Lesson: The Wise and the Foolish Builder

Jesus Teaching

This children’s Bible lesson is based on Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders. In this well known passage, our Lord teaches about the value of living out his commandments – namely the Sermon on the Mount. This parable is also recorded in Luke 6:46-49.

Learning Aim: Children will learn what it means to have wisdom and where they should get wisdom from.

Gospel Connection: In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches us that true wisdom comes from trusting in Him and His word. If we build our lives on the basis of God’s truth then we will be able to persevere when the storms of life come. If our foundation is built on our own worldly desires and wisdom then we will fail when we are tested. Jesus is the only worthy foundation because of his death & resurrection is our only hope to overcome. Even our best efforts to follow Jesus teaching must be covered and made acceptable by his grace and the righteousness of Christ.

Lesson Title: The Wise & Foolish Builders
Bible Reference: Matthew 7:24-29
Target Age Group: K4-1st Grade
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
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Memory Verse: Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Basic Supply List:

  1. Bible
  2. Poster Board
  3. Crayons
  4. Bag of Rocks
  5. Bag of Sand
  6. Building Blocks
  7. Sharpie

Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.

> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <

Introduction:  Begin the lesson by singing the children’s song “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.”  The lyrics for this song are listed below.

“The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

And the rain came tumbling down

 

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the wise man’s house stood firm.

 

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

And the rain came tumbling down

 

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the foolish man’s house went “splat!” [clap hands once]

 

So, build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ

Build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ

Build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ

And the blessings will come down

 

Oh, the blessings come down

As your prayers go up

The blessings come down

As your prayers go up

The blessings come down

As your prayer go up

So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Biblical Evidence:  Have the children sit as you share the Bible lesson with them.

  • Read Matthew 7:24-25. Say, The first story that Jesus tells us in this passage is about a man who builds his house upon a rock.  Think about what a rock is and what it feels like.  It is very strong and sturdy.  Jesus is like a rock.  When we have Jesus in our lives it is like we are standing on a rock.  We are not going to fall down when Jesus is holding us up.  We have to rely on Jesus with every part of our lives.  If we do rely on Jesus, He will not let us fall.
  • Read Matthew 7:26-27.  Say, The second part of this story is about a man who built his house on the sand.  What is sand like?  It is squishy and it moves when you walk on it.  The world is like sand.  When we build our lives on whatever we want, but not Jesus, it is like standing on the sand.  When life is hard the foundation we are standing on gets squishy and we will fall down.  Without Jesus we fall down.  The foolish man’s house fell down when the storm came. 
  • Read Matthew 7:28-29.  Say, When Jesus taught this lesson, many people were amazed because they knew that He had the authority of God to teach them.  They understood that Jesus was right and they needed to believe in Him and trust Him.  What about you? Do you want to build your life upon the rock like Jesus? Or on the sand?  Help the children understand that they should build their lives on the rock of Jesus Christ.

Say, That’s right we need to build our lives on Jesus and nothing else.  When build our lives on Jesus by believing in Him.  If we believe in Jesus then we will want to know more about Him.  We can learn more about Him by reading the Bible and coming to church. 

When we build our lives on Jesus then we gain wisdom.  What does it mean to have wisdom?  Wisdom is doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.  We get wisdom when we learn more about Jesus.  Having wisdom helps us to build our lives on the rock, just like Jesus wants us to. 

Wise Guy Poster:  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.

A Solid Foundation:  Set up two different centers for your children to play at.  At one center, have the children play and build with rocks.  While children are building with the rocks emphasize that when we build our life around Jesus we are building our life on the rock.  This is what Jesus wants us to do.  At the other station have a bucket of sand ready for the kids to play with.  Remind the children that sand is always moving and that without Christ we will easily fall.  This would be a great summer outdoor activity to help alleviate the mess from the sand.

Build the Memory Verse: There are two different ways to play this game, one way for older kids and one way for younger kids.

For Older Kids:  Write one word from the Memory Verse, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24” on a block.  Challenge the children to use the blocks to build a tower that states the memory verse.  When they are finished building the tower you should be able to read the Bible Verse off of the blocks.

For Younger Kids: Have the children build a tower quickly.  Every time a new block is placed on the tower say one word of the memory verse.  The idea here is to say the verse with the motion of building the tower.  Repeat building a tower and saying the verse several times so that they here the verse several times.

Review Questions:  Use the following questions to review the main ideas of the stories.

  1. What did the wise man build his house upon?  The Rock
  2. What did the foolish man build his house upon? The Sand
  3. In our lives, who is really the Rock? Jesus
  4. What happens when we build our life upon the rock? We stand on the knowledge of Jesus and He will help us to stand firm and not fall down.
  5. What happens when we build our life upon the sand?  When life gets hard we will fall.
  6. What is wisdom? Answers may vary.  Wisdom is doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.
  7. What are some of the things that we can do to gain wisdom? Read our Bibles, pray, attend Church, listen to our parents and teachers, etc.
  8. Will you build your life on the rock or on the sand?  Answers will vary.  Use this as a discussion question, more than a question with a right or wrong answer. 

Closing:  Close by reminding the children that God is good and wants what is best for us.  He wants us to build our lives on the rock because He loves us and wants to take care of us.  We are stronger when we trust in Christ and give Him our lives.  Close with this prayer, Dear Lord, Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to earth to die for our sins and to teach us.  Help us to trust you and build our lives on the rock.  Bless each child with wisdom this week and always as we leave church today.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


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