I have heard many times in my life about the parable of the wise and foolish builders found in Matthew 7 and Luke 6. Though I know this parable well, I am continually amazed at how living and active God’s Word is. There is always something new to learn and glean.
For instance, when I was reading Luke 6 recently, one little phrase jumped out to me. It was a little detail I had never noticed before. This could be due to the fact that I usually read the parable in Matthew and not Luke. One thing to note about the Gospel of Luke is that it has some details other gospels do not contain. Luke, the author, is a physician, so it’s natural for him to give extra notice and attention to details in his writing. Being a detail-oriented person, I most definitely appreciate what a gift this is for us today!
Here is the parable found in Luke 6:46-49.
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.
What I love about this parable is that both men experienced the exact same thing, but their actions varied, which ultimately led to very different outcomes. Both built a house and both experienced a torrential storm, but one stood firm and the other collapsed. Why?
This leads me to the detail that stood out as I read this passage the other day. The man who put Jesus’ words into practice was like a man who dug down deep, laid the foundation on rock, and built a house. Did you catch it? He dug down deep. This required work, time, sacrifice, and diligence. He was not like the man who just heard Jesus’ words, called it good, and checked it off of his to-do list. No, he heard and put them into practice. He applied them. He lived them. He dug down deep to get to the solid rock in order to build a house that was “well built.” He knew that laying a foundation “on the ground” is really no foundation at all. He needed to dig. He needed to dig down deep.
Did you also notice what both men experienced? They both experienced the “torrent,” the storm. Simply hearing the Lord’s words does not exempt one from experiencing storms and neither does hearing and putting them into practice. There is no exemption, the storms will come.
How will we withstand the storms?
Perhaps you may be facing some torrential storms in your own life right now. I want to encourage you … dig down deep. Do not neglect putting into practice the Word of the Lord. Just as James says, let us be doers of the Word and not hearers only!
This will be something I continually come back to in my own life. Will I be able to stand firm on the solid foundation, the rock, or will I collapse and be destroyed when the storms come?
It is now that I must choose to do the good and hard work, to be diligent, to put His Words into practice, and to dig down deep …
To God be the Glory!