“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
The windshield wipers went back and forth. Mary Rose watched as the rain drops hit the window and slid down. She was glad she had worn her rain coat. On these particular Sunday mornings Daddy tried to park as close to the church building as he could, though they would still have a short ways to walk. Step, step sploosh! Right in a puddle. Mary Rose ended up with very wet feet and a few sprinkles on her face. Her Daddy came by and swooped her up into his arms. The next moment they were inside. Everyone was happy for the rain. All the growing things seemed to be drinking it up. Rainwater. Everywhere. It was making little rivers in the sand just beside the wooden steps. Next thing they knew the rain gutter broke and swoosh! Water gushed down next to the steps washing the sand away making a big hole. The steps became unsteady and were not safe to climb. Everyone would have to use the back door until the hole was fixed.
Mary Rose and her friends walked excitedly to Bible class talking about how the rain had washed the sand away. Inside the class room their teacher was waiting. They told her all about what had happened! Their teacher listened as they each had apart to add. It didn’t take them long to notice that she had some sand in a large tin and some large rocks in another. Beside the tins sat a pitcher of water. What were they going to be doing with this? They were encouraged to feel the sand. Holding it over the tin, they each grabbed up a handful. It was very soft and easily fell between their fingers. Then they felt of the rocks. Smooth edges yet very hard, and not so easily moved. The teacher pulled out two stick houses. She sat one on the sand and the other on the rocks. The students all watched as she poured the water into the sand. It moved all over and the stick house moved with it. It reminded Mary Rose of what happened to the steps outside. The teacher pointed out that it would be a very foolish thing to build your house on the sand, for when the rains came it would be washed away. Then the teacher poured the water on the rocks. The rocks didn’t move at all. They were strong! The house was safe and did not move either. Anyone who built their house on the rocks would be very wise.
They sang a song about 2 men. One was foolish and the other was wise. Everyone enjoyed the motions of making the rain come down with their fingers. Then they slapped their hands together when the foolish man’s house fell. But the wise man’s house always stood firm on the rock.
The big Bible was the next thing that was brought out. Mary Rose was chosen to look up the Book of Matthew. They found that the Bible lesson came from Matthew 7:24-29. There had been many, many people following Jesus listening to what He had to say. They were hoping He would heal the sick people. When Jesus saw everyone, He went up on a mountain and sat down and began teaching them about many good behaviors. Mary Rose was so surprised because Jesus told them all about the wise and foolish man!
He said, “Whoever listens to what I say and obeys My words will be like the wise man who built his house on the rock.” When the rains came down and the winds blew and beat upon that house, it stood firm.
Then Jesus said, “Those who do NOT listen to and obey what I say are like the foolish man who built his house on the sand.” When the rains came and the waters made a flood, and the winds blew and beat on the house, it fell.
(When the teacher talked about the rain she sprayed a mist of water in the air all around them. And when she talked about the wind blowing she turned on a fan so they could feel the wind.)
The teacher explained how each thing in the lesson had a much deeper meaning.
- The house is much more than just a house! It is like our life and what we do with it.
- The storm-wind, rain, and floods are like troubles or problems that come into our lives, maybe like temptations.
- The strong rock is like Jesus. He helps us when we are having troubles, like the storm. Jesus helps stay strong and do the right thing and trust in Him.
- The soft sand is like worldly things. It’s whatever you may trust in INSTEAD of Jesus. It’s not strong or reliable. You will not find the help you need to be strong and do the right thing if you trust in anything or anyone but Jesus.
- The wise man was someone who listened to Jesus and obeyed Him, the foolish man was someone who did not.
After the lesson, a bowl was passed around. Each student took out a slip of paper with a struggle or temptation written out on it. There was also a scripture to help them know how to be strong against that particular storm or temptation. They each took turns reading their papers and scriptures aloud. In the song about the wise man, they also sang about blessings coming down and prayers going up. We should always look for God’s blessings in everything, even in a “storm”. (James 1:2-4) And we should always pray thanking God for His care, especially in a “storm”.
Mary Rose thought about the lesson and told herself she wanted to be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. She wanted to listen to Jesus and obey His Words. By the time class was over the rain had stopped, the storm clouds were going away, and the sun was shining. It’s always nice when the storm is over.
To my Sister Bible class teachers,
The Sermon on the Mt., all the lessons Jesus taught, so much reaped from these few chapters in Matthew and from the few verses about the Wise and Foolish Man. The visual aids for this lesson were not very complicated yet drove the point home, making the Bible lesson memorable, calling them to remembrance. (2 Peter 1:12-15) The steps outside the church building just happened to fall right into place with the lesson. You never know what might happen to help bring a point across.
Mr. Wise and Foolish. I found these little guys on line, enlarged them with an opaque projector onto the dull side of a poster board, added their names, used marker to outline, erased any pencil lines showing, trimmed the poster, used soft pastel chalk for color, and then laminated. When you chalk pictures, a little bit of chalk goes a long way and blends very easily. Always begin with the lightest colors and go to the darkest. Once a color is applied it’s pretty much on there for good. Don’t be afraid of using rich darker colors. It gives depth. I like to use a scrap piece of poster to see if I like the color and how I want to blend it.
The houses. I found them in a coloring book. I’m always keeping my eyes open for things that can be used as teaching aids. Even newspaper art. When making visual aids on the computer for a specific Bible lesson, I try to print off a set for myself and for our teacher’s education room.
As I stated in the April article, Distant Shores Media is a wonderful on line place to find Bible lesson visual aids. Nice for Power point if you have that capability in your class room.
If your congregation has a copy machine, check if it prints from a flash drive using a PDF file. This is normally how I make my visual aids on 11×17 paper. School systems may have copy machines that print documents somewhat larger than poster board size. I found I could also find access to 8 ½ x 11 size die cut letters.
This has been nice for Vacation Bible School.
If you noticed, when the children arrived, their teacher was ready to greet them. Her students expected to find her there. When they arrived she gave her students her ear and listened to them with interest. She was not hanging in the hall, while she had students to interact with.
Teach truth, have fun, and allow yourself to take pride in your students!
Serving in His Kingdom,
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