The Parables of Jesus: Lesson 14: Two Parables in a Vineyard Setting

The Unusual Vineyard Owner: Matthew 19:30-20:16 Immediate Setting In Matthew 19:16, a man approached Jesus: “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”  Jesus then brought up God’s Law (vs. 18-19), to which the man responded, “I have kept all these.”  So, Jesus told him something He knew he couldn’t do, “Go, sell […]

Parable of the Seed: Mark 4:26-34

A question I have sometimes pondered is this: “Does preaching do any good?”  When I look at how many lives are NOT changed based on what I’ve preached, I can all-too-easily conclude that sermons are a waste of time.  What do you think? But the real question isn’t what we may think, but what Jesus […]

Luke 14:1-14, “Friend, Move Up Higher”

It’s a dangerous decision to make when planning a wedding reception, to decide who sits where.  Some folks will value where you place them to sit, near the bride and groom, near the place of honor.  Others will feel insulted, having to sit too far way from where they think they belong. But if you […]

Epiphany 7: Luke 8:4-15, The Parable of the Sower and the Seed

About every week, somebody sends me mail, mail that promises to make my church grow, mail that promises to bring life to a dying church.  Obviously, many churches must be shrinking for so many companies to send out such advertisements.  Yet, every one of those mailings focuses–not on God–but on people’s wants and wishes.  They […]

Epiphany 6: Matthew 20:1-16

The Parable of the Vineyard Owner Don’t look for the world’s justice in God’s kingdom.  What passes for justice in this world lacks the grace and mercy of our Lord.  God rules by grace and mercy, which the Parable of the Vineyard Owner clearly shows us.  In the parable, God doesn’t understand a day’s pay […]

Epiphany 5: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

The parables dealing with God’s rule over us in the book of Matthew are full of promise and hope, especially in the 13th chapter, which we heard in our Gospel reading.  The sower goes out to sow his seed.  Some of his seed falls on rich soil and produces a generous harvest.  Then there is […]