The Parables of Jesus: Lesson 12: Two Parables on Forgiveness

The Parable of the Two Debtors: Luke 7:36-50 Background in Luke Before Jesus tells this parable, we find an unnamed woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee.  This is early in Jesus’ public ministry.  She washes His feet with her tears and dries them with her hair, kissing His feet and anointing them. Though […]

Genesis 50:15-21: God Working Through All for the Good

How hard to forgive someone who hurts you!  A co-worker takes credit for your work, and now you are the lazy one.  A bully intimidates you, for not all bullies die away after grade school.  Your sister talks your aging mother into giving her a family heirloom, which she promised to you a decade before.  […]

The “Lament” Psalms: Lesson 3, Psalm 32

Structure This psalm has a pattern, revealed by its grammatical switching of “person”: Verses 1-2: Being blessed. This is the “third person,” which refers to someone else, not the writer or the audience (you). Verses 3-5: Confession and forgiveness. This is in the “first person,” from the writer of the psalm speaking to the congregation. […]

Luke 23:33-34: Father, Forgive Them, For They Don’t Know What They are Doing

Epitaphs: carved into stone, whittled in wood, burnished into bronze. They’re a message for someone to read, long after the bodies below them are dust and ash, and the memories are faded and no longer shine. Gravestones may read: Loving Mother and Faithful Wife; He Gave His Life Defending His Country; Beloved Daughter.   In […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 4: The Change in Travel Plans

Last week, we explored Paul and Timothy’s use of a chiasm to mention that God seals and anoints His people in the New Covenant. We explored that and saw that such sealing and anointing was what the Church later came to call “confirmation.”   Explanation for 2 Corinthians Paul earlier explained why he and Timothy […]

Luke 15:1-2, 11-32: The Prodigal Son

The Pharisees were grousing against the outrageousness of God’s grace. “This man [Jesus] receives sinners and eats with them.” Now, that’s wonderful news for you and me—if we see ourselves as sinners. It also would’ve been splendid news for the Pharisees—if they would’ve be honest enough to admit that they were sinners, too. So, Jesus […]

Confession, Absolution, and the Spoken Word of Forgiveness

Often, Christians are confused about a Pastor speaking God’s forgiveness to others.  Some (i.e., Protestants) say that only God can forgive sins.  Such a statement is true, but neglects how God chooses to bring His forgiveness of others.  This short theological pondering by Pr. Futrell may help someone better understand what God’s Word teaches.   […]

Living Despite the Past that Haunts You

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for February 2013.   Few know his real name.  To most, he is simply TJ.  I have no idea why.  But TJ is a man older than my years, a bit slow upstairs, having suffered brain trauma from childhood abuse.  He has a sincere, plain way of speaking.  And when […]

Mark 1:29-39: Why Jesus Came

Imagine if we had a Jesus in Kimberling City.  Imagine that!  What if we had a Jesus who would open His door each day, so people could see Him for healing?  People could bring others who were sick for Jesus to heal them of their illnesses. If that were so, we wouldn’t need Skaggs at […]