Luke 13:6-9 records the parable of the unfruitful fig tree. The owner of a vineyard is unpleased with a fig tree that is not bearing fruit and wants to cut it down. The decision is made to work with it and give it one last chance.
Followers of Jesus are to be fruitful (see Matthew 13:23, John 15:1-8, 2 Peter 1:8), therefore the parable could be applied to all of us. Some think Jesus has the Jewish nation or leaders specifically in mind. If you have an opinion about this please share it!
Question; how does this parable show both the justice and mercy of God?
Today’s Text: Mark 4:21-29
Mark’s gospel contains an additional teaching that is a part of the parables we read in Matthew 13. Like yesterday’s parable of the householder (Matthew 13:52), these verses may speak to those who understand and teach the gospel.
Look closely at the parable of the Growing Seed in 26-29. What does the man in the parable do? What does He not do?
What does this reading impress upon you concerning your responsibly as one who understands God’s word?
Today’s reading: Matthew 13:44-52
Four brief parables today: The first two teach about the value of the kingdom, the third describes the judgment “at the end of the age”.
At the conclusion of these Jesus asks His disciples if they understand and they say they do. What responsibility does He impress upon them (and us?) with his final parable of a householder?
In the first two parables the men who discovered the treasure or the pearl went and sold all that they had in order to own what they had found. Note the attitude of the man who sold everything he has (in verse 44). Was he resentful? Reluctant? Hesitant? Did he have reservations? What does it say?
Today’s Text: Matthew 13:24-30
Today’s parable, like the Sower yesterday, is the story is about someone planting seed seeking a fruitful harvest.
Yesterday (parable of the Sower) we learned than some seed failed to produce because of unprepared soil and the soils represented the different hearts of men. There is an improper result in today’s parable as well, but for a different reason.
What is the cause of the improper result in the parable of the Tares?
Note: Jesus gives a details application of this parable in 13:36-43 which we will read tomorrow.
Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:1-23
Matthew describes Jesus sitting in a boat teaching the people who are sitting on the sea shore. Today is the first of 5 days in which we will read some of His parables.
The first is the parable of the Sower (1-9). A farmer scatters seed across four types of soil which results in various outcomes. Only the good soil brings a good plant that bears fruit. In the application (18-23), the word of God is a seed which is planted in different types of hearts. Only the good and honest heart hears and bears fruit.
In between the parable (1-9) and the application (18-23) Jesus responds to the disciples question: Why do you speak to them in parables?
Jesus concluded the parable in verse 9 by saying “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. Doesn’t everyone “have ears to hear”? How do we know if we have “ears to hear”.
Sunday we thought about two parables in which Jesus talked about talents. A talent was a the most valuable coin in Jesus day, some say worth about a years wages. Others say the value of a talent was from around 1000 to over 300,000 US dollars.
THE PARABLE OF THE TWO DEBTORS (Matthew 18). The debt man owes to God is like a man who owed his master 10,000 talents. Its was an unrepayable debt. In fact the story says “he was not able to repay” and certainly 10,000 years wages would be unrepayable.
THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS. The 5 talent man invested in his master’s business. He was given 5 more plus the 1 talent the 1 talent man wasted. That gives him a total of 11. All of his talents (including his original 5) were given to him by his master.
Both parables begin, “the kingdom of heaven is like….”. They both teach about the kingdom and about talents. It may be a stretch (feel free to say, “sorry Jimmy, thats a stretch!”), but what does it say to us that even the most “talented” man in Jesus’ stories is still 9,989 talents short on his debt to God?
Granted we might not ought to connect the two parables in that way, but what does Luke 17:10 tell us our attitude ought to be even when we have done all things we have been commanded? Finally, how do these truths impact your thinking about your relationship with God?
Filed under Grace, Parables