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by Manly Luscombe


I. Define the word - "Parable"

A.    PARABOLE - To throw beside

B.    Vine, pg. 840; "Denotes a placing beside ... to throw or lay beside, to compare.  It signifies a placing of one thing beside another with a view to comparison."

C.    Found outside the gospels only in Hebrews 9:9; 11:19.

D.    Vine, "Two dangers are to be avoided in seeking to interpret the parables in Scripture, that of ignoring the important features, and that if trying to make all the details mean something."


II. List of the Parables

          A. In one Gospel only

1.       Barren fig tree                   Lk. 13:6

2.       Draw net                           Matt. 13:47

3.       Friend at midnight             Lk. 11:5

4.       Good Samaritan                Lk. 10:30

5.       Goodly pearl                     Matt. 13:45

6.       Great supper                    Lk. 14:16

7.       Hidden treasure                Matt. 13:44

8.       Householder                     Mk. 13:32

9.       Laborers in vineyard          Matt. 20:1

10.     Marriage of king's son       Matt. 22:2

11.     Pharisee & publican           Lk. 18:10

12.     Piece of money                 Lk. 15:8

13.     Pounds                             Lk. 19:12

14.     Prodigal son                      Lk. 15:11

15.     Rich fool                           Lk. 12:16

16.     Rich man and Lazarus       Lk. 16:19

17.     Seeds in secret                 Mk. 4:26

18.     Sheep and goats               Matt. 25:31

19.     Tares                                Matt. 13:24

20.     Ten talents                        Matt. 25:14

21.     Ten virgins                        Matt. 25:1

22.     Two debtors                      Lk. 7:41

23.     Two Sons                         Matt. 21:28

24.     Unjust judge                     Lk. 18:2

25.     Unjust steward                  Lk. 16:1

26.     Unmerciful servant            Matt. 18:23

27.     Unprofitable servants         Lk. 17:7

28.     Wedding feast                   Lk. 12:36

29.     Wise steward                    Lk. 12:42

          C. Found in two gospels

          30.     House on the rock             Matt. 7:24; Lk. 6:47

          31.     Leaven                             Matt. 13:33; Lk. 13:20

          32.     Lost sheep                        Matt. 18:12; Lk. 15:4

          D. Found in three gospels

          33.     New cloth                          Matt. 9:16; Mk. 2:21; Lk. 5:36

          34.     New wine, Old skins          Matt. 9:17; Mk. 2:22; Lk. 5:37

          35.     Fig tree                             Matt. 24:32; Mk. 13:26; Lk. 21:29

          36.     Mustard seed                    Matt. 13:31; Mk. 4:30; Lk. 13:18

          37.     Sower                               Matt. 13:3; Mk. 4:3; Lk. 8:5

          38.     Wicked husbandman         Matt. 21:33; Mk. 12:1; Lk. 20:9

          E. Totals - Jesus told 38 parables.

          F. NOTE: No parables are found in John.


III. Why teach in parables?  [Matthew 10-17; 34-35]

1.     To those who seek understanding - these parables will explain things clearly.

2.     To those who are not interested - they are just nice, harmless little stories.

3.     Most sermons, classes and meetings today have the same types listening. Many will hear but not hear; See but not see; Listen but not understand.

4.     Jesus used parables often.  [34]

5.     Purpose - to reveal, make plain things which have been hidden (not understood) from the beginning.


IV. Notes on the Parables of Jesus (in order listed above)

1.       Barren fig tree                 Luke 13:6

A.    Maturity takes time.  Some plants - 3 to 5 years.

B.    Be patient while it grows and matures.

C.    There is a point where it becomes a burden.

D.    Make sure you have done your part (water, fertilize) to help it grow and be fruitful.

E.    We must help others to grow into fruitful citizens in the kingdom of God.


2.       Draw net                                    Matthew 13:47

A.    Cast a net into the sea.

B.    All kinds of things get trapped in the net.

C.    Take it to shore; then separate them.

D.    Save the good fish.  Throw back the bad ones.

E.    At the end of the world the wicked will be separated from the just.


                    NOTE:  The kingdom of God includes all kinds of people.  [A] Bankers, lawyers, teachers, farmers, carpenters, garbage collectors.  [B] Murderers, thieves, prostitutes, liars, gossips, cheats, fornicators, stingy.  [C] Blacks, whites, Jews, Germans, Russians.  [D] Conservative, liberal, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Communists.


3.       Friend at midnight           Luke 11:5

A.    A friend in need is a friend in deed.

B.    Agape (love) means that we will "seek what is best for another, above our oun desires."

C.    Jesus gives two reasons to meet this request.

1.     Because he is a friend.

2.     Because he is a human being in need.

3.     Because he has asked.

D.    "Ask and you shall receive."


4.       Good Samaritan               Luke 10:30

A.    Background and history of Samaritans

1.     From 10 northern tribes.

2.     Intermarried.  Lost purity of blood line.

3.     Tried to stop the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

4.     Jews called them "dogs" and "half-breeds."

B.    Priests and Levites

1.     Priests - those who administered the sacrifices and duties around the temple.

2.     Levites - others in the tribe of Levi (but not from the house of Aaron).  They copied the books of the law, wrote commentaries,

C.    Jesus changed questions.

1.     Lawyer asked, "Who is my neighbor?"

2.     Jesus asked, "Who was a neighbor?"

                                                    i.     NOTE: "Neighbor" is not a state of being.  Being a neighbor is an activity of service.

D.    Find a hurt and heal it.

          NOTE: Before we can love our neighbor as ourselves, we must learn to like ourselves.  We must: [a] like who we are, [b] like what we are, [c] like where we are in life, [d] forgive ourselves, [e] accept ourselves.


5.       Goodly pearl                              Matthew 13:45

A.    People in the kingdom are looking for pearls.

B.    Find one; pay any price to add them to the kingdom of God.

C.    NOTE:  Difference in treasure and pearls:

D.    Treasure = lost looking for salvation.

E.    Pearls = saved looking for lost souls.


F.    NOTE:  Why pearls?  [1] Only gem that grows.  [2] Only gem that is beautiful in natural state.  [3] Only gem that is "born in water."


6.       Great supper                             Luke 14:16

A.    God (the host) has done His part.  He has prepared a great feast for us. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

B.    Now it is time.  "All things are ready."

C.    Discuss:  What is an excuse?  "A thin skin of truth stretched over a lie."

D.    Bought land, bought 5 yoke of oxen, married a wife.

E.    Solution:

1.     Go to the streets, lanes.

2.     Find poor, maimed, halt, blind.

3.     Go to the highways and hedges.

4.     "Compel them to come in."

G.   Some people are more receptive to the invitation of Jesus than others.

H.    NOTE:  What if you planned a wedding and nobody came?  What if you prepared food, decorated and spent large sums of money, then everyone made excuses for not being able to attend.


7.       Hidden treasure               Matthew 13:44

A.    Man hunting treasure.

B.    Willing to pay the price.

C.    All looking for the kingdom of God must be willing to pay the price.

D.    This parable describes the lost looking for the treasure (salvation).  Many in our world are looking for the kingdom and can't find it.  2 Corinthians 4:3


8.       Householder                              Mark 13:32

A.    The church was left in the hands of eleven men.

B.    Great Commission was their direction and authority.

C.    "Watch"  for what?

1.     For the return of the master.

2.     For the property of the master.

3.     For threats to the property (thieves, fire).

D.    Jesus us coming back and we do not know when.


9.       Laborers in vineyard        Matthew 20:1

A.    Standard wage was a penny a day.

B.    Early morning (6:00), 3rd hour (9:00), 6th hour (noon), 9th hour (3:00), 11th hour (5:00).

C.    "Why stand ye here all the day idle?"

E.    NOTE:  Many are idle in the Lord's kingdom.  Many have not found their place to serve.  They have not been put to work.  Some churches have an "involvement minister."

D.    End of the day - all get paid the agreed amount.

E.    Who is the master here?  Who are we to question God?

F.    Discuss:  Death-bed salvation.

G.   Discuss:  "First shall be last, last first."

H.    Discuss:  "Many called, few chosen."

I.      Jesus is the sovereign Lord of the Kingdom.  He will do what is right, fair and just with all men.


10.     Marriage of king's son     Matthew 22:2

A.    Similar to number 6.  "Great Supper"

B.    The invited guests are not worthy to come.

C.    Go to the highways. Bring in the good and bad.

1.     Kingdom has all kinds.  See "Draw Net"

2.     1 Corinthians 6:9-11

D.    Some that we think will be a great asset to the kingdom are not as valuable as some we failed to consider inviting.  (Matthew 21:31)


11.     Pharisee & publican                   Luke 18:10

A.    Purpose:  Deal with self-righteous. Those who trust in themselves.

B.    This is the sneakiest parable.

a.     Pharisee - "I am glad I am not like other men."

b.     We say - "I'm glad I'm not like that Pharisee."

C.    What was the difference in their prayers?

a.     Pharisee - self-righteous, brag, proud

b.     Publican - weak, sinner, penitent

D.    Discuss:  Humility

E.    Humility is a difficult trait to obtain.


12.     Piece of money                          Luke 15:8

A.    Importance - Removed coin = immoral woman

B.    Implications - The coin was lost:

1.     In the dark

2.     In the dirt

3.     In the house

C.    Rejoice over sinners that repent.


13.     Pounds                                      Luke 19:12

A.    Similar to parable of talents.

B.    10 servants - each given a pound.

1.     Left to receive a kingdom.  Dan. 7:13-14

2.     Was coming back.

3.     "Occupy till I come."

C.    First man - gained 10 pounds, given 10 cities.

D.    Second man - gained 5 pounds, given 5 cities.

E.    Third man - saved it in a napkin - taken from him.

F.    To the haves shall be given.  From the have nots shall be taken away.

G.   Jesus' kingdom is not here on earth.  He must leave here to go and receive the kingdom.


14.     Prodigal son                              Luke 15:11

A.    Two stories in one.  The lost son is saved and the saved son is lost.

B.    Once an inheritance is divided, it is done.  Any gain after that belongs to the remaining heirs.

C.    Charles Hodge wrote a book on this parable, "Will God Run?"

D.    This parable describes how to forgive.

1.     Look for them to come.

2.     Run to meet them.

3.     Have compassion on them.

4.     Hug and kiss them.

5.     Best robe, ring, shoes.

6.     Kill the fatted calf and have a party.

E.    Elder brother:

1.     Judged his brother.  "Harlots"

2.     Refused to forgive.  II Cor. 2:6-9

3.     Rejected the plea of the father.

4.     Pouted, "Never gave me a party."

F.    Brothers who wander into sin are lost and must learn to swallow their pride and return.  Self-righteous brothers in the church must learn to forgive and receive those who return.

          NOTE:  The parables of Luke 15 describe four types of lost people in the world today.  Study this chart:

          Parable                   Know they                         Know the

                                        are Lost                            Way Home

          Lost coin                 No                                    No

          Lost sheep              Yes                                  No

          Lost son                 Yes                                  Yes

          Elder brother           No                                    Yes


15.     Rich fool                                    Luke 12:16

A.    Count the "I"s and "Me"s for the farmer.  (11)

B.    "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" ignores the soul.  Life is more than BMWs and swimming pools.  (Luke 12:15)

C.    Beware of coveteousness.  This is a more serious sin than most Christians realize.  It is idolatry.  (Col. 3:5)  Is is a sin for which one can be excluded form the fellowship of the church.  (I Cor. 5:11)

D.    God must be at the center of your life or He is not in your life at all.


16.     Rich man and Lazarus     Luke 16:19

A.    Is this a parable or an actual event?

1.     Uses proper names.

2.     If a parable, what is the message?

a.     What happens after death?

b.     Rich vs. poor?

c.     Heaven and Hell?

B.    Either way, Jesus never would use a falsehood to teach a truth.  Either this is an actual event OR it is an event that the Jew already understood and Jesus used it to illustrate some truths.

C.    Examine this to learn about what happens at death.

1.     Death = separation of soul from body.

2.     Body returns to the earth.

3.     Soul goes to Hades (place of departed spirits)

4.     Hades is divided into two sections:

a.     Paradise (Abraham's bosom)

b.     Torments

5.     Great Gulf - no cross-over

D.    What can we learn about their lifestyles?

1.     Rich man - "fared sumptuously"

2.     Lazarus - laid at gate, full of sores, no one to care for his sores, sought crumbs (garbage) for the rich man.

3.     Lazarus died. No funeral is mentioned.  Rich man died and was buried (had a funeral).

E.    All preparation for eternity must be made during this lifetime.


17.     Seeds in secret                Mark 4:26

A.    A man can plow the field, plant the seed.

B.    He can not explain how it grows.

a.     Why do the roots go down, while the plant grows up?

C.    What if you plant the seed upside down?

D.    NOTE:  Many things in our world which we can not explain.  Brown cow eats green grass, gives white milk, which churns into yellow butter.  Pig eats corn and grows hair; a goose eats corn and grows feathers.  Electricity heats and cools.  "How do it know jug" (Thermos) keeps things hot or cold but, "How do it know?"

E.    Progress of development:

                                                    i.     First the blade.

                                                   ii.     Then the ear.

                                                 iii.     Then the full corn in the ear.

F.    The kingdom of God grows without our ability to understand how.  (I Cor. 3:6)


18.     Sheep and goats              Matthew 25:31

A.    Left and right, Goats and sheep, Lost and saved.

B.    The King (Jesus) will do the separating.

C.    What is the basis for judgment?

                                                    i.     Right doctrine?  Important.

                                                   ii.     Right morals?          Important.

                                                 iii.     Right behavior?       Important.

                                                 iv.     Right attitudes?       Important.

D.    Judgment is not a day to decide guilty or innocent.

E.    Judgment is the day sentence is pronounced.

F.    Study the judgment criteria:

                                                    i.     Condition                Sheep                     Goats

                                                   ii.     1. Hungry                Meat                       No meat

                                                 iii.     2. Thirsty                Drink                      No drink

                                                 iv.     3. Stranger             Took in                   Took not in

                                                  v.     4. Naked                 Clothed                   Not clothed

                                                 vi.     5. Sick                    Visited                    Not visit

                                               vii.     6. In prison             Came                     Did not come

G.   When did we refuse to help Jesus?  By not helping the "least of these my brethren."

H.    How long is eternity?

I.      At the judgment, God will explain our sentence in terms of our treatment of others.


19.     Tares                               Matthew 13:24

A.    A man sowed GOOD seed in his field.

B.    Man slept (not lazy), tired from work.

C.    Enemy plants tares (poison weeds) in the field.

D.    Can't tell until the fruit appears.

E.    What shall we do now?  Pull up the field?

F.    Wait until harvest.  Easier to separate then.

G.   Let both grow together until then.

H.    Tares are separated and burn.  Wheat is saved in barn.

I.      The kingdom of God will have enemies from the inside.

   Tares Explained

A.    Sower = Son of man.

B.    Field = world.

C.    Good seed = children of the kingdom.

D.    Tares = children of the wicked one.

E.    Enemy = the devil.

F.    Reapers = angels.

G.   Harvest = end of the world.

H.    Jesus will send his angels to gather out of the kingdom (church) all that offend, all that sin.

I.      The church taken to heaven will be spotless, wrinkle free, without blemish.  Eph. 5:26-27

J.     Furnace of fire = eternal torment.

K.    Then the righteous can shine forth.


20.     Ten talents                      Matthew 25:14

          A. Similar to "Pounds" (no. 13).

          B. "Talent" is not our abilities, gifts or areas of talent.  It was a coin of great value.

          C. The coin was given "according to their ability" to handle that amount of money.  The ability the master was looking for was not a talent like preaching or song leading.  The ability was their capability and skill at handling money.

          D. NOTE:  What we have called the "one talent" man was NOT a one talent man.  He was a "two talent" man who did not live up to his full capacity.  God never required us to perform beyond our ability.  God DOES demand each of us to accomplish what we have the ability to do.  He also insists that we grow, improve and hone our skills into greater tools of usefulness in the kingdom.

          E. All who do not do their share of the work in the kingdom of God will be cast into outer darkness.


21.     Ten virgins                      Matthew 25:1

A.    The tradition was for the groom to prepare himself for the wedding.  Then he would leave his house and travel to the home of the bride where the wedding would take place.  Guests would meet the groom along the way and join the wedding parade.

B.    Because one did not know the time, (They were not "clock-watchers" as we are today.) one had to be ready at all times.

C.    The difference in the wise and foolish was NOT in their morals (all were virgins), relationship to the couple getting married or in their ability to have the necessary supplies (they went and bought the oil).

D.    The difference was in their being prepared.  Five were ready and five were not.

E.    Discuss:  Should those with extra oil share with those who ran out?

1.     Is there a difference in an accident or unforeseen circumstances and neglect?

2.     Should we help those who deliberately fail to prepare for what should be expected?

F.    Because we do not know the hour of our Lord's return, we must be always ready and alert.


22.     Two debtors                              Luke 7:41

A.    The standard wage for a day was a penny.  Therefore, one man owed him two years wages.  The other man owed him two months worth of wages.

B.    Convert that into today's economy and it would look like this:

a.     A man makes $25,000 a year.

b.     The first man would owe - $50,000.

c.     The second man would owe - $4,166.

C.    Jesus asked the question, "Which of them will love him most?"

a.     Discuss:  Raised in the church vs. converted.

b.     Do we have any $50,000 Christians?

c.     Are mose of us $2.50 Christians?

d.     How much have we been forgiven?

D.    Our ability to appreciate the forgiveness of our sins is in proportion to the amount of sin which needs to be forgiven.

1.     Romans 5:20-6:2

2.     More sin - More grace = Wrong!

3.     More sin - More appreciation = Right!

E.    What if your preacher converted five this week:

                                                    i.     1. Two Prostitutes             2. Town drunk

                                                   ii.     3. Drug dealer                             4. Homosexual

                                                 iii.     How would they be received by this church next Sunday?  Would you put them to work in the church?  Would you allow the men to serve communion, lead a prayer or read scripture?

F.    Many who are despised by society are God's greatest assets in the kingdom.


23.     Two Sons                                  Matthew 21:28

A.    Two sons - same relationship to the father.

B.    "Son, go work today in my vinyard." - Same command.

C.    First son -

1.     "I will not."

2.     Repented.

3.     Went.

D.    Second son -

1.     "I go sir."

2.     Went not.


1.     NOT: Who was polite?

2.     NOT: Who gave the right response?

3.     BUT: Who DID the will of the father?

F.    Many live in rebellion to God's will.  Then they repent.  They are more aware of their sin.

G.   Harlots and cheats will enter heaven ahead of the religious self-righteous.


24.     Unjust judge                              Luke 18:2

A.    Judge -

1.     Not fear God. (He was an athiest.)

2.     Not regard man. (Man had not value to him.)

B.    Widow -

1.     Troubled by some adversary.

2.     Came seeking help and relief.

C.    The judge eventually helped her.

1.     Not because he feared God.

2.     Not because he believed she had value.

3.     But, because she troubled him, kept coming back, was wearing his patience thin.

D.    God will avenge those who trouble His children.


25.     Unjust steward                          Luke 16:1

A.    What is a "steward?"

1.     Manager, overseer of property of another.

2.     One who makes gain for another

B.    Threatened with dismissal.  He must give an account of his actions or be fired.  Preachers are often in this position.

C.    "What shall I do?"

1.     "I can't dig ditches."  (Pride, lack of ability, afraid of hard work)

2.     "I am ashamed to beg."  (Ego, pride, vanity)

D.    Here is his plan:

1.     Called in all the debtors.

2.     Cut the debts by as much as half.

E.    Master - commends him for his wise act.

F.    The children of this world are wiser than the children of light.

1.     Even evil, wicked men can teach the church how to be effective in reaching the lost.

2.     We can take the methods of the wicked and apply them to work of the church.

3.     The world can run a mile while the church is putting its shoes on.


26.     Unmerciful servant                    Matthew 18:23

A.    Parable was taught in response to the question, "How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  till seven times?"

B.    Ten thousand talents ($1500 X 10,000 = $15 million)

C.    One hundred pence = (about 3 months wages)

D.    Can a debt, once forgiven, be UNforgiven?

1.     Forgiveness is conditional.  If we fail to meet the conditions, the promised forgiveness is removed.

2.     Forgiveness is in three stages:

a.     As we ask for it from God or others.

b.     As we repent and confess.

c.     As we forgive others.

E.    Forgiveness from God requires that we be forgiving toward one another.


27.     Unprofitable servants      Luke 17:7

A.    Servant -

1.     Puts in a long day in the field.

2.     Master does NOT say, "Let me feed you."

3.     Master says, "Serve my supper."

B.    When the master is through with us, we can take time for ourselves.

1.     Does he owe gratitude to the servant?

2.     No.

F.    NOTE: Many today want their boss to compliment their work.  If a boss does comment, be grateful. If he does not comment on your work, remember, he hired you to do a job. You are doing it. He is paying you for the work.  He owes you nothing else.

C.    When we have done all that is required of us, we are still unprofitable servants.


28.     Wedding feast                           Luke 12:36

A.    We should be like people waiting for a guest.  As soon as you hear the car in the driveway, you run to the door and greet the expected guest.

B.    Jesus is the EXPECTED guest.  He is coming.  He told us he would come again. (John 14:3; Hebrews 9:27-28)

C.    A blessing is pronounced on those who are watching and alert when He comes.

D.    Thieves do not send engraved announcements of their planned robbery.

1.     If I had known...

2.     I only left the house for minute...

3.     I just had to get a loaf of bread...

D.    Be ye therefore ready.


29.     Wise steward                             Luke 12:42

A.    The work of a steward - accountable for the affairs, property, finances and holdings of another.

B.    When the owner comes, a steward must give a status report.  He must have the books in order.  He must know the balance in the checking account.

C.    NOTE: Many people do not keep their check register up to date.  The do not know how much they have in their own account.  I would not want them to be in chage of my account.

D.    Old saying, "When the cat's away, the mice will play."  Jesus teaches that we are to work just as hard when the boss is absent as when he is present.

E.    Discuss:  Degrees of reward and punishment  (47-48)

a.     Many passages suggest degrees in eternity.

b.     Hebrews 10:29  Sorer punishment

c.     Matthew 11:21-24  More tolerable

d.     Matthew 10:40-42  Prophet's reward

e.     Judgment will be according to works.

1.     a. 2 Corinthians 5:10         Good or bad works

2.     b. Revelation 20:12           According to their works

f.      Rev. 22:12  Reward according to works

g.     Judgment will be according to opportunity.

                                                    i.     Mark 6:11  More tolerable for Sodom

                                                   ii.     John 3:19  Men choose darkness

                                                 iii.     Romans 1:20  They are without excuse

F.    Keep your house in order because you do not know when Jesus is coming.


30.     House on the rock           Matthew 7:24; Luke 6:47

A.    Contrast the two houses:

                                                    i.     1. On sand                        On rock

                                                   ii.     2. No foundation                Dug deep

B.    House on the sand was not able to stand up under the tests of wind and rain.  Many christians are fine as long as nothing puts any strain on them.  As soon as the wind blows, the house (christian) falls apart.

C.    Contrast the two men:

                                                    i.     1. Hear AND Do                          WISE

                                                   ii.     2. Hear AND NOT Do                  FOOLISH

D.    NOTE:  It is not enough to hear the message (be exposed to it).  We must hear and do.  (James 1:22-27)

E.    Wise men hear AND do the will of Jesus.


31.     Leaven                                       Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20

A.    Woman can take a little leaven, mix into batter, will impact the whole lump.

B.    Leaven - penitrates, influences

C.    Only here is leaven - good.  Leaven = decay, rotten, putrid, mold.

D.    The kingdom of God will penitrate to every corner of the world, nations, classes, races, tongues.


32.     Lost sheep                       Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4

A.    99 were left in the wilderness.

B.    1 lost is more important than 99 finding the barn.

C.    Why do sheep become lost?

1.     Very near-sighted.  (about 15 feet)

2.     Must stay near the bunch.

3.     When separated, they cry out.  Wait for an answer.  What if you cried out and nobody answered?

D.    God does not want any sheep to perish.


33.     New cloth                         Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36

A.    New cloth - not washed, not shrunk, color not set

B.    Old cloth - faded, weak threads, shrunk

C.    Putting new cloth on an old garment to mend a hole is not a good idea.  The new patch will shrink and cause a bigger hole to be made in the old garment.

D.    Christianity is not a new patch on the old garment of Judiasm.  Trying to weave new threads of Christian-ity into the old garment of Judiasm would only make the weaknesses of the old law worse.

E.    Jesus is not a patched up version of Moses.

F.    There are times when fixing the old is OK.  This is not one of those times.  The church of Jesus Christ is not a patched up version of some other religion.



34.     New wine, Old skins        Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37

A.    Wine - (Greek - oinos= the juice from the grape)

B.    New wine = not fermented, fresh, grape juice

C.    Fermenting grape juice requires:

a.     Air

b.     Warmth

c.     Sugar

d.     Yeast

D.    NOTE:  The sugar and yeast help to further ferment the juice.

E.    There were several methods of preserving grape juice and keeping it from fermenting.

a.     Seal in a jar and submurge in a stream.

b.     Seal in a jar with oil. Store in cool cave.

c.     Seal in a skin.  Store in a cool place.

d.     Boil it down to a concentrate (sapa).

F.    The original juice is consumed.  The skin still has some of the dregs (settlings) inside.  If you now put in fresh juice, it will mix with the dregs and begin to ferment.  This fermentation will expand the skin and it will break.

G.   Grape juice was NOT put in skins to ferment.  It was put in skins to KEEP it from fermenting.  By using an old skin, it would ferment.  That was the problem.



35.     Fig tree                  Matthew 24:32; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:29

A.    Old proverb - "In the last days, you can't tell summer from winter."  (Not in the Bible.)

B.    Many misunderstand what Jesus is teaching here.

C.    Here is the natural order of development:

1.     Tender buds begin to push out the branches.

2.     Leaves begin to expand and unfold.

3.     This happens in the spring.  Summer is coming.

E.    We have other signs of spring.  Birds return.  Tulips, Dogwoods, Redbuds, Daffodils, etc., indicate that spring is here and summer is coming.

F.    In the fall the leaves turn to bright colors.  We know that winter is coming.

G.   Jesus is giving signs to look for that will preceed the destruction of Jerusalem.  Jesus tells the apostles to look for these signs.  When they are seen, they will know that the end of Jerusalem is near. (Lk. 21:20)

H.    The signs of the destruction of Jerusalem are available for all who are looking for them.


36.     Mustard seed         Matthew 13:31; Mark 4:30; Luke 13:18

          A. Plant a mustard seed (very small seed).

          B. Grows into a large tree.

          C. The kingdom of God will grow.


37.     Sower                              Matthew 13:3; Mark 4:3; Luke 8:5

A.    Four soils

1.     Wayside - packed pathway, seed not penetrate to get moisture and take root

2.     Stony - not much earth, root then die from lack of moisture, no depth to the roots, hot sun would scorch them and they would wither

3.     Thorns - Seed would germinate, grow for a while, then it would be choked by the thorns

4.     Good - Produce 30, 60 or 100 fold

                                                    i.     NOTE:  Two explainations for these terms.  [1] One seed would produce 30 seeds (30 fold).  [2] The seed would be multiplied 30 times (millions from 1 seed).  Illustration:  One penny first day, double each day for a month = over $5 million on the 30th day. ($5,368,708.80)  Illustration:  Take a newspaper.  Keep folding it in half as many times as you can.  (8 folds is about max.  It would add this way:  2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256)

B.    What is this parable teaching us?

1.     Teaching the gospel - some seed will not produce fruit.  ONUG - 1% response is good.

2.     Most sermons and classes = forgotten, little change right away.  Most effects are long term.

3.     Hear the message without application to their lives.  Others needed to hear it.  They did not need the lesson for themselves.

4.     C. Sower Explained [18-23]

1.     Don't stretch a parable or figure of speech beyond its intended picture.  Illustration:  "Slow as turtle" = slow; NOT mean - hard shell, claw feet, snapping personality, withdraws from danger.

2.     Jesus explains his meaning:

a.     Wayside - Hear word of kingdom (seed sown), wicked one (birds) come and remove the seed.  The fear is that it will germinate and grow.

b.     Stony - Received the word (seed), accepts it with joy (believes), he has no depth (lack of conviction), persecution (hot sun) comes and he is offended (withers and dies).

c.     Thorns - Receives the word (seed), it germinates and grows (believes), it is influenced by the things and pleasures of this world (thorns) around it,  it is unfruitful (choked).

d.     Good - Hear the word (seed), understands it (germinates in his heart), and becomes fruitful (continues in the faith to a mature Christian).


C.    We must cultivate the soil to prepare it for the seed to be planted.

D.    The kingdom of God will not convert all it teaches.



38.     Wicked husbandman       Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1; Luke 20:9

A.    A man plants a vineyard.

B.    It is left for others to tend.

C.    At harvest time, the owner sends men to collect his share of the crop.

a.     One is beaten and sent away empty.

b.     Others receive the same type of treatment.

c.     Finally, he sends his son.

D.    They think it is the heir and he has come to put them out of work.  They kill him.

E.    What will the owner do when he returns?

F.    God sent Noah, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Amos, Daniel, David, Samson, Gideon, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc.  All were rejected.  God sent his son.  They killed him.

G.   Jesus is the head corner stone that the builders rejected.  (Luke 20:17)

H.    The chief priests and the scribes did not like this parable.  They did not understand it, but, they thought that it was against them.  (Lk. 20:19)

I.      Jesus was despised and rejected of men.