Are you able to distinguish between worldly wisdom and biblical wisdom? Do you know which is more beneficial for your life and why?
Jesus’ parable of the two builders comes at the end of His famous Sermon on the Mount teachings. ****We don’t have time to go through all of Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. But suffice it to say His teaching tells us who are apart of His kingdom and how we are to live in His kingdom.
Two Choices — Biblical Wisdom or Worldly Wisdom
At the end of His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offers His listeners, He offers us, two choices. A choice between hearing and doing the wisdom of the world or hearing and doing His wisdom.
Look at the text starting in verse 24:
““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Mt 7:24)
Skip down to verse 26:
“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Mt 7:26)
Using a building analogy, Jesus distinguishes between worldly wisdom and heavenly wisdom. He uses an everyday occurrence in Palestine to show us the folly of building our life on worldly wisdom. The wise man builds His house on the rock.The foolish man builds his house on the sand.
If you were a wise man in ancient Palestine, you would build your house on the rock so that when “... the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Mt 7:25)
But those who were unwise, they didn’t build on the rock and there was a different outcome for them. Look at verse 27,
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”” (Mt 7:27)
Through this parable, offers us two choices.
- (1) Build your life on the rock — on biblical wisdom — experience safety and salvation.
- (2) Or build your life on the sand — on worldly wisdom — experience destruction.
Those are the two choices we have. Allow the Bible, allow Jesus to guide us, allow biblical wisdom to direct our lives. Or allow the world, worldly wisdom to guide and direct us.
Why should we allow biblical wisdom to direct our lives?
When it comes to understanding why we should allow biblical wisdom to direct our lives, James is super helpful:
In James 3:13-18, James contrasts two types of wisdom — heavenly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Those who are wise according to the world’s standards live by mantras like:
- “You do you”;
- “let it be”;
- “just do what feels right to you”;
- “be true to yourself”;
- “do what makes you feel good”;
- “Just follow your heart”.
I’m sure you have heard those before. You might have even voiced them yourself. As good as they might sound, that is representative of worldly wisdom.
You might think following worldly wisdom will result in success. We live in the world after all. But that is not true.
Worldly wisdom, James says, results in “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” (James 3:14). It results in boasting that seeks to puff up self while tearing another downAs well as it results in lies, because, after all it is all about self.
Heavenly wisdom is different. Heavenly wisdom comes down from above. Heavenly wisdom is what Jesus has been pouring forth throughout the sermon on the mount. Heavenly wisdom produces good fruit:
- Humility, peace, and mercy.
- It is pure and gentle.
- It’s impartial.
- and it results in sincerity (James 3:17-18).
All wisdom is not created equal.
All wisdom doesn’t lead to flourishing relationships and a loving community. There are two different types of wisdom to which we can listen and apply. They originate from two different places. Notice I didn’t say they came from several different places, but that they originate from two different places. Wisdom either originates from God and His kingdom, OR from Satan and his kingdom. There is not a third or fourth type of wisdom. There are only two types of wisdom upon which we can base our life, our actions. God’s wisdom, Jesus’ wisdom. The wisdom found in God’s Word, what James refers to as heavenly wisdom. Or worldly wisdom.
Those who build their life on worldly wisdom will experience a great loss.
Destruction, disaster will come upon them when they least expect it. Your entire life will come crashing down if that what you have built your life on instead of the rock. Sand that is easily moved. The things of this world can promise us happiness, joy, pleasure, peace but those can be quickly taken. If the world is all that we have based our life on, we will experience disaster.
But those who build their lives on Jesus’ wisdom, His teaching, who operate according to a Christian worldview, they will stand firm when destruction comes knocking. Jesus doesn’t change. He is the rock. That which He offers, He always offers. There are no shifting sands with Jesus. Even if things around you come crashing down, you always have the Rock.
It is not “if” but “when”.
Those things that seek to destroy us will come. They will often come at a time we are not expecting. Life is going great. All is well. Then boom! The storm comes. Depending on what foundation you have built, you will either survive the storm or you won’t. That is what Jesus is getting at.
Worldly wisdom doesn’t save. It doesn’t protect. It only results in destruction.