A Living Parable

It has disturbed me to see the attitude taken by many toward the creation account as rendered by Genesis One. Even within my own denomination, one which finds its theological moorings in the Westminster Confession of Faith, there are many who have accepted “alternate explanations” of the account. Some have gone as far as to… Read More

Conclusion (Judges 9:7-15)

There is much more to the story than just this parable, and I would encourage you to go and read the rest of Judges, chapter 9 (and on…).  Ultimately, the people get what they ask for:  an illegitimate king.  Also, Jotham’s prediction certainly comes true—there is fire between Abimelech and the people of Shechem, which… Read More

The Fire and the Cedars (Judges 9:15)

“And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me to be king over you, enter and take refuge in my shadow.  But if there is not, let fire go out from the bramble, and let it consume the cedars of Lebanon!’”  (Judges 9:15)   There are two levels to how we… Read More

The Bramble (Judges 9:14)

“Then all of the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’” (Judges 9:14)   And this is where you end up if you try and organize life in accordance with your own desires and not in accordance to God’s will.  You end up with a good-for-nothing, thorny bramble as your king. … Read More

The Third Rejection (Judges 9:13)

“The Third Rejection”   “And the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which is joy to God and men, and shall I go to dominate the trees?’” (Judges 9:13)   This is the third and the last rejection that the forest’s “new king committee” receives, and once again, the rejection is… Read More

The Second Rejection (Judges 9:11)

“And the fig said to them, ‘Should I end my sweetness and my good fruit and shall I go to dominate the trees?’” (Judges 9:11)   And once again, the trees are rejected by the one they would make king.  The fig rejects the throne on the same basis as the olive; gentleness, sweetness, and… Read More

The First Rejection (Judges 9:9)

“And the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I leave my fatness, which in me God and men are honored and shall I go to dominate the trees?’”  (Judges 9:9)   Here we see that Jotham, who is telling the story, understands what is going on.  The rightful tree rejects the offer of kingship, just… Read More

The Parable of the Trees: Intro (Judges 9:8-15)

Introduction:   Usually when we think of parables, we think of Jesus because he often used parables in his teaching and preaching method.  Yet, we should remember that Jesus was not the only one to use parables and that they can be found throughout scripture.  Indeed, this parable is taken from the book of Judges.… Read More

Cannot Serve Two Lords (Luke 16:13)

“No household servant is able to serve two lords: for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will cling to the one and look with contempt on the other.  You are not able to serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13)   There is an interesting transition in the language that… Read More

The Letter or the Intent of the Law (Luke 16:12)

“And if in what belongs to another, you have not been faithful, who will give you something of your own?” (Luke 16:12)   As we have been discussing, the Pharisees, for all of their zeal toward protecting the letter of the law, had missed the point of why the law was given and what the… Read More

Faithful in Unrighteous Mammon (Luke 16:10-11)

“The one who is faithful in small things will also be faithful in many things, yet the one who is unrighteous in small things will also be unrighteous in many things.  If then, you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will believe you in that which is true?” (Luke 16:10-11)   Some… Read More

Friends out of the Mammon of Unrighteousness (Luke 16:9)

“And I say to you, make for yourselves intimate friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness, in order that when it may fail, they may receive you into eternal tabernacles.” (Luke 16:9)   We should perhaps begin by asking ourselves the question as to what Jesus means by speaking of “eternal tabernacles” or “eternal dwellings.” … Read More

The Sons of This Age and the Sons of Light (Luke 16:8)

“So, the lord expressed his approval for the steward of unrighteousness, for he had done prudently.  Because the sons of this age are more prudent than the sons of light are in their own generation.” (Luke 16:8)               Now comes what we do not expect—the master commends his steward.  What we expect is that… Read More

Take Your Note and Authorize Payment Soon! (Luke 16:6-7)

“And he said, ‘One hundred jugs of olive-oil.’  So he said to him, ‘Take your note and authorize payment soon—you write fifty.’  Then he said to another, ‘And how greatly are you indebted?’  And he said, ‘One hundred measures of grain.’  He then says to him, ‘Take your note and write eighty.’” (Luke 16:6-7)  … Read More

How Much are You Indebted? (Luke 16:5)

“And calling in his lord’s debtors one at a time, he said to the first, ‘how much are you indebted to my lord?’” (Luke 16:5)               So now we see this steward coming up with a solution—he is going to bring in the debtors and deal with them—likely, as we have already suggested, dealing… Read More

Being Welcomed into Their Houses (Luke 16:4)

“‘I knew what I should have done, in order that when I am removed from responsibility of stewardship, they might welcome me into their houses.’” (Luke 16:4)               As we move through this man’s thought, something very unusual stands out before us, particularly in the Greek.  In the first clause, both of the verbs,… Read More

What Can I do? (Luke 16:3)

“Now the steward said to himself, ‘What can I do since my lord is cutting off the responsibility to manage from me?  To dig, I am not strong enough.  To beg, I am ashamed.’” (Luke 16:3)               The steward realizes that his dilemma is severe.  Note that as of yet, the role of management… Read More

No Longer My Steward… (Luke 16:2)

“And he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I have heard concerning you?  Return your declaration of stewardship, for you are no longer able to be my steward.’” (Luke 16:2)               This is one reason why we are not to take parables and make them into allegories.  Here you have… Read More

The Accused Steward, part 2: Luke 16:1

“And also, he said to the disciples, ‘There was a certain man who was rich who had a steward, and this man accused him of squandering his possessions.” (Luke 16:1)               Now, there is one more thing that we need to remember before we start looking more closely at the specifics of this passage,… Read More

The Accused Steward (Luke 16:1)

“And also, he said to the disciples, ‘There was a certain man who was rich who had a steward, and this man accused him of squandering his possessions.” (Luke 16:1)               We should pay very close attention to the first statement of this verse because it sets the larger context.  The verse begins with… Read More