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Showing posts from November, 2020

Jesus's Yeast Parable

A look at the parable of the woman and the yeast. Matthew 13:33: He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened." Again, I go back to that question, "What makes you think the world is as you see it?" The parable of the yeast, or better said, the leaven, is just such a parable that I hope will shake up our thinking a bit so that we can see the world a bit differently. Do you remember last week when Curt taught Jesus' parable of the talents. The rich owner left his servants with five, two and one talent. I did a little pout and said, "I don't like this parable." It hit a little too close to home for me. I saw myself as the one who was given one talent and was too fearful to take a risk with it. As I studied this parable of the leaven, I again, got a little peek at the world Jesus is hoping to nudge me into. I was a

Two parables about prayer

Observations by a teacher: If I really believe in a concept and want my students to get it, I'll repeat it a lot, sometimes in different words. I do not lean on concepts that my students already understand. I tend to teach to the gaps in their understanding. Luke was more than a simple stenographer: He grouped things together for a purpose, so we need to deal with parables in their context. They are not just little one-shot stories. Jews were people who really did pray a lot—or at least they were used to being around praying people. The concept of prayer was certainly not new to them. First parable: The persistent widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8) Luke lets the cat out of the bag with this one. There's no real question why the parable was told, so we should ask what shortcoming the parable is addressing. The widow had a legitimate claim. The judge never questioned whether her lawsuit was valid. Especially in the culture of the time, the widow had no power or status. She

The Parable of the Talents

The sermon today covered the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids, and this parable (Matthew 25:14-30) follows immediately. A note about talents In biblical times, a talent was a unit of weight, and a talent of silver or gold was an enormous amount of money. The talent was about 75 pounds, and one commentator says it would have been about 20 years wages for an ordinary worker. The ten-talent servant got a truly princely amount of money to care for, but the one-talent servant didn't get mere pocket change. (Note: Modern Christians who moan that they "have only one talent" don't get the point of this parable. One talent was still a lot of money.) Points we usually miss Each servant was given money according to his ability. The master's expectations were reasonable—nobody was being overwhelmed. There was no promise of reward to anyone. Apparently, the only instruction was "Here! Take care of this money until I return!&q