I was hanging out with my friends 2 year old the other day, we were having a great time building all sorts of contraptions and castles, forts and fixtures and it got me thinking about how we are God’s building, His temple (1 Cor 3:9 & 16). So, sticking with the “wise vs. foolish” theme for one more post here are some thoughts on Matthew 7:24-27.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
Matthew 7:24 starts with the word “Therefore…” This shows a continuation from what came before. In order to make sure we are not taking scripture out of context it is important to know what the surrounding passages are talking about. Mt 7:15-20 warns us about false prophets so that we are not deceived by them. Mt 7:21-23 is the scary part. Here we see that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do God’s will. Who would be calling Jesus ‘Lord’? Definitely not non-believers… This ties in with my previous post on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, showing how within the world of believers there are those who will be able to participate in the wedding banquet (the wise), as well as those who were not ready for the bridegroom (the foolish), who were not allowed to enter once the doors had been shut (Mt 25:11-12).
According to Mt 7:24 we can see that a wise builder is someone who not only hears the words Jesus has spoken, but also puts them into practice. This is someone who has not been deceived by false prophets, who understands what God’s will is, and who is able to carry out the correct actions because of having this understanding. The wise builder is someone who will be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Foolish builders, although still able to hear the words of Jesus, are not able to put them into practice (Mt 7:26). They clearly do not have the understanding to know what is being asked of them, or to know what God’s will is, and therefore they become part of the group who call out “Lord, Lord” but are told by Jesus “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers” (Mt 7:23) – like the foolish virgins who were not allowed to enter the wedding banquet.
This might sound unjust, yet the Bible tells us that God is just (2 Thes 1:6), and that he is a fair and righteous judge (Ps 7:11). So why is it that so often we have such negative reactions to God’s word? Why do we accuse God of being unjust, unrighteous, arrogant, or egotistical? It is pretty simple really, Isaiah 55:8-9 gives us the answer:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s ways are so much higher than ours, his thoughts so much greater than ours. We are mere flesh, and he is GOD! Now is the time that we must hear and put into practice the words of Jesus. We have to be wise builders. Knowing and having the correct understanding of God’s word elevates our thoughts to be more like God’s thoughts. God’s word is our ladder, now we have to climb!
Image credit: New York Times Slideshow