Sowing and Reaping—3

The Seed. In this series (begins here) we have discussed literal farming in the ancient world, the basic principle of sowing and reaping, and a number of related lessons. Our focus in the series is the passages that use sowing and reaping figuratively to describe people coming to Christ. Today we will explore the seed.Continue reading “Sowing and Reaping—3”

Parables of the Kingdom 13

Banquet. When we speculate about what heaven will be like, we mention a variety of things we hope we will get to experience. Many questions may remain unanswered for now, but the Bible also gives us some definite information about what it will be like. For example, God prophesied through Isaiah that one day heContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 13”

Parables of the Kingdom 8

Unmerciful Servant. For a while there was a major emphasis in both society and church on not judging others. More recently, that emphasis seems to have diminished greatly. Today we hear accusations left and right. There is a pervasive judging of most anyone about any number of things. This judging is in contrast to oneContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 8”

Parables of the Kingdom 6

Treasure and Pearl. The parables of the treasure in a field and the pearl of great value are unique to Matthew (13:44-46). Their meaning is clear enough. The kingdom of God is of unparalleled worth. As a result, everything must be sacrificed to obtain it. In ancient times people often hid money or other valuablesContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 6”

Parables of the Kingdom 4

Leaven. What is the right relationship between the kingdom of God and the world? We don’t often say this, and when we do it is not popular, but there are only two kingdoms. There is the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. If we ask someone which kingdom they belong to, they mayContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 4”

Parables of the Kingdom 3

The Mustard Seed. I have to confess that I often get discouraged about the health of the church. Though there are indeed many fine congregations and some are doing very well, it seems that the church as a whole often gets off track. Problems abound, and sometimes it seems there is very little difference betweenContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 3”

Parables of the Kingdom 2

Seed Growing Secretly. The parable of the Growing Seed or the Seed Growing Secretly has an important lesson to teach us. Mark alone records this wonderful story (Mark 4:26-29). In it, Jesus specifically says what seems to be true of all the parables, namely, “This is what the kingdom of God is like.” God’s reignContinue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 2”

Parables of the Kingdom 1

Sower and Soils. In the Scriptures, God had said he was going to intervene and bring about better times and had referred to setting up a kingdom. The Jews had read those words and were looking forward to their fulfillment. In the first century they were expecting God’s kingdom to come (Mark 15:43; Luke 17:20;Continue reading “Parables of the Kingdom 1”

How Jesus Changed the World 4

His Balanced Ministry. There are different ways one might sum up the ministry of Jesus, but it is certainly worth noticing Matthew’s inspired summary: “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (Matthew 4:23). Before you proceed, I invite you to read thatContinue reading “How Jesus Changed the World 4”