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Foolish Ways to Mess up Your Life (2 of 11)
Series: Parables Series: Surprising Lessons on the God-Life
Introduction: Human minds, like radios, come with tuners. Even though we don't have knobs built into the side of our heads, we are capable of tuning in certain things and tuning out others.
A husband can catch every detail of the play by play of the ball game, but not hear a word the wife says sitting at the other end of the couch. A mother can hear the movement of her baby half a house away, but tune out the buzz saw snores of her sleeping husband. Teenagers have the capacity to tune out all adult conversation. Others are like Bob Leist who picks up one of our hearing assist devices every Sunday. When it comes time for the sermon, he still tries to tune in a ball game.
Sometimes this tuning in and out is involuntary. Even this morning some of you will tune in and out during the next twenty minutes or so. You will hear my voice for a while and then your mind with flip over to a different channel. Some of you will think about lunch. Others will replay a conversation from earlier this morning. A few will start work while others will pick up on the middle of an unfinished argument. Human minds do have tuners.
That's what prompted this parable of Jesus. A man had been standing but a few feet away. He could have heard everything Jesus said. "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the son of man will also acknowledge before the angels of God." Pretty heavy stuff, but he hadn't heard it. Something else was playing in his mind. "Teacher," he interrupted at the first chance, "tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." Jesus responds with a warning and a story.
For the next several weeks we are in the middle of a series of studies into the parables or teaching stories of Jesus. "Earthly stories with heavenly meanings," we often call them. Each parable traces a real life, though so ...
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