Foolish to Wise

Study Guide

In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches the crowds what the life of a foolish person looks like compared to someone who is wise, trusting in and obeying his words. Both the fool and the wise person hear Jesus’ teaching, are building the foundation of their lives, and will face storms. The difference is in how each person responds to Jesus’ teaching, the foundation he lays, and how his life holds up when storms come his way. Using the comparison of building a house, Jesus warns the crowds of being foolish.
  1. Our faith in Jesus and his resurrection reorients the way we live. When thinking back on the series, which of the present benefits of salvation has been most impactful to your life? Why? (dead to alive, guilty to justified, cursed to blessed, estranged to reconciled, enslaved to freed, longing to satisfied, unclean to clean, slaves to sons, ashamed to honored, broken to healed, and now foolish to wise)

  2. The wise person hears Jesus’ teaching, processes, and responds with obedience because he knows he can’t trust in himself. In what area have you heard Jesus’ teaching and still need to respond in obedience? How can your community around you help you be obedient?

  3. The wise person does the deep inner work to build his life on a strong foundation of Jesus and his teaching, while the fool focuses on only the outward appearance of a strong foundation. How have you in the past, or currently, focused on the false foundation? What was or is that false foundation (comfort, family, hobbies, money, education, reputation, approval)?

  4. Storms reveal the foundation of the house. Do you have a storm happening right now that is exposing a weak foundation? What is it and what are you learning about the foundation?

Key Points
  • Proverbs gives us several definitions of a fool and a wise person:

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  • Ignorance and pride breed disobedience and foolishness, while truth and humility equal obedience and wisdom.

  • Foolishness and wisdom are not intelligence issues but character issues.

  • Both the fool and the wise person hear Jesus’ teaching, but the fool hears and forgets, trusting in himself. The wise person hears, processes, and responds in obedience because he knows he can’t trust in himself.

  • Two main reasons we don’t listen to Jesus’ words are that we are distracted or deceived.

  • It is foolish for us to build our lives on a foundation where we see a false sense of progress just because we can see it and feel it. The solid foundation is found in the unseen work of a heart tethered to Jesus Christ.

  • We live in a world where there will always be situations and experiences that will test the integrity of the lives we are building—will your foundation hold up?

  • Storms shake the very foundations of our lives—but it's not about avoiding the storms; it's about letting the storms expose our foolishness and drive us to the solid foundation that is found in Jesus Christ.