In the previous post we examined how Jesus introduces the subject of parable with the question; "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?" There are many in the world that confess that Jesus is Lord, and yet do not follow his commands. Yet Jesus tells us in the Matthew 7 account that these people are not his and will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus elaborates on this thought with the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. As is often done in scriptures this lesson is driven home by the comparison of two things. In this case the comparison is between a man who hears the word of the Lord and follows it, and a man who hears the word of the Lord and does not keep it. Compare Matthew 7:24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man" with Matthew 7:26 "And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man." This message is very similar to one that James gives at the end of James 1.
James 1:22-25 ESV But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (25) But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Here James also gives us the example of two men who look into the word of God. One man looks, remembers, and does the other looks and forgets. Both of these passages point out the necessity of understanding the will of the Lord and doing it.
The message of the parable is readily apparent. The wise man built his life on the practice of hearing and doing the will of the Lord. The foolish man built his house on nothing. If we are to be considered wise in the eyes of the Lord we too must build our lives on hearing and doing His will.
In the next post we will examine whether or not we must build our lives on hearing and doing the word of the Lord in order to be saved.