The Parable of the Bricklayers

David Osteen

Behold, two Bricklayers went out to build fortifications. The First Bricklayer began work on his own being taught by his father. He respected the example of his father and the great fortifications that he had built.

And so the young Bricklayer worked alone diligently. Until one day he found a woman that loved bricklaying as much as him. They had two children who also learned to lay bricks. They worked diligently daily for many years together.

The Second Bricklayer also had the example of his father, but he did not follow his Father’s faithful ways. He thought his father was too demanding and harsh.

And so he worked when he felt like it. When it came time for him to marry, he did not find a woman who was concerned with bricklaying. When they had children he was not concerned with teaching them to lay bricks or disciplining them in the ways of diligent labor, nor teaching them its value.

One day, a band of marauding bandits passed through the way laying waste to the land. Through the years the First Bricklayer had established an impenetrable fortress of defense that was 100 feet high and 50 feet thick on every side; and when the attack came, it took the strength of EVERY brick for the walls to hold their integrity.

The Second Bricklayer had only managed a measly lookout post. The marauding bandits wasted no time in conquering the easy target. The bricklayers that survive know these two simple truths… every brick is an investment, and is laid with purpose.

The Meaning of the Parable of the Bricklayers

Now the application of this parable is in regard to our work and service as Christians. “…Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)

The First Bricklayer is the man who realizes the value in attending church services. Every service attended is a brick being laid. It matters not that he may have heard “that lesson before” (Philippians 3:1; II Peter 1:12). He understands he is simply laying another brick on top, or behind a previous, further fortifying his faith.

Every scripture he reads, every song he sings, every prayer he offers, every memorial supper taken, every contribution given, every sermon meditated upon, every work of spiritual service, he is just laying one more brick.

In addition, he realizes the wisdom in finding a mate who, understands the value of, is as dedicated to, and is as willing a worker in laying bricks as he.

He also knows his responsibility in teaching his children this diligent faith (II Peter 1:5). Though they may not always like and applaud laying bricks, it is in their best interest, and he leads them in it because he loves them. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

The Second Bricklayer is a man who does not see the value in consistent work. (Proverbs 24:30-34)

He is foolish to trust in his own pride, that he will not need any great fortification; and so he does not labor and work as he should. Because he is sure of his feeble work, he does not care to find a mate that will help him. He thinks he can be faithful to God on his own.

Not valuing service to God himself, he does not pass his faith on to his children either; but rather, lets them the freedom (in the naivety and foolishness of their youth) to make their own choices about spiritual matters. They will all pay the price for the Bricklayers lack of humility, wisdom, and love for godliness (I John 2:15-17).

What Choices are You Making Today That Prepare For Tomorrow?

Satan loves the easy target (I Peter 5:8), and when we waste our lives away on worldly pursuits rather than bearing fruitful defenses in faithfulness then we become Satan’s easy prey.

Every day we make choices that either; build up our defenses against lust and sin, or leave us as vulnerable, or more so, than the day before.

Be faithful in your attendance to services and know you are building for the future.

Be faithful in attending Bible classes and being engaged in bible studies knowing you are building for the future.

Be mindful of your daily spiritual service; knowing you are building for the future.

Be mindful of the mate you choose, and make certain they live with the same diligence and purpose that you do.

Be responsible for loving your children enough to help prepare them to build themselves up as a spiritual temple to the Lord, and help them lay a proper foundation (Luke 6:47-49).

Be a wise bricklayer, knowing that if your defenses hold strong, Christ has prepared a place for you in eternal glory (John 14:2)!