Unit 4: Parables of Jesus NT4.1 Parable of Wise Man and Foolish Man

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1 1 Unit 4: Parables of Jesus NT4.1 Parable of Wise Man and Foolish Man Scripture: Matthew 7:24-29 Lesson Goal: When Jesus lived on earth He taught people many important things about God and heaven. To help people understand what He was saying Jesus often told stories called parables. To help everyone understand that God expects us to obey Him Jesus told a story or parable about two men who built houses--the wise man and the foolish man. Introduction: This is the first lesson in Unit 4: The Parables of Jesus. When Jesus lived on earth He taught people many important things about God and heaven. To help people understand what He was saying Jesus often told stories called parables. One story was about two builders. These stories or parable are found in the gospels The Gospels are the first four books in the New Testament. The gospels tell about the life and ministry of Jesus. The word "gospel" means the good news about Jesus. Let's say the names of the gospels together. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Attention Getter: How many of you know how a house is built? Here are some pictures of a house as it was being built. To build a house you must first buy a lot or piece of land. This is a great lot because it is near some woods and pond. Next you must lay a very strong foundation of rocks and cement. This takes lots of time to have a good house. Then you put up the walls with strong 2 X 4 boards. There are inside walls and outside walls. Door and windows go in next. Next the roof goes on with lots of shingles to keep out the rain. Then the inside of the walls are finished with sheetrock and the floors are covered with tile and carpet. Next kitchen cabinets are installed. Soon the house is almost finished! Final touches are added with the driveway and yard. At last the house is done and ready to move into! What excitement it is on moving day! Not every house looks like this one. People can use many different materials to build their houses. Sometimes people build their houses out of stones. In Ethiopia Africa houses are made from tall grass or reeds. Houses built in the desert are often made from adobe bricks that are baked in the sun. Houses can be in many different shapes. For example, some roofs are flat or round. Others have pointed roofs. In Spain and Mexico houses are covered with plaster. Here is an unusual house. It looks like a castle! While there are many different kinds of houses that people build, one thing is always the same. The kind of foundation that the builder chooses is very important! It must be built on something solid like stone or cement so it will not move. When Jesus was here on earth preaching he often told stories to help people understand things about heaven and God. These stories were called parables. To help everyone understand that God expects us to obey Him Jesus told a story or parable about two men who built houses. Opening Prayer: Let's thank God for His Word and ask His Help in obeying Him. Dear Jesus, Thank you for coming to earth and telling us about God and heaven. Thank you for dying on the cross and giving to us the gift of salvation. Help us to obey you and build our lives on You the Solid Rock. We know that the storms of life will come with many troubles. But You will keep us safe and strong when we obey You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. Memory Verse: The memory verse is John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

2 Lesson Video: One day Jesus was preaching to a crowd up on a mountainside. He was telling the people that it was very important to obey God. Although people "say they believe in God" they really don't live like it. To help everyone understand what God expects Jesus told a story or parable about two men who built houses. Two families needed new places to live so the two men decided to build new houses. They were both just ordinary houses with walls and a roof. Each had windows and a door. But one thing about these two houses was very different--where it was built! One man decided to build his family's house on a beach alongside a river. The soil was soft and sandy there. It probably would be a good place for building sand castles whenever they wanted! But not for building a house! Because this man was in a hurry to finish his house he used plaster made from water and sand. Soon his house was done and he was ready to move in. The other man decided to build his family's house on a very big flat rock. Building a house on a rock was not easy. The man had to dig deep into the rock and then use very strong stones for the foundation. But the man had a very good reason for building on the rock. He knew that the rock would be a good foundation. The extra work was worth it. He too had a new house to live in--high on the rock above the river. Then a big storm came. The rain began to fall hard and steady for days and days on both houses. A strong wind blew and blew against the walls of those houses. As it rained the water rose higher and higher. The foolish man who had built his house on the sand was soon in big trouble. The sandy soil started to wash away, and the walls of his house had nothing to stand on! The walls groaned and creaked! Then CRASH! SMASH! Bang!! There was no more house--just a broken mess! But the wise man's house that was built on the rock just sat there during the entire storm. The rock didn't wash away when the storm came. It didn't slip and slide and crumble. It just sat there, solid and firm! Because the rock was solid, that house stood and the family was protected. Then Jesus explained, "A person who listens to Me and obeys Me is like that wise man who built his house on the rock. When trouble comes, that person won't fall apart, because he or she has obey Me. I'm like a solid rock! "But someone who listens to ME and does NOT obey is like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. When troubles come to that person, his or her life will fall apart because it is not built on obeying the things I have told you. In this parable Jesus is like the Rock! He is the One on whom we can build our lives! Jesus told this story so that His friends would learn how important it is to obey His Word. Listening to Jesus and obeying His Word are STILL important today. We should not only read God's Word but we should obey it! This is how we show our love for Jesus. Just like a house built on a big, strong rock stays safe in a storm we can depend on Jesus to help us during times of trouble. Jesus will protect us and give us strength. He helps us know what to do and He cares for us when we have problems or worries. Our memory verse is John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command." God's Word tells us what Jesus commands us to do. We need to not only read the Bible but do what it says. Let's say our verse again. John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command." Let's look at some of the commands that God's Word gives us. Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. We should thank God everyday for all the good things He has given us. Being thankful shows that we appreciate what God has done for us. This is a way that we build our lives on Jesus. Another way to build our lives on the solid rock is found in Matthew 22:37. It says, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. If we love God with all our heart we will want to do the things that He tells us to do. 2

3 Matthew 22:39 says," The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. When we love God we will want others to love Him too. By showing God's love to everyone we will obey Him. It is easy to do things for ourselves but God asks us to love others in the same way! That is how we build our life on Jesus. Ephesians 4:32 says, " 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Loving others means that we will be kind to people. We will treat them gently and lovingly-- forgiving them when they do wrong things to us. That is being like Christ and it is building a life that will last forever! Remember be like the wise man and build your life on Jesus--the Solid Rock! Review Questions: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down! Say the following true or false statements below. Children are to identify the true statements by showing thumbs up and false statements by showing thumbs down. When a statement is false invite a volunteer to correct it. 1. Jesus told a story about two swimmers. (False--two builders) 2. One builder built his house on a rock. (True) 3. The storm only hit one house. (False--both houses). 4. A big rainstorm caused the water to rise. (True) 5. Only one house survived the storm. (True) 6. The storm represented the trials and difficulties that we face in life. (True) 7. Jesus said that it was wise to build your house on a rock. (True) 8. Jesus told this story so that people would know what to do in a rainstorm. (False--He told the story so people would know that it was important for people to obey God.) 9. Jesus said it was foolish to disobey His words. (True) 10. A wise person listens to Jesus. (True) 11. The foolish man did not do what Jesus said. (True) 12. Jesus tells us what we need to survive the trials of life. (True) Bible Memory Verse Activity: "Marco Polo" Game (Grades K-3) Our memory verse is John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command." Have students locate the verse in scripture. Read the verse aloud together. Say: "God's Word tells us what Jesus commands us to do. We need to not only read the Bible but do what it says. The parable in this lesson tells why it is important to obey God. Let's say our verse again. John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command." Game: Blindfold a volunteer. The blindfolded child counts to 10 while other children tiptoe around the classroom. When the blindfolded child calls "If you love me," the others freeze in place and answer "you will obey what I command." Children stay frozen while blindfolded child continues the call and the frozen children respond. As blindfolded child hears their responses, he or she moves around to locate and tag a child who is frozen. The tagged child becomes the caller and the game continues as time permits. Group Learning Activity: "House Built on Sand" (Grades K-3) Purpose: To help students experience why a house built on sand will not stand Procedure: Before class add enough water to a dishpan half full of sand so that the sand is easy to shape. After you tell about the house built on the sand, invite children to take turns forming walls with the wet sand. Review the story and repeat the part about how the storm came and pounded on the house. As you talk about the storm have a child pour enough water around the base of the walls so that the students can observe how the walls fall apart. Use towels to clean up any spills. Say: "We can see that building a house on sand is foolish. Jesus wants us to be wise and build our lives on His Word. What are some ways that you can obey God's Word? How does God want us to treat others? Why is it important to obey God's Word? (Obeying shows our love for God. God's Word helps us know what to do and how to make right choices.) When can you obey God's command to be honest? To be kind to others?" 3

4 4 Group Learning Activity: "Follow the Leader" (Grades K-3) Materials: Bibles, CD of Children's Bible Songs Procedure: As you play the CD of Children's Bible songs, have the children walk around the room. After a few minutes stop the music and call out a number between two and four. Children are to quickly gather in groups of that number, linking arms. Call out a manner of moving (jumping, skipping, tiptoeing, taking giant steps, taking baby steps, etc.) and point to an area of the room. Groups quickly move to indicated area, keeping arms linked and moving in the manner called. When each group gets to the indicated area, children say John 14:15 together. Say: "Why should we follow Jesus? (He will show us what we should do.) What did we need to do in order to play this game? (We had to follow directions to get into groups and to know how to move and where to go.) The Bible or God's Word helps us to know how to follow Jesus. What are some important directions or commands that God gives us in His Word? (Love God. Love your neighbor. Be kind.) What are some ways we can obey these commands? Repeat game as time allows, calling out a different number and a different way of moving around. Group Learning Activity: "Blue Prints for a House" (Grades 3-5) Materials: blueprints for a house; chart paper; markers; Bibles Procedure: Examine the floor plans for a house. Identify the rooms, doorways, stairs; etc. Look at the floor plan for the foundation. Examine the reinforcements for the concrete, etc. Say: "In this lesson Jesus gave us instructions about how we are to build our lives on the firm foundation of His Word." Read Matthew 7: Discuss the meaning of the wise person as one who makes good decisions and foolish person as one who makes bad decisions. Draw simple outline diagrams of both houses on chart paper. Draw a large X through the foolish man. Say, " Both men listened to Jesus, but only one acted upon what he heard. It changed the very location of where he built his house. What major decisions do we make in life that might be affected by what Jesus taught? (who we marry, what work we do, where we live, how we entertain ourselves). Jesus said that the storm will attack all men, wise and foolish. The families that survive will be the ones who made their decisions based on the Bible. What "storms of life" do families struggle with today? (illness, arguing among family members, natural disasters). Where will we find the answers on how to survive? The Bible. Jesus is also teaching in this chapter that if the storms of life don't get the foolish man, that judgment will. In verse 21 he says "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." Group Learning Activity: "Object Lesson on Wise Builder" (Grades K-5) Purpose: This object talk will show why it is important to build on a solid foundation to weather life's storms. That foundation is the Word of God. Materials: 2 paper cups; 1 medium size rock; 1 small bowl; Cup or two of moist sand; Pitcher of water; 1 medium to large casserole dish Procedure: During class, you will put the empty casserole dish on the table so that all the children can see it. Then you will take the small bowl with the sand in it and tip it upside down inside the casserole dish to make something like a small sand castle. Do not worry if a little crumbles. Place the medium size rock at the other end of the casserole dish. Then place a paper cup house on both the sand and the rock. You will then pour water over both to show how a house built on a solid foundation can withstand the heavy storms.

5 Say: Do you believe that anyone could be so foolish that he or she would build a house on top of sand? (Take one of the paper cups and place it on top of the sand.) Wiser people will build their house on a good foundation. (Take the second cup and place it on top of the rock.) Which house do you think will last, and which one do you think will wash away? You know the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:24-27 that anyone who hears the words of God and puts them into practice is like a wise man that built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Take the pitcher of water and pour a little water on the rock.) Jesus then said "but anyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Take the pitcher of water and pour a little water on the sand and the house will fall.) Ask the following questions: 1) Why is it important to put God's word into practice? 2) How can God's word make us stronger? 3) What kind of storms in our lives can God help us withstand? 4) Can anyone give any examples on how some people may be building their lives on a foundation of sand? 5) What are some ways we can build our lives on the rock? Group Learning Activity: "Wise Guy" Poster (Grades K-5) Have all of the students work together to make a Wise Guy Poster. At the top of a poster board write, How to Become a Wise Guy for Jesus at the top of a poster board and let the children decorate the poster with drawings. Direct the children to draw things that will help them become wise. They might draw a person going to church, reading a Bible, listening to a teacher or parent, Praying, telling others about Jesus, playing in Sunday School, etc. Possibilities are endless here; You may want to let them decorate the poster with stickers or glitter or whatever you have laying around your classroom. Craft Learning Activity: Paper Plate Mosaic (Grades K-3) Materials: Bibles, large paper plates, markers, small colored pebbles, glue Procedure: Review John 14:15 aloud. Say: "What wise advice does this verse give? Obeying God's Word is a wise thing to do." Give each child a paper plate. Children are to write the word "Obey" in large letters on his or her plate. Child the glues pebbles onto the letter outlines. Around the word, "Obey" children are to write keywords or draw pictures of ways to obey God. As the children work, ask the following questions: "Why do you think it's wise to obey God's Word? (God's word helps us know what to do.) What are some commands in the Bible? (Guide children to find and read the following verses in the Bible: Psalm 107:1; Matthew 22:37; Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 4:32) Discuss when it might be easy to obey these commands and when it might be hard. "How can you obey one of these commands this week?" Craft Learning Activity: Make a class book (Grades K-5) Materials: Bibles; 12x18 inch sheets of construction paper, markers, stapler Procedure: Print each of the following Bible verses and references on separate sheets of paper, making one sheet for each child: "Be kind" (Ephesians 4:32); "Obey Your Parents" ( Ephesians 6:1); "Do good and share" (Hebrews 13:16); "Give thanks to the Lord." (Proverbs 17:17}; "Love Your Neighbor" ( Matthew 19:19); "Love God." (Matthew 22:37). Read John 14:15 aloud. Say: What does this verse say we can do to show that we love Jesus? (Obey His Word.) "Today we are going to draw pictures to show ways we can obey God's Word." Show paper you have prepared and read the words aloud with children. Help children find the verses in their Bibles. Distribute papers. Each child draws a picture of a way to obey God by following the command written on his or her sheet. Say: "What is a way you can obey God's command to obey your parents? (Clean up your toys. Do your homework before playing. Play with your younger brother or sister.) What is a way you can obey God's command to be kind at the playground? (Play fairly. Take turns when others want to use the playground equipment. "To share?" (Let someone use your markers. Share my snack.) What is 5

6 one way you can plan to obey God this week? (Tell children about a way that you plan to obey God during the week. Pray with the children. Collect children's drawings. Assemble the sheets and staple the papers to make a class book. Read the book to the class. Invite each child to help you read the words on the page he or she illustrated. Craft Learning Activity: "Build a House" (Grades K-5) Materials: Print the "Build a House" page below on cardstock paper one for each student; scissors; Bibles, tape' dark brown construction paper; make a sample house Procedure: Say: "Let's build houses and act out Jesus' story to help us remember how important it is to obey His Word." Distribute the printed houses cardstock pages one to each student. Have students cut out the houses and fold on the dotted lines. Tape sides together following the sketches. As children work, say, "In this lesson what did the builders do that was the same? What made the house built on sand fall down? It is important to build strong houses, but it is even more important to obey God's Word. Why do you think it is important to obey God's Word? (God wants us to obey. Obeying shows our love for God. God's Word helps us to know what to do and how to make right choices. Obeying God's Word helps us get along with others.) Read John 14:15 aloud with children. We can show our love for God by obeying His Word. What is a way you can love and obey God by obeying His Word. What is a way you can love and obey God this week at home? At school? Give each child a sheet of dark brown construction paper and tell the class that the colored paper represents a rock. Children are to set their house of the paper taping their house to the paper by the tabs on the bottom of their houses. Have children write the words "Jesus is our Rock" around the edge of the house on the brown "rock." Optional: Reenact the story by having one house on light brown paper or sand. Make two builders out of chenille wire, clay or wire. Read Matthew 7: pausing to let children act out the story. Children can make thunder, rain, and wind sounds and blow on their houses at the appropriate time. Repeat story several times inviting children to tell the story as others act it out. Craft Learning Activity: "Sand or Salt" Art (Grades K-5) Purpose: To help children understand that building your house on the standards of the world may seem very attractive but it will not withstand time or difficulties Materials: small empty clean baby food jars or empty plastic water bottles; colored sand OR colored salt; colored sidewalk chalk and container or two of table salt; plastic freezer bags Procedure: Purchase colored sand OR make inexpensive colored salt using these directions: Pour some salt in the freezer bag and add a piece of sidewalk chalk. With the bag sealed, rub the chalk against the salt in the bag until the chalk color begins to rub off. Use a funnel to pour the colored salt into your sand art container. Repeat the process with more salt and different colors of chalk until you have all the colors and layers you want. Have student pour the colored salt by layers into the dry clean baby food jars or empty plastic water bottles. Optional Activity: Make sand or salt pictures about the lesson or write the verse with glue and sprinkle sand/salt on it. 6

7 7 Craft Learning Activity: "Paint a Rock" Art (Grades K-5) Purpose: To remind students that Jesus is the Rock of our Salvation and the foundation upon which we are to build our lives. Materials: 3-4" diameter smooth rocks (If you don't have any smooth rocks in your area, you can buy them at craft stores or at your local landscaping store.) Permanent markers; Acrylic paint; Paint Brushes; Pipe cleaners Procedure: Wash the rock and let it dry. Paint the rock (except for the bottom!) and let it dry. Decorate with stickers, if desired. Write "Jesus" on the rock, or use stick-on letters. Using the pipe cleaner have the children shape it into the form of a stick figure. Set the stick figure on the rock. Say: "We are going to demonstrate what is it like to have God as our foundation or to put our faith in other things. Show your students the stick figure that is on the rock. Tell them that this figure represents someone who trusts in God. What things could a person who is not trusting in God put their faith in? (parents, friends, and good works) When Jesus is our foundation we do not have to fear the difficulties of life. Life Application Challenge: House of Cards Show students a deck of cards. Attempt to build a house of cards. Say: "Have you ever seen someone build a house of cards? It s interesting how delicately they place each card on top of another only to see them all fall. Some people are building their lives the same way, trying to make sure their cards are in line to be prosperous and successful, not thinking of building their future for God s kingdom. The parable of the wise and foolish builder cuts right to the heart! Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but were not. They could talk the talk but they didn t walk the walk. What can we do to build a firm foundation with a future serving God?"

8 8 Wise Man and Foolish Man John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

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