was harder. When he cleared away the first little bit of ground, he found a rock. A SOLID rock. You could say it was… ROCK SOLID. He ordered his building materials. His house was to be built on rock.
WM: It's nice rock. Lots of moss and strange furry animals hiding in the caves nearby. It must have been here for a while.
Jesus: I’m glad you like your rock.
WM: I think it's sedimentary. You want me to tell you how they form?
Jesus: Not really, particularly as I created it. Look! Your building supplies are here.
(Both men set up their identical houses)
Jesus: When they had both finished building their houses they were both quite happy with their new houses.
FM: Oh, what a lovely house.
WM: Seems structurally sound. I wonder if I should take out homeowners insurance…
Jesus: Just then a storm brewed up on these men's houses. Let's watch the foolish man first. It started to blow a gale... (WIND cue card) And it started to rain... (RAIN cue card) And thunder... (thunder cue card) and the weather beat and bruised the foolish man's house, and the rivers and lakes started to fill up with all the rain and the waves started. All the water started to move the sand around and the foolish man's house fell flat. (CRASH cue card.)
FM: (The foolish topples his house and lays there) Oof!
Jesus: Now let’s watch the wise man. He was affected by the very same storm. And his house looks a lot like that one did. Are y’all ready to be the storm again? OK. It started to blow a gale... (WIND cue card) And it started to rain... (RAIN cue card) And thunder... (THUNDER cue card) and the weather beat and bruised the foolish man's house, and the rivers and lakes started to fill up with all the rain and the waves started. (WAVE cue card.)
It was very windy, and very rainy. All the water splashed and splashed on the Rock under the wise man’s house. But the wise man's house stood firm because it was built on a firm foundation. A foundation you might call ROCK SOLID. So the storm passed, and even though it was a big storm, the wise man and his house were ok.$$Wise man: (pops head up) I’m OK!
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