5. Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46): Pretty clear guidelines in terms of how to treat those in need with equally clear implications in terms of the results of those choices.
3. Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37): God’s love can be found through anyone at any time, through the smallest or the greatest of acts. The question for me is not only am I ready to “go and do likewise,” but am I ready to allow the hated Samaritan to show me love?
“A lady went to her Pastor and said ‘Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.’
The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Jesus’s parables reflect human nature. The characters in Christ’s parables are recognisable in any cuture and in any era, because although culture differs, character does not —a liar is still a liar, a cheat still a cheat, a hypocrite still a hypocrite, and a fool still a fool. On the other hand, a kind person is still kind, a humble person still humble, a genuine person still genuine. Indeed, if we dare to look into the parables of Jesus, we will surely recognise ourselves there somewhere.
The ten virgins is arguably the most culturally specific parable that Jesus told (Matthew 25:1-13). We noted this parable in a previous lesson. Even people whose marriage customs are quite different to those in the parable, have no trouble relating to the attitude and subsequent predicament of the foolish girls in the story.
- Matthew 20:1-16 [unique to Matthew]
- Matthew 18:23-35 [unique to Matthew]
What did Jesus mean when He told the story of the Seed Sower?
Compassion for others is a symptom of love for one’s self.
Small act of kindness outweigh large acts of judgement.
Kindness is found more often in the mundane than in the extravagant events of life.
Other well-known parables are the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21), the Unfair Judge (Luke 18:1-8), the Great Banquet (Matthew 22:1-10), and the Man with Two Sons (Luke 15:11-32).
Help us share God’s Word where needed most.
Jesus uses this word picture to communicate the dangers of judging whether someone else is a member of God’s kingdom. At the end of the age, it will be God who sorts out the weeds from the wheat.
This parable is almost a combination of the Parable of the Tenants and the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15–24). A king is throwing a wedding banquet, but after it’s prepared, the guests who promised to attend provide excuses to bow out, and some actually kill the servants who showed up to collect them.
His desperate state brought him to his senses. He realized not only that he had landed himself in sorry straits but also that he was unworthy to be called his father’s son; he was fit only to be a servant, and he was prepared to humble himself and seek reinstatement at that level.
But the focus of the parable was not upon the sower, even though this story is called the ‘parable of the sower’. It was not even about the seed.