One of my favourite parables of Jesus is that of “The wise and foolish builders” who built their houses very differently. (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49)  I had always thought that this parable was about us as individuals – how wrong I have been!  I misunderstood the parable because I did not understand what the word “house” meant.

In the Bible a ‘house’ can be many things.  Funnily enough Jesus uses the Word ‘house’ in three different ways on one occasion.  A ‘house’ can refer to a nationality – “The house of Israel” (Matt 10:6).  A ‘house’ can simply be a building (Matt 10:12).  Finally, a ‘house’ can refer to an immediate family living in that building (Matt 10:13).  Context always clarifies the definition of a word.

Back to the parable.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7)

Jesus is telling me that my hypocrisy can cause my house to fall!  Jesus is not referring to where I live, but my family.  As the appointed head of my house, I do not want to see my wife or children or future generations of Olivers eternally fall.  Jesus is also telling me that when the Olivers submit to him our house is unshakeable.

The Olivers are committed to making “Jesus Lord” visible in all of life including our personal actions, our household budgeting, our commitment to church, our regular Bible reading, etc… What do you want for your house?

Denis Oliver