The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard | The Motive is Revealed (Matthew 20:13-16)

If you were totally honest, how would you define your motive for following Christ? Jesus addressed this question in the conclusion of His Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, where he likened the kingdom of heaven to a landowner who went out early to hire men to work his vineyard, agreeing to pay the […]

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard | The Reward is Generous (Matthew 20:8-12)

Do you seek God to bless others with the same fervor you ask Him to bless you? Peter inquired of the Messiah: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27). Jesus responded with His Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard to paint a portrait of the […]

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard | The Service is Varied (Matthew 20:1-7)

Have you ever asked someone, “What’s in it for me?” Oftentimes, we approach God with this same question. That’s what Peter asked Jesus who answered with His parable, The Workers in the Vineyard (see Matthew 20:1-16). Flanked by Peter and the rest of the disciples, Jesus had just encountered the rich, young ruler who was […]

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants | The Landowner is Just (Matthew 21:40-46)

Since God is so loving, should He allow everyone in to Heaven? In His Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Jesus described God the Landowner as generous and patient, concluding with a third characteristic of the heart of our Heavenly Father. The Landowner is just (see Matthew 21:40-46). The landowner took the vineyard from the tenants […]

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants | The Landowner is Patient (Matthew 21:35-39)

Since the moment you surrendered your life to Christ, how has He shaped your heart to become more like His? Is there any area of your life where you have resisted His fingerprints? After describing the landowner as generous in His Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Jesus transitioned to the second scene and its subsequent […]

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants | The Landowner is Generous (Matthew 21:33-34)

How is God advancing His kingdom in you and through you? As believers we have a tendency to selfishly take the kingdom of God for granted while we remain in control of our own lives. The result is that His will is not advanced in or through us. We avoid heart transformation and the shaping […]

The Parable of the Weeds | The Weeds Are Burned (Matthew 13:28b-30, 39b-42)

Do you avoid interacting with those who are far from God? Jesus addressed this as He concluded His Parable of the Weeds, revealing the inevitable fate of weeds and wheat, our intended focus, and His ultimate desire. At the harvest, the weeds are burned and the wheat is barned (see Matthew 13:28b-30, 39b-42). The weeds represent […]

The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)

Do you ever wonder why God allows evil to exist? Do you find yourself telling God that your life would work out a lot better if He would just remove the evil barriers in your way? Whether it is a competitor, a criminal, a nemesis, a cheating spouse, or an enemy who was a former friend, […]

The Parable of the Ten Virgins | Five Foolish Virgins Are Unprepared (Matthew 25:11-13)

In His Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus taught that it was foolish to be unprepared for His return. Foolish in Greek is moros, meaning, “dull, stupid, or blockheaded.” All ten virgins knew the wedding drill. They had been given the capacity to bring the extra oil in the jars because it was customary to […]

The Parable of the Ten Virgins | Five Wise Virgins Are Prepared (Matthew 25:7-10)

If you knew Christ was coming back today, what would you do? In Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Virgins, He taught that it was wise to be prepared for His return (see Luke 12:35-40). Upon the bridegroom’s arrival, the virgins trimmed their lamps (see Matthew 25:7). Trimmedstems from the Greek word, kosmeo meaning “to get […]

The Parable of the Ten Virgins | The Bridegroom is Delayed (Matthew 25:1-6)

If Christ returned today, would you be prepared? Whether in your physical death or in Jesus’ second coming, would you be ready to meet Him? In a world where His arrival is delayed, Christmas is a great time to be reminded about our Lord and Savior’s teaching that we prepare for His imminent return. Jesus […]

The Sower’s Prayer (Matthew 13:10-17)

Best-selling author and professor, Leonard Sweet, teaches that a story is EPIC: experiential; participatory; image-rich; and connective. In essence, a story engages the heart. Jesus taught in parables, so regardless of one’s heart condition, He would have the opportunity to germinate the seed that was sown (see Matthew 13:10-17). A Rabbi would share his most […]

One Fruitful Soil Produces Life (Matthew 13:8-9, 23)

What kind of heart does our Heavenly Father desire for each one of us? Jesus shed light on the answer to this question when He described the fourth soil in His Parable of the Sower. The “good” soil was soft (Matthew 13:8), and it received a divinely multiplied blessing: “It produced a crop, a hundred […]

A Thorny Heart (Matthew 13:7; 22)

In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, the third soil that received the seed was “among the thorns” (Matthew 13:7). This soil was thorny. The result was the thorns “grew up and choked the plants” (Matthew 13:7). Jesus equated this earthly truth with the spiritual: “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns […]

A Shallow Heart (Matthew 13:5-6; 20-21)

In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, the second soil that received the seed was “on rocky places, where it did not have much soil” (Matthew 13:5). This soil was shallow. The result was a quick, but short-lasting germination of the seed: “It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came […]

A Hard Heart (Matthew 13:4; 18-19)

In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus described three unfruitful soils of destruction, each representing a condition of the heart with different obstacles to receiving the word of God (see Matthew 13:4-7; 18-22). The first soil that received seed was “along the path” (Matthew 13:4). This soil was hard. It had been beaten down and […]

The Parable of the Sower – The Seed (Matthew 13:1-23)

Can you recall an experience that has hardened your heart toward God? The event seemed to put an obstacle in your inner being that continually hinders the movement of God in a particular area of your life. Jesus addressed this scenario when He shared the story known as The Parable of the Sower (see Matthew […]

The Parable of the New and the Old (Matthew 9:16-17)

What rules, regulations, and stipulations do you add to Jesus’ message of heart transformation? They probably fall into two categories: do’s and don’ts. Do go to church, do fast, do vote for a particular political party, do have it all together, do serve in church programs, do dress for success, do go to public Christian […]

Your Unique Expression of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 13:48b-50)

Are you pursuing God’s will for your life? Our Creator has designed each one of us for a special purpose. Accordingly, Jesus concluded His Parable of the Net describing the Father’s pursuit of our response. God fishes for the unique expression of His kingdom in us: “Then they sat down and collected the good fish […]