Close Menu X

Wise Men and Fools

August 5, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:

Topic: Wise Men and Fools Verse: Luke 6:46–6:49

“Wise Men & Fools”

Luke 6:46-49

Theme: The mark of a true disciple is obedience.

I. The Worthless Ovations by the Foolish – 6:46 

A. A Fools’ Accolades Are Meaningless                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Luke continues to address the false teachers that He had been describing and excoriating as hypocrites in the previous section.
  • Those who are committed to self-righteousness are described as blind guides who condemn others who fail to measure up to their standards – they judge others and condemn others (v. 37), they impose their standards on others (vv. 39-42), they are hypocrites who fail to possess any “good fruit” but only bring “forth what is evil.” (vv. 43-45).
  • As Luke records the conclusion to Jesus’ sermon, he focuses on those who come to Jesus with respect for Him as a teacher but fail to believe in Him for salvation – the characteristic of religious people who seek to mingle their own efforts with their faith in Jesus.
  • Jesus confronts these self-righteous people by saying: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
  • “Lord” [κύριος] – is a word that has a variety of meanings and applications: from “principal person” – that is, the consummate role-model or essential representation to the person in charge because of ownership, to a person in a position of authority, master, and is also used as a term to describe God Himself.
  • The repetition of “Lord, Lord” would mean that in their estimation, Jesus was the in the highest echelon of teachers – a “teacher of teachers,” as someone who is the consummate expression of a spiritual leader.
  • A fool is willing to grant honor the Jesus up to a point, but it is flawed because they are not willing to go beyond complement or token respect.

B. A Fools’ Actions Are Meaningful  

  • The problem with their profession is that it doesn’t result in any change – “… and do not do what I say?”
  • The Gospel is actually a command – even as Jesus’ entire ministry is summarized by the statement that He preached repentance – cp. Matthew 4:17; Matthew 11:20; and Mark 1:15
  • This is how the Gospel is characterized through the Scripture – as a command to be obeyed – cp. Acts 6:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17
  • Jesus’ question is “why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and you do not do what I say?”
  • Obedience to Christ – beginning with repentance and then continuing to “whatever He has commanded” (Matthew 28:19) is the mark of genuine faith – it is what it means to believe in Jesus – cp. Hebrews 5:9; 1 Peter 1:2; John 3:36; Matthew 7:21
  • Those who see no need to confess their sin, repent, and submit to Jesus as their Lord cannot be saved since the grace of God has not brought them to a place of regeneration.
  • Their actions illegitimize their accolades of Christ – worship that is coming from a life of submission to Christ is pleasing to Him; but worship coming from a life of rebellion against Him is an offense to God.


  • We often refer to salvation as an invitation to believe – but why is it more accurate to call it a command?
  • How do we process the difference in our awareness of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and our ability to obey all of His commands?
  • Explain from the context that the major issue here is between self-righteousness and repentance/faith in Christ?

II. The Wise Obedience by Followers – 6:47-49

A. The Attributes of Obedience – v. 47 

  • Attraction to the Truth – “Everyone who comes to Me” 
  1. This is present tense reference – “comes” [ἐρχόμενος] so it is not a reference to some historical event, but a characteristic: “is constantly coming.”
  2. We understand that the only way that a person can “come” is through the ministry of God’s Spirit who calls a person to come – cp. John 6:37,44, 65; 1 Timothy 2:4
  3. There is a constant desire to abide in the presence of Christ – a constant “coming” to Him for the various blessings that are found only in Christ – Hebrews 11:6.
  • Attentiveness to the Truth – “… and hears My words”
  1. The Holy Spirit’s ministry continues as He enables the person who hears the “words” of Christ to understand them – giving them ears to hear.
  2. “hears” [ἀκούω] – a Pres. Act. Part. – referring to a person who is capable of discerning what is being taught – cp. 1 Corinthians 2:14
  3. The ability to actually perceive the truth is something that is associated with the grace of God in redemption – cp.  Matthew 13:13-17
  4. Those who are true followers of Christ hear His voice and know Him and follow Him – cp. John 10:2-4.
  • Application of the Truth – “… and acts on them”
  1. This is the consummation of obedience – we desire to come to Jesus, listen to His Word, and then “act on them” by doing what He has commanded.
  2. “acts” [ποιέω] – (Pres. Act. Part) means “to do” or “to carry out an obligation.”  
  3. Those who “do” the will of God are they who have come to Jesus in faith, understanding what He commands, and then carries them out as an obligation (since He is Lord) – cp. Ephesians 6:6; 1 John 2:17; Luke 6:46
  4. Without the grace of God available solely through Christ Jesus, there is no one who “does” good – cp. Romans 3:12.
  5. Self-righteousness keeps a person from coming to Jesus, listening to Him with understanding, and then doing what He says.

B. The Analogy of Obedience – vv. 48-49 

  • Luke concludes the Lord’s message by referencing yet another parable – Matthew’s account identifies it as being a contrast between a “wise man” and a “foolish man” – cp. Matthew 7:24-27 
  • The person who obeys the Lord’s command to repent and consistently continues to obey is “like a man building a house” – a reference to the substance of one’s faith. 
  1. “who dug deep” – illustrates the depths of a person’s willingness to deal with matters through introspection and repentance.
  2. “… and laid a foundation on the rock” – refers to building one’s faith upon the stability and power of Christ Jesus – cp. 1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:4
  3. Such a person is not threatened by the “storms” of God’s judgment – “… and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
  • However, a person who relies upon their own righteousness instead of Christ Jesus’ righteousness and does not repent is like “the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, … who build a house on the ground without any foundation” – that is, they are not reliant upon Christ Jesus.
  • The devastation of judgment is anticipated here by Jesus against the lives of people who fail to repent and obey the Word of God – “… and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
  • Each of us has the choice as to how we will respond to the Gospel – either through obedience & repentance or disregard and self-righteousness – the destiny of both is certain.
  • All who turn to Christ will find that on the day of judgment, there will be no disappointment – cp. Romans 9:33; 10:9-11.


  • Why is spiritual superficiality so devastating to a sinner?
  • How is Christ the stabilizing foundation for your life – both in present difficulty and in view of coming judgment?
  • Why is sincerity an ineffective test for the validity of a person’s faith? Do you value sincerity over truth?


More in

September 19, 2021

The Times of the Gentiles

September 12, 2021

The Travail of the End Times

August 29, 2021

Clarifying God’s Judgment of Israel