The Parable of the Fig Tree (Luke 13:6–9)

October 4, 2018 // 17 Comments

A man had a fig tree, which had been planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, “Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?” And he [...]

Who is the Unworthy Servant? (Luke 17:10)

June 30, 2016 // 39 Comments

How do you see yourself? As a valued son or a worthless servant? As a beloved child of God or a mere minion? Jesus came to reveal our heavenly Father, so a good sign that you understand all that Jesus did for you, is you see yourself as God’s dearly loved child. But what are we to make of these words of Jesus: [...]

Why is the Narrow Gate Hard to Enter?

June 23, 2016 // 68 Comments

Artist: Unknown Jesus spoke about entering the kingdom through a narrow gate, but what is the narrow gate? Jesus is. But what does it mean to find the narrow gate, and why did Jesus say many would try to enter the narrow gate and fail? Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I tell you, [...]

The Parable of the Two Sons

November 11, 2015 // 37 Comments

From time to time people ask me to write about the parables of Jesus. This is something I enjoy doing because I love the parables. The parables of Jesus are launch pads to revelation and if we have ears to hear they reveal the wisdom of God. Especially this one: What do you think? There was a man who had two [...]

The Parable of the Dead Rich Man

July 14, 2015 // 30 Comments

Jesus told stories to nudge people toward receptive insight. So why did he tell the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)? According to some, it was so that we might learn about the fiery torments of the dead. However, as we saw in the last post, this parable should not be read as the Wikipedia entry [...]

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

July 9, 2015 // 38 Comments

In Luke 15 and 16, Jesus tells five parables in a row. The first three are about lost things; a sheep, a coin, and a son. The last two are about lost lives; a shrewd manager loses his livelihood and a rich man loses his life. 1. Story of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7) 2. Story of the lost son (Luke 15:8-10) 3. [...]

The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27)

May 28, 2015 // 29 Comments

Jesus told two parables about servants entrusted with money; the parable of the talents and the parable of the minas. In both stories a nobleman goes on a journey (okay, so we know it’s Jesus), and before he leaves he entrusts his servants with his wealth. In both stories the man returns and promotes those who [...]

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

May 19, 2015 // 51 Comments

Once upon a time there was a man who went on a journey, and before he left he entrusted three servants with his money. When the man returned, he praised the two servants who had doubled his money, but the third servant, who had done nothing, was thrown outside into the darkness. The parable of the talents (Matt [...]

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1–8)

March 19, 2015 // 32 Comments

The strangest parable Jesus ever told was about a man who cheats on his boss and is then praised for doing so (see Luke 16:1–8). The parable of the shrewd manager (or the unjust steward) is puzzling. What is Jesus trying to tell us? That it’s okay to cook the books, diddle the figures, and engage in [...]

Fatherless fiction

September 17, 2014 // 26 Comments

I have four children under the age of ten so I read a lot of children’s books. Sometimes I even read them to my kids! A recurring theme I have noticed in children’s literature is this: Moms and dads are usually absent. And if the parents are mentioned, they are often negligent kill-joys who hinder and [...]

The Parable of the Beaten Servants (Luke 12:35-48)

July 9, 2014 // 33 Comments

There are only two ways you can respond to Jesus; positively, in faith, or negatively, with unbelief. Consequently, it makes sense to speak of people dividing themselves into two groups: sheep and goats, wheat and weeds, good fish and bad fish. But sometimes Jesus spoke of three or even four groups. Think of the [...]

How Should We Read the Words of Jesus?

November 19, 2013 // 47 Comments

Jesus is the greatest preacher of all time. He told stories and preached sermons the whole world needs to hear. The genius of Jesus is that he often preached one message with two punchlines: If you were confident of your own righteousness, you got law, but if you were not, you got grace. Consider Jesus’ story [...]