Built on the Rock

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At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord told a story about a wise man and a foolish man, the houses they built, and what happened to these houses. This parable has great relevance for us still today, for it shows two pictures of what our life can be like, depending on the choices we make.

The Story

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord told a parable about a house that stood firm against rain, floods, and winds that beat on it. Then He talked about another house, built on sand. It fell when stormy weather came.

Read the Lord’s words in Matthew 7:24-27.

Ideas for Discussion

  • Look at a rock and some sand. Why is a rock a better foundation for a house?
  • Who does the Lord compare to a wise man who builds his house on a rock? (Those who hear the Lord’s words and do them.)
  • Who does the Lord compare to a foolish man who builds his house on the sand? (Those who hear the Lord’s words but don’t do them.)
  • The rock in this parable symbolizes Divine truth when it is received by our minds and our hearts. We build our lives on a rock when we hear the truths of the Word and do them.
  • The house symbolizes our minds—not just the thinking part of our minds, but also the loving part. The Lord is telling us that we need to learn the truths from the Word and love to do them.

Read more about this parable

Projects and activities for all ages

  • Build a House (ages 3-8)
    Build a house on sand and one on flat rocks. What happens when you rain water on them?
  • House Built on a Rock Diorama (ages 8-14)
    Color the pieces of the diorama, then cut them out and assemble it.
  • House Built on a Rock Rebus (ages 4-8)
    Younger children will enjoy “reading” the pictures with help from an older child or adult.
  • The House on the Rock Song
    A song sheet with the melody, lyrics, and hand motions for singing about the two houses the Lord describing in Matthew 7:24-27.
  • Founded on a Rock Coloring Page by Robert G. Glenn
    A dramatic picture of the house built on the rock withstanding a strong storm.
  • Dramatize the Parable (ages 3-8)
    Use movement and sound effects to dramatize the parable of the house built on the rock. Read the parable aloud, showing children how to dramatize each part.
  • Illustrate the Parable of the House Built on the Rock (ages 5-8)
    Illustrate the parable by picturing both the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand.
  • Find the Foundation of Your House (ages 8-12)
    Look for the foundation of your home and observe what it made of. Builders know that it is important to have a strong foundation under a house. Compare this to the need for a strong foundation for our spiritual “character.” You might want to use chalk to write a quote from the Word on the side of your home’s foundation.
  • Stormy Weather Journal Page (ages 15 and up)
    What are the spiritual storms that threaten our commitment to the Lord? Identify some of the false ideas that may distort our thinking.

Further Thoughts

If we try to build our lives on what we learn from the Word, we will have a strong, sure structure. Storms come to everyone, as the parable indicates, but if we have a good foundation for our lives, we will weather the storms, and emerge stronger than ever.

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