Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus the storyteller: Build a house that stands - 2 April 2024

By Charlea Grey

Bible text(s)

25The rain poured down, the rivers overflowed, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.

Matthew 7:25GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus liked to tell the people who followed him parables – stories. A parable is a short story that explains God’s message by using an example. Jesus did this so that the message he wanted to convey would be more accessible and understandable to the hordes of people who came to listen when he spoke.

Is it not wonderful? The parables in the Bible have always been among my favourite passages precisely because of its simplicity – the story with a clear, comprehensible lesson.

Jesus knew that complicated words and explanations would not make the same sense to everyone. With his stories, he was able to achieve something – he could help people to create a picture in their imagination, to finally understand what God wanted to say to them.

Yes, the parables in the New Testament are, for many people, some of the best-known passages in the Bible. These are also the stories that we remember best. Perhaps, you also grew up with the song where we sing: “The wise man built his house upon the rock … The wise man built his house on the rock … And the rains came tumbling down …”

The parable about the wise man who built his house on a rock and the foolish man who built his house on the sand is very well known. The house that was built on the rock stood firmly when the storms raged. The house on the sand quickly washed away.

It was a good decision to use the rock as a foundation, but the construction work certainly required more effort.

Jesus wants us to build our lives on a solid foundation. He wants us to use what he teaches us as a foundation. If our proverbial house is built on sand, the things of the world and the challenges of life can overwhelm us much faster, and more easily.

Unfortunately, a house with a rock foundation requires hard work. You have to dig deep if you want to get to a rock to build on. This does not happen overnight. It requires dedication, time and effort. In fact, it also requires planning and a goal-oriented attitude.

If, like me, you sometimes wonder if the foundation of your house is solid enough, join me this week to rediscover Jesus’ stories and the lessons he wants to teach us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that something as simple as a story can be used to remind me of the basic, but most wonderful, life lessons in your word. Amen

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