Here is the talk given by Julia Wright
The Wise Man
Who has heard that story before?
A lot of you!
Therefore, can anyone tell me how we can be like the wise man, and build our lives on the rock?
That’s right – by believing in God.
But today I want to explain a bit more about this parable.
It isn’t just a story on it’s own, but it’s actually the very last part of a long talk that Jesus gives to his friends.
That long talk is called The Sermon on the Mount.
Do any children know what a sermon is?
A sermon is like a speech full of teaching – it’s the long bit in the church service where sometimes you might get a bit bored… I am actually giving a sermon now, and I’m going to try hard to make it not boring!
When Jesus gave this particular sermon, he was sitting on the side of a mountain, or a mount, so that everyone would hear him. …that’s why we call it the Sermon on the Mount.
Now this Sermon is in fact the longest piece of Jesus’ teaching that we have, anywhere – so it’s very important!
But at the end of this long speech, that’s when Jesus tells the parable of the wise man building his house on the rock.
Jesus says, that to be like the wise man, we need to firstly hear his words – so that means listening to his Sermon on the Mount.
But secondly, and most importantly, we need to actually do what he says.
So if we want to be like this wise man, we better find out what Jesus is telling us to do in his Sermon on the mount.
If you have a Bible at home, then you can find Jesus’ sermon in the book of Matthew.
It’s not that long, but I haven’t got time to read it all to your right now. So I’m going to pick out what I think Jesus’s two main points are:
- To love each other extravagantly.
- To trust God wholeheartedly.
- So firstly – loving each other
Does anyone know what ‘extravagant’ means?
It means a huge amount, a crazy amount.
Jesus is saying we shouldn’t love each other just a little bit – instead we should love each other at a way deeper level.
He gives us some examples of what extravagant love looks like:
(use duplo men to illustrate some of these)
- He says if someone makes us walk one mile, we shouldn’t just walk the one mile, perhaps with some grumbling along the way. Instead we should offer to walk two
- Jesus tells us that if someone hurts us, we shouldn’t fight back and hurt that person – which can be very tempting to do. But no! Instead we should love the people that hurt us and pray for them.
- Jesus also tells us not to speak badly about each other.
But not only should we avoid speaking bad things about each other, Jesus says we shouldn’t even think in a mean way about each other.
Those are just a few examples that Jesus gives of how to love each other extravagantly.
Then the second main thing Jesus tells us to do in his sermon, if we want to be like the wise man, is:
- Trust God wholeheartedly.
Does anyone know what ‘wholehearted’ means?
It means trusting God completely, with our whole heart – fully believing in God’s goodness and love for us.
Again, Jesus shows us what our lives will look like if we trust God wholeheartedly.
- It means we won’t worry about the things we need – like food and clothes.
Worrying about things is very easy to do – but here Jesus gives us a clear command: Do Not Worry!
We shouldn’t worry because we should be completely trusting God instead.
- Another wonderful thing about trusting God wholeheartedly, is that we never need to boast or show off in any way.
We don’t need to tell everyone how great we are… because, Jesus says that God watches over us and He sees all the good things we do.
We can trust God wholeheartedly, that He will reward us for these things in His time.
I’m going to show you a quick video of what trusting God wholeheartedly looks like.
In the video imagine that Jim is God!
Even though I couldn’t see Jim, I had complete trust that he was there, and that he wouldn’t let me crash to the ground.
In the same way, Jesus says the wise man trusts God completely, even though we can’t see Him.
Now that’s a very broad summary of Jesus’s sermon on the mount: to love extravagantly and to trust wholeheartedly.
I’m going to show you another quick video now to help show the difference between the wise and foolish man.
Video and script:
Let’s go back to the foolish man in this story.
Here he is.
And let’s pretend these balls here are large grains of sand.
We know that the fool hears Jesus’ teaching, but he just doesn’t follow it.
So instead, he does the opposite things to what Jesus talks about.
Rather than loving others, he is selfish, unkind, rude about others.
He fights back when people hurt him, he is proud and boastful. He is greedy, and therefore full of anxiety about not having enough.
Does he sound a nice man? Do you think he has many friends?
There he is, with his house on the sand.
But the wise man – who hears Jesus’s teaching and then puts it into practice.
His life is built on extravagant love and wholehearted trust.
I think I’d like to be friends with him.
Now hard times come to all of us – whether we know Jesus or not.
These hard times could be when people are unkind to us, or if we become sick and unwell. Maybe when people we love, die.
Or maybe for the grown ups if we lose our job and can’t pay the bills.
Hard times will come sooner or later to everyone – as I said, whether we know Jesus or not.
The wind and rain in the parable, are like the hard times in life. They blow against us.
But the difference between the wise man and the foolish man, is in the foundations of our lives. Let’s see what happens to them…
So there you go – we now know how to be like the wise man.
We listen to Jesus’s teaching and we try to live it out.
But…just before I end, I want to ask you:
How easy is it to love someone when they’ve just really hurt you?
How easy is it to love someone when they’ve just said really unkind words to you?
And again, how easy is it to not worry about anything?
And instead to really trust God for everything?
I would say it’s very hard to do these things!
It’s so much easier to fight back when someone hurts us, to be selfish, not to care about others.
And it’s so easy to let ourselves worry about all sorts of things.
But… there is an answer! There is a way to do it – to live as Jesus calls us to.
And that answer is actually found in the very person who tells us to love and to trust.
When we meet with Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, we will be filled with His power to love extravagantly, and to trust God wholeheartedly.
So let’s try and be like the wise man.
Let’s ask Jesus into our hearts, so that we can build our lives on Him.
Only He will make it possible for us to love extravagantly and trust wholeheartedly.
I’m going to end with a prayer:
Thank you Lord Jesus that you are the rock that we can build our lives on. Come into our hearts by your Holy Spirit, so that we are able to love you and others extravagantly, and to trust you wholeheartedly. Help us to have a foundation of rock.