Yes, Jesus believed in the Three Little Pigs, at least the principles taught with that story. If you remember this classic fairy tale, you’ll surely remember how spiritual these young swine were. Well, maybe not, but we can certainly glean some life lessons from our piggy friends. And don’t jump to conclusions. I’m not advocating that the Three Little Pigs is Divinely inspired.
But why the hapless pigs are the subjects of many of these fairy tales and poems, is a mystery to me. The Three Little pigs, This Little Piggy Went to Market, The Pig Brother, The Enchanted Pig, The Old Woman and Her Pig are some that come to mind. I know, it probably never crossed your mind. But, just think about it. The poor ol’ pig just enjoys laying in the mud and eating his nasty food and so he becomes a hero in our folklore? I don’t get it. But, I digress.
Back to our piglets and their misadventure. Mommy piggy had turned them loose on the world and they were to make their own way. It seems that two of them were less than conscientious and rather slothful in planning for their stability and future. Therefore, they settled for makeshift dwellings of straw and wood so they could rush to the fulfillment of their life fantasies.
But, of course, the third little piggy, by the hair of his chinny-chin-chin, was diligent to build a strong brick house with hard work and planning. Playtime would come later for him, but his concern was stability, security and protection against what might come his way.
And wouldn’t you know it, the villain happened along and his name just happened to be The Big Bad Wolf. As Justin Wilson used to say, “He had that lean and hongry look” and was determined to have pork for dinner. You, of course, know that he huffed and puffed and blew the first two shacks down with ease, as the lazy piggies ran to safety at brother’s brick house, which could not be blown down.
So he came down the chimney, only to find a pot of boiling water. And the hero pigs ended up having boiled wolf that night for dinner. Simple and entertaining but very profound.
But how does this relate to Jesus? Well, He told a story that had the same basic lesson for us as individuals, families and, importantly for this weekend’s Father’s Day recognitions.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, chapter 7 in Matthew, Jesus closed by admonishing everyone to be wise builders of life, building lives on solid rock, not shifting sand that is uncertain and hazardous. For three chapters, Jesus explained His purpose and instructed His hearers on how to do life.
Then He closes with “Everyone who hears my words and does them will be like a wise man…” This wise man can be compared to the smart little pig who took the time to do things correctly, working hard and preparing for he and his family, even his lazy brothers. And we do hope that they matured some from their ordeal!
This wise man (smart piggy) is characterized by building his “house,” his life on solid rock. The foolish man (foolish piggies) is characterized by building his life’s house on shifting sands of uncertainty and selfishness. Winds, rain and floods of life (The Big Bad Wolf) relentlessly beat on the structures that have been built and the result is realized by the materials that have been used for the construction.
Of course, Jesus takes it to the ultimate when He says that the building of life’s house is directly related to hearing and doing the words that He has spoken, or not hearing and doing them. The Master Carpenter of Nazareth has the Truth in His words that build a solid, secure future for anyone who will listen and apply them.
The Big Bad Wolves of life can rant and huff and puff all they want to, but do not have enough breath to damage the structure built on these words. But they will easily destroy the life structures that have ignored them.
So, to our super dads on this Father’s Day weekend, I encourage you to be the dad that always desires to build properly for your sake and for your family’s sake. Your kids are very aware of what is important to you. They are watching and learning to build their life. The responsibility is yours to help them build their “house” on solid rock, not shifting sand.