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Using Your Head (3 of 11)
Series: Parables Series: Surprising Lessons on the God-Life
Introduction: You need to put your thinking caps on. Today we are looking at what many Bible scholars consider one of the, if not the, most difficult parables of Jesus to understand. I am convinced that while we may not be able to decipher every detail, we can catch the heart of the message. That's what I want us to concentrate on.
We are in the midst of a several week study of Jesus' teaching stories or parables. Jesus was known for his use of such stories. In fact, on one occasion, his disciples asked him why he taught with such stories so often. The Gospels contain forty or fifty different parables, depending on whether you count short sayings and figures of speech or not. We can't obviously look at all of them over the period of several weeks. We are concentrating on those that provide a striking contrast between Jesus' teaching and the conventional wisdom that many of us are tempted to follow.
Remember the three characteristics of Jesus' parables. They are realistic, true-to-life stories. They could have really happened. Secondly, they often contain a surprise twist or punch line. Thirdly, the parables drag us, sometimes kicking and screaming, right up to the brink of a spiritual decision. They have a way of forcing us to look reality scare in the eye and decide which direction we are going to go. All three characteristics are obvious in today's story.
Text: Luke 16:1-15--Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. [This isn't for sure, but there is a good possibility that this term is a big reason Jesus told this story when he did. He had just told the story of the prodigal son. A younger brother took an advance on his inheritance, ran to a far country, and wasted his money on wild living. The word is the same here. The connection may be that this story is ...
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