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Church Blog

Luke 20: The Wicked Vinedressers

Of all the parables of Jesus, this one is perhaps the most pointed. It doesn’t take a great deal of insight to identify the target, as the ones against whom Jesus spoke figured it out immediately (cf v 19)! The owner of the vineyard is the Lord, and the vineyard is the nation of Israel. His vineyard was planted when he chose Israel from among the nations to be His special people. As a vineyard must be planted and then…

Luke 19: Zacchaeus was a Giant

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.” So goes the children’s Bible class song. Though he may have been short in stature, he was a spiritual giant. How often have you heard it said, “It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong.”? Zacchaeus not only expressed his desire to follow Jesus, he was intent to go above and beyond any reasonable expectation to make amends for any past wrongdoing or transgressions. In Jewish…

Luke 18: Will He Find Faith on the Earth?

Luke 18 opens with the parable of the persistent widow. This is a beautiful and inspiring text for those who love and believe in God. One of the helpful things about the parable is that the purpose is given before the parable and an application at the conclusion. (Note that the parable of the Pharisee and publican in verses 9-14 does the same.) Jesus opens this parable with a character of utmost contempt—a man who had no fear of God…

Luke 17: A Little About a Lot

Luke 17 contains four great themes worthy of careful consideration. Perhaps a brief comment on each will whet your appetite to spend some time with each. Verses 1-4 teach us the importance of dealing with those in sin to bring them to repentance, while also teaching us to learn the kind of forgiveness that God extends to us (seven times in a day). Verses 5-10 are helpful in correcting those who accuse us of teaching works or merit-based salvation. The…

Luke 16: Peering into Paradise

Luke 16 contains the account of the rich man and Lazarus. You may have noticed that I did not call this a parable. That’s because I do not believe it to be one. This account does not bear the marks of a parable. First, there is a man who is named in the parable. That’s not found in any other parable. Second, the word parable means “to throw beside.” A parable is a real-life illustration or story of something that…

Luke 15: Are You Lost? And if so, Why?

Today’s reading contains three parables concerning those who are lost. In response to criticism that Jesus’ audience, and by extension, Jesus, was somehow tainted by the presence of tax collectors and sinners, Jesus offered three parables to show the value of every soul. Luke 15:4-7 is the Parable of the Lost Sheep. This account pictures those who are lost in ignorance. Sheep are not highly intelligent. Adding to that problem, they have no natural defense. Thus, a sheep might graze…

Luke 14: Counting the Cost

I remember witnessing my first baptism in Ghana, West Africa. We were all gathered behind the Effiakuma church building where there was a small tank of water. A brother stood outside the tank with a lady and was instructing her about the responsibilities of becoming a Christian (I had to ask since I don’t speak Twi). Before he finished, his voice was raised and he was giving great emphasis to what he was saying. Even though I didn’t understand a…

Luke 13: They were no worse than the others

Because God dealt with a few people directly regarding their sins, many in the Bible believed that personal distress or calamity was always the result of God’s disfavor with an individual. Job’s friends certainly believed this, as Eliphaz first words of “comfort” were to tell Job what a horrible sinner he was by asking, “whoever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen that those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap…

Luke 12: It isn’t a sin to be rich

“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). Often, biblical texts wherein the wealthy are condemned are often misconstrued and misunderstood as condemnation for being wealthy, but this is never the case. Many of the Bible’s great characters were men of incredible wealth: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, Solomon, etc. The rich but foolish farmer in today’s text is a good case study. The problem was…

Luke 11: O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

So goes the song that is often taught to our small children but that adults would do well to relearn and remember. Jesus said, “the lamp of the body is the eye” (Luke 11:34). This statement is first recorded in the Sermon on the Mount (cf Matt 6:22-23). In that specific context, Jesus warned against the inordinate desire for money and this world’s goods. We know this because in the three preceding verses Jesus admonished us to pursue everlasting heavenly…