Sunday, 24 February 2013


I Reading: Micah 7:14-15.18-20: Tread down our faults to the bottom of the sea.

Gospel: Luke 15:1-3.11-32: Your brother here was dead and has come to life.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son: The Lost Son, Lk 15:11-24

The parable of the prodigal son is the greatest and most beloved story ever told in human language. God loves and reaches out to the most prodigal of men and He runs to embrace any prodigal son who repents and returns home. God forgives his prodigal son and restores him, no matter how terrible the sin and failure of the prodigal.

1.    He said, “Give me” (v.11-13)

a.    My inheritance

b.    My independence

c.     The result: he wasted his life in wild living

2.    He met the day when he suffered and was in need (v.14-16)

a.    He suffered being destitute

b.    He suffered natural disaster

c.     He suffered humiliation

d.    He suffered hunger

e.     He suffered the loss of friends

3.    He came to his senses and snapped out of his insanity, back to reality (v.17-19)

a.    Thought of his father and his enormous provision

b.    Thought of his plight

c.     Thought of humbling himself:

i.                 Of repenting

ii.               Of confessing his sin and unworthiness

4.    He got up and returned to his father (v.20-21)

a.    He repented-turned from his sinful life

b.    He was accepted even before he confessed

c.     He confessed

5.    He was accepted when he returned to the father (v.22-24)

a.    The father restored him

b.    The father fed the son and celebrated his son’s return

c.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life


The Parable of the Older Son: The Self-Righteous Religionist, Lk 15:25-32

The second son or the older son represents the self righteous religionist-the mortal, the just, the good-the man who has never committed gross and visible sin. He is religious and does religious works; therefore he feels and believes he is accepted to God. In this parable Jesus pointed out five faults with the self-righteous religionist (Lk 11: 37-54; 18:9-12; Rom 2:17-29).

1.    Fault 1: he was in the field away from home (v.25-27)

2.    Fault 2: he shut himself out (v.28)

3.    Fault 3: he was self-righteous (v. 29)

a.    He claimed to be religious

b.    He claimed to be moral and just

c.     He felt he deserved more, that he was not recognized enough

4.    Fault 4: he lacked compassion and understanding of sinners (v.30)

5.    Fault 5: he failed to see two critical facts (v. 31-32)

a.    He had the same blessings available

b.    His brother was truly saved


Thought: The father restored the prodigal son:

a.    The “robe” restored him to a position of sonship and honour. It symbolized being clothed with the righteousness of Christ.

b.    The “ring” restored him to a position of authority. The son was now to represent the father and his kingdom.

c.     The “sandals” immediately restored and elevated him above servant hood, which means he became a free man. The son was now fitted with sandals to carry the Gospel of Peace wherever he went (Eph 6: 15).

d.    The “celebration” pictures reconciliation, full acceptance, and the great joy of the occasion.

e.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life.

i.                 He was dead and is alive again.

ii.                He was lost and is found.


I Reading: Genesis 37:3-4.12-13.17-28: Here comes the man of dreams. Come on, let us kill him.

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43.45-46: This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him.

The Parable of the Wicket Tenants:

Israel’s Rejection of Jesus’ Messiahship, Mt 21:33-46

This is one of the interesting parables ever told by Jesus Christ. It is interesting because it is both historical and predictive. Christ covered the history of Israel from God’s perspective, just as God sees it. Then he predicted or revealed exactly what was going to happen to Israel: they were going reject God’s own Son and because of their rejection and cruelty, God was going to reject them by giving the kingdom of God to another people.

What is said throughout this passage is applicable to all nations as well as to Israel. God has entrusted the vineyard of the church and of the world to us, the new nation, the new creation of God. Every point covered in Israel’s history should, therefore, be a dynamic message speaking loudly and clearly to our hearts.

There are three major points in this passage.

1.    The parable: Israel’s history as God sees it (v.33-41)

a.    God planted a vineyard (the nation of Israel)

b.    God entrusted his vineyard to the cultivators

c.     God sent messengers to gather the fruits

i.                 Fruit was expected

ii.               The tenants rebelled and rejected God’s messengers

d.    God showed patience- He continued to send messengers

e.     God finally sent his Son

i.                 Christ claimed to be God’s Son

ii.               They saw God’s Son

iii.             They plotted his death

iv.             They planned to seized his inheritance

v.               They murdered the Son

vi.             God is to judge the tenants

i.                 God is coming

ii.               God will miserably destroy the wicked

iii.             God will trust his vineyard to others (to the Gentiles)

2.    The three claims of Jesus (v.42-44)

a.    He is the head cornerstone

i.                 At first, he is rejected

ii.               But he becomes the head cornerstone

b.    God shall take his kingdom away from Israel and give to another people

c.     Some are doomed

i.                 Those who stumble over the stone

ii.               Those who oppose the stone

3.    The result of the Parable

a.    The religionists saw that Christ spoke to them

b.    The religionists reacted instead of repenting

c.     The people saw Christ as a prophet (a great teacher), not as the Messiah

Thought: The family and household of God (Eph 2:19; 5:1, 8; Rom 8:16-17; 1Pet 2:5-10)


I Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10: A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, a blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 16:19-31: Good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: The Self-Indulgent vs. the Man of Faith

Jesus identified Lazarus was named Lazarus where as the rich man was not identified and named in this passage. The eternal truth is much more blessed and much more terrifying than any mere human description. The rich man misused two opportunities i.e. wealth and religion. The name Lazarus means God is help. He is an allegorical representation either of his poor disciples (Lk 6:20).

1.    A difference in life (v.19-21)

a.    Rich man nameless, Lazarus named

b.    Rich man wealthy, Lazarus poor

c.     Rich man healthy, Lazarus disabled

d.    Rich man lived in luxury and extravagance; Lazarus begged, helpless

2.    A difference in death: Lazarus died and was escorted to Paradise; rich man died and was buried (22)

3.    A difference in eternity (23-31)

a.    Rich man in hell, Lazarus in Paradise

b.    Rich man saw glory, Lazarus was in glory

c.     Rich man was alone, Lazarus had fellowship

d.    Rich man had burning sensation, Lazarus had water

e.     Rich man tormented, Lazarus comforted

f.      Rich man remembered his former life, Lazarus was silent

g.    Rich man was fixed in hell, Lazarus was fixed in Paradise

h.    Rich man agonized for loved ones, Lazarus was settle in eternity

i.       Rich man begged for other chance, Lazarus was silently at peace

j.      Rich man was unable to intercede for his family, Lazarus was at rest in God’s promises.

Thought: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8: 36).


I Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20: Come on, let us hit at him. 

Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28: They will condemn him to death.       

The Messiah Foretells His Death and Resurrection (3rd Time), 20:17-19

Jesus Christ foretells his death and resurrection in the third time. Jesus had to get three facts across to his disciples.

1. Jesus took the disciples aside (v.17)

a. While on the way

b. To prepare for death

2. He was to be betrayed and delivered for prosecution (18)

a. The betrayer or deliverer was not named

b. The prosecutors: The Jews or religionists

3. He was to be delivered for execution (19)

a. To be Gentiles

b. By crucifixion

4. He was to be raised from the dead (19)

The Price and Meaning of Greatness, Mt 20:20-28

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus was about to free Israel and set up his kingdom on earth. The disciples did not understand the true meaning of his suffering and death. The disciples thought that Jesus is going to establish the kingdom of God over throwing the Romans’ rule in Israel.

So James and John the sons of Zebedee were assuring themselves of key position in Christ’s kingdom. We who live today know what Christ meant by his death and resurrection. In this passage Jesus Christ is teaching the price and meaning of greatness in the kingdom of God.

1. The sin of false ambition-seeking personal greatness (v.20-21)

a. Is self-seeking

b. Is deceptive and uses people

c. Misuses influence, position and power

d. Arises from pride and contempt

e. Misunderstand true greatness


2. What greatness requires: is a person willing to pay the price? (22-23)

a. The price of contemplation: understanding greatness

b. The price of suffering: the cup

c. The price of determination: “we want” (22)

d. The price of unshakable loyalty: to Christ


3. What greatness is (23-28)

a. Eternal greatness is of God

b. Greatness is not dominion over people

i. The disciples’ misconception

ii. The world’s characteristics

c. Greatness is saving others

i. The great: are servants

ii. The greatest: are slaves

d. True greatness is demonstrated by Christ

Thought: There is good and healthy ambition and there is bad and unhealthy ambition. Good ambition gives purpose, meaning and significance to live; it builds drive, initiative, self-esteem and much more. Bad ambition is deceptive in every conceivable way and corrupts and destroys truth and justice. There is nothing wrong with high positions of responsibility and authority with a good ambition. James and John left all for Christ (Mt 19:27-29).


I Reading: Isaiah 1:10. 16-20: Learn to do good, search for justice.

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12: They do not practice what they preach.

The Warning against False Religion

In the minds of the leaders, Christ was a threat to their position, power, wealth, security and nation (Mt 12:1-8, 10;15:1-20). They were forced to discredit Jesus before the people and wanted to kill him. This background lies behind the present chapter-the most sever attack Jesus Christ ever spoke against the scribes and the Pharisees because of hypocrisy of their lives and religion-a religion which stands as a symbol of the false religions of the world (cf. Rom 2:17-29). The false religion is a man made religion.

1.    Jesus spoke to the crowds and to the disciples (v.1)

2.    False religion is a religion that claims to “sit” in the truth, Moses’ seat (2)

3.    False religion is a religion of hypocrisy (3)

a.    It is good to obey their preaching

b.    It is not good to follow their practice

4.    False religion is a religion of heavy burdens (4)

a.    Leaders imposed heavy burdens upon others

b.    Leaders did not imposed the burdens upon themselves

5.    False religion is a religion of show, of display (5-7)

a.    A religion of appearance: Dress, clothing

b.    A religion of position: position that honour and exalt people

c.     A religion of titles: Titles that honour and exalt people

6.    False religion is a religion to be guarded against (8-12)

a.    Because position and relationships are already established

1.    God is your Father

2.    Christ is your Teacher

3.    You are brothers and sisters

4.    Because greatness is measured by SERVICE

5.    Because judgement is coming

Thought: God has no favourites among people. Why should we seek to appear as a favourite? Why should we seek appearance, positions and titles and honour that point toward him/her instead of his/her Lord?