The Wise and Foolish Builders
(Parable of Two Builders)

Wise and Foolish Builders/Two Builders: Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49

The parable of the wise and foolish builders, also simply called the parable of the two builders, is told by Jesus to illustrate the difference between:

  • Those who hear and act upon what they learn from Jesus, and
  • Those who hear, but don't act upon what they have learned.

In context, Jesus has just finished teaching many things to the crowds. He then says, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you?" (Luke 6:46) Jesus also says, "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus then tells this parable of the wise and foolish builders in order to illustrate these statements.

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Summary of the Parable of Two Builders

According to Jesus, the man who hears his words and acts on them is like a man who dug deep into the ground and laid the foundation on rock when building a house. A great storm came with rain, a flood, and strong winds. However, the house was not shaken because it had a solid foundation.

Jesus then says, the one who hears his words and does not act on them is like a man who builds his house without a foundation. When flooding came, the house fell and was destroyed because it had no foundation.

This parable of the wise and foolish builders is similar to Jesus explanation on how people respond to the word of God in the Parable of the Sower and Four Soils.

Meaning of the Wise and Foolish Builders

Jesus is teaching his audience that those who hear and act on his teachings to obey God are wise. However, those who hear and continue to disobey are foolish people.

His explanation for why is stated prior to this parable, that "only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven" "will enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 7:21-23)

This fact is true because we show what we truly believe by what we do, since Our Actions Reveal the Truth.

Additional parables teaching that our actions affect our salvation include:

For more information on understanding the connection between repentance and salvation, read about the Meaning of Repentance and Salvation.

An article related to this subject is: Do we have to obey God's Commandments for Salvation?

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Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ takes the unique approach of understanding Jesus' parables by examining the genre, scriptural context, and historical culture.

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