Parables

July 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Posted in parables | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Most of the parables in the Bible were taught by Jesus during His earthly ministry, and can be found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but there are parables throughout the Bible. They are very instructive vehicles for conveying spiritual truth, and, while they are sometimes the subject of too much creative scrutiny, “over-spiritualizing,” and biased interpretation on the part of Bible teachers who have a pet doctrine or eschatological view they want to read into all sorts of passages of Scripture, parables will repay a faithful and obedient Christian’s close attention with memorable warnings, admonitions, encouragement, insight, and spiritual nourishment. Here are links to lessons on some of the Biblical parables:

1. Trusted with the Treasure (Luke 19:11-27)
2. Why Parables? (Matthew 13:10)
3. The King Who Will Return (Luke 19:11-17)
4. Wake Up to the Word (Matthew 13:11-16)
5. Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 4) (Luke 8:13)*
6. Salt or Scum? (Ezekiel 23-24)
7. The Manager Who Thought He Was an Owner (Luke 20:9-16)
8. Our Own Worst Enemy (Luke 18:9-14)
9. What Exactly Did Jesus Say about Being Judgmental? (Matthew 7:24-27)
10. Hearing What the King Says  (Matthew 13:13-16)
11. The Intercession of the King
(Matthew 13:45)
12. Hearts of Stone (Matthew 13:5-21)
13. The Unwanted Peace, the Unfruitful Tree, and the Underdressed Guest (Matthew 22:1-14)
14. Serving without Fear (Mark 4:2-8)
15. Winsome Weeding  (Matthew 13:7, 24-30)
16. Wary Watching 
(Luke 12:35-40)
17. A Second Pair of Paradoxes
 (Mark 10:17-31)
18. The Servant Prophet 
(Mark 12:1-9)
19. Conformers, Reformers, or Transformers (Luke 5:36-39)
20. Obstacles, Others, and Ourselves (Luke 6:39-40)
21. What Kind of Dirt Are You? (Luke 8:5-15)
22. The Dirty Girdle (Jeremiah 13:1-11)
23. The Certains: a Lawyer, a Man, a Priest, a Samaritan, and a Savior
 (Luke 10:25-37)
24. A Recipe for Importunate Prayer (Luke 11:2-10)
25. The Vowels of Hell (Luke 11:21-22)
26. When Kingdoms Collide (Luke 13)
27. The Door and the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-11)
28. The Sabbath, Sickness, and Self-Serving Status (Luke 14:7-11)
29. The Joy of Rescuing Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)
30. A (Perhaps) Parabolic Prodigal’s Preferential Proximate Predicament Produces Patient Prosperous Passionate Persistent Protective Paternal Pardon (Luke 15:8-24)
31. Prayerless Practical Pouting Prefers Possessive Purpose (Luke 15:25-32)

*most-viewed post in category

The Vowels of Hell

May 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Luke, parables | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When we pray, we can be specific. We can ask God for the Holy Spirit, and be confident that He will help us.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Luke 11:13

There are times in the Bible when Jesus cast out demons, and it’s safe to say that casting out demons seems like it would always be a good thing… Well, apparently not to everyone, because when He did it in Luke Chapter 11 some people starting accusing Him of being on the same team as the demons.

But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

Luke 11:15

Jesus used some pretty simple logic to show that this was a ridiculous and blasphemous accusation. First, why would the devil cast out devils? He’s in the oppression and possession business, not the exorcism business.

But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

Luke 11:17-18

Jesus, while He was refuting the accusations of the skeptics with logic, also cleverly revealed some things for us about the devil’s “kingdom,” which we may categorize according the vowels of the English alphabet (although a little bit out of their usual order): A,O,E,I,U.

It is A.ctual. The devil is real and he has real power and has been allowed some limited scope of authority in this earth since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden.

It is O.rganized. Satan has an actual kingdom and he is trying to accomplish actual goals and he’s acting in furtherance of those goals. He’s not just running around randomly trying to get people hooked on meth, or trying to get them to sacrifice a goat. He wants to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to try to rob God of glory. He wants to deceive people into believing lies and rejecting Christ, thereby playing a role in seeing them cast into hell.

Jesus’s next logical point was to turn the tables on the ones accusing Him of being in league with the devil.

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

Luke 11:19

This was a case of the pot calling the kettle black. There were plenty of Jewish exorcists around at that time. If the power of Beelzebub was required to cast out devils, then they, by their own reasoning, were promoting and working with Satan themselves.

Jesus’s third argument was to highlight their implicit admission that He did in fact have power over devils.

But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

Luke 11:20

It did not make sense for them to claim He was a fraudulent messiah and more powerful than Satan at the same time. So Jesus laid it out for them with an illustration sometimes called “the parable of the strong man.” (Keep in mind the context as you study it, because there is a ton of bad theology and craziness about what the parable means and who exactly the “strong man” in the story is meant to represent.)

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

Luke 11:21

Satan has many people under his thumb, and he’s not just giving them away without a fight.

But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Luke 11:22

Jesus is stronger than Satan and He can, and many times does, overcome him.

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

Luke 11:23

There is a cosmic battle between good and evil. God is getting glory and Satan is trying to stop that – and you and I CAN NOT be neutral. We’re either on Jesus’s side or not, and if we’re not, we’re automatically on the devil’s side. There is a playing field, but there is no sideline and there are no bleachers for spectators.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

Luke 11:24-25

Here are two more of the vowels I mentioned earlier:

E.nergetic. Unclean spirits, despite not readily finding places to rest, continue walking about, looking, until they find a suitable place to stir up fresh mischief.

I.ntelligent. Despite his foolhardy and unwinnable attempt at winning a battle against an unbeatable foe, and despite our reluctance to say anything complimentary about him, we must admit that Satan is no dummy. When unclean spirits are driven out of a home, and can not find a new one, they come back to see if they can re-establish their headquarters in familiar territory. Those who are set free from Satan’s dominion must receive God’s Spirit if they are to remain free.

Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Luke 11:26

U.nited. An evil spirit is able to do what (sadly) Christians are often unable to do. He is able to team up with seven other, and even more diabolical, spirits and work together to completely destroy someone’s life. Thankfully, Jesus (but only Jesus) provides the victory over Satan and his entire legion of demonic minions – if only we will trust Him completely.

 

Hearts of Stone

November 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Matthew, parables | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In Chapter 13 of Matthew, we see the King teaching His closest followers. The teaching vehicle He chose was that of the parable. These parables were earthly illustrations containing spiritual lessons. They revealed truth to those who had a heart for Christ, and hid truth from those who insisted on hardening their hearts toward Him.

Verses 5 and 6 describe what happens when a person who is planting seeds scatters some of the seeds on stony ground where the soil is too shallow to bear roots:

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Matthew 13:5-6

In this parable the soil represents the human heart, and the seed represents the Word of God. When some people hear the Word of God, they have an emotional response to it, and appear briefly to be growing in new life. However, the truth, for these stony-hearted hearers, is that they did not really receive the Word into their hearts, and therefore It was not rooted.

Light in the Bible usually represents truth, but in this parable the sunlight represents the heat of persecution. When someone has a false profession, persecution will cause his shallow emotions to wither, dry, and die. But in the case of the Christian who truly has believed, like the plant with deep roots, the sunlight of persecution will cause growth instead of death.

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that
heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in
himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution
ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matthew 13:20-21

Wake Up to the Word

November 24, 2009 at 10:19 am | Posted in Matthew, parables | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever noticed the disparity among church-goers as they listen to the Word of God being preached aloud? Many times you will see one listening with rapt attention, while another, right next to him, is day-dreaming, or, in some cases, sleeping soundly! In some ways, this mirrors the different spiritual responses to the parables of Christ.

Jesus explained it this way:

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:11-16

Christ’s parables had the power to hide truth and reveal truth at the same time, depending on the condition of the listeners. Let us make sure today that, if the Word of God is becoming hard to understand, or if it seems boring, we allow the Holy Spirit to arrest the process of spiritual blindness, deafness, and hard-heartedness. Just as the truth of the Gospel aroused your interest in becoming born-again, let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing you (Colossians 3:16), as you grow in spiritual maturity, and grow closer to God.


Entries and comments feeds.