1555 The Parable Of The Unjust Judge

Is your life in crisis? Are you having a difficult time and about ready to give up on prayer, to give up on God? God will come to deliver you. The question is, will he still find faith in your heart when he comes?

ROBERT >> Is your life in crisis this morning? Are you having a difficult time and about ready to give up on prayer, to give up on God? God will come to deliver you. The question is, will he still find faith in your heart when he comes?

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> To encourage us to keep on praying to God and to trust him for our deliverance in every situation in life, Jesus gives us the parable of the unjust judge. It’s recorded for us in Luke chapter 18:1-8. It’s another parable of contrast, teaching a lesson on prayer that may be compared to the parable of the friend at midnight that we studied last week here on The Truth In Love.

Let’s read the parable from Luke 18, and let’s see how Jesus applies that to our lives today. Here’s what it says: “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Get justice for me from my adversary. And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. Then the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall not God avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

I want you to think for just a moment about the background of this parable. Jesus had taught his disciples in Luke chapter 17 that his coming would be delayed, and that during that time of waiting there would be periods of great difficulty and trial that would come upon them.

If you look back in Luke chapter 17 beginning in verse 22, He said to His disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.”

In other words, there’s going to be some difficult times, and you’re going to wish that I would come and deliver you at that moment; but you may not see that happen. There’s going to be a delay. There’s going to be a waiting period.

There’s going to be some time before I come again. And he goes on in Luke chapter 17, and he talks about the fact in verse 24, “As the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.”

The point is that he is going to come, and he’s going to come quickly, he’s going to come speedily, at just the right moment, at just the right time to bring about our deliverance from this world and its evil. He mentions in this teaching as you go on in Luke 17 the days of Noah, when they were waiting and preparing the ark, until finally the flood came and took those that were evil all away. He also mentions in this teaching the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was some time, and God was very patient, but finally he brought his punishment down upon that city. And he also mentions, you’ll notice here, about the eagles gathering together around the carcass in verse 37 at the end of Luke 17, a reference to God’s coming in judgment upon the spiritually dead nation of Israel at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. All of those events of history teach us the fact that God is longsuffering, that God is patient, that God is waiting for everyone to get right with him.

As Peter says in 2 Peter 3:9, “he’s longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance,” but that he will come, as Peter goes on to say in verse 10.

He will come, and this old world will be destroyed. He will come to deliver his people and to take them home with him. And so we’re encouraged to keep faith in our God, not to give up in the midst of difficulty and trial, but to know that God will come to rescue us someday. Now let’s take a look at the parable, and let’s see first of all just exactly why Jesus spoke the parable of the unjust judge.

You see it here in Luke 18:1. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

Yes, Jesus was teaching his disciples that men always ought to pray. That’s present tense. To keep on praying. And not lose heart. Don’t despair. In spite of the trial. In spite of the difficulty, in spite of the delay, know that God will come and that he will deliver you and that he hears and that he answers.

Romans 12:12, Paul said, “Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

Remain steadfast in your prayers. Don’t quit praying.

As he said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
v Don’t ever give up on prayer. Now let’s go to the parable, and let’s notice how Jesus emphasizes this great lesson.

Did you see what kind of judge Jesus mentioned in the parable?

He was an unjust judge, one who had neither fear of God, nor regard for man.

Look at it in verse 2. “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.”

In fact, in verse 4 it says, “He would not for a while answer the woman that had come to him, but afterward he said within himself, though I do not fear God nor regard man.”

And then in verse 6, “The Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.”

So here was one who was unjust, who was unfair. He didn’t care about God. He didn’t care about man. The tense indicates that this was his habitual attitude. He was a hard-boiled judge, as one commentator put it. It’s but a natural consequence to disregard man when one has no fear of God. If he had no fear of God, he’s not going to care about man.

Do you remember Psalm 14:1, where he speaks of those who refuse to fear God, to believe in God, to acknowledge and have any regard for God? “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. This idea of failing to acknowledge God affects our entire heart, our entire life.

I want you to see how the apostle Paul describes such a one in Romans the 3rd chapter. “Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

That was the character of the judge before whom the woman in the parable came.

But now what does Jesus tell us about the woman in the parable?

Go back to Luke chapter 18, and we see that she was a widow, and she had an adversary. And she was coming before the judge, troubling him continually, wanting justice.

You’ll see in verse 3 of Luke 18, “Now there was a widow in that city. And she came to him, saying, Get justice for me from my adversary.”

And in verse 5 it says, “Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

Here was a woman that was being persecuted by an adversary, but the judge would not defend her cause.

Why did the judge however eventually avenge this woman?

It’s because, as we just read in verse 5, she was wearing him out. The Greek literally means to strike under the eye. And it may suggest that she might resort to violence, though the idea could simply be that of continual aggravation, because the widow was very persistent.

What did Jesus tell his disciples to hear in this parable?

He told them to hear what the unjust judge said. Look at verse 6. “Then the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.”

He told them to listen because they could make application. And he helped them to do that by asking them a question.

Look at the question that Jesus asked his disciples right here in verse 7. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?”

You see, God is going to avenge his elect. The elect are Christians. The elect are those who are chosen in Christ by obedience to the gospel.

Let’s notice something about this in Ephesians 1:4. When the apostle Paul speaks of the great spiritual blessings that we as Christians have, those of us who are in Christ, he mentions this in Ephesians 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him, in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

It was God’s plan for us to be saved in Jesus Christ. We understand how that takes place.

In Galatians, going back a few pages to Galatians chapter 3, look what the Bible says in verse 26 and 27. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

So you see, God had planned from before the foundation of the world to choose those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, who were obedient to the gospel, giving themselves to him in baptism, to be his very own, to be his children, his sons and his daughters spiritually. The main point of the parable then is obvious. Look at the contrast. If an unjust judge, one who had no regard for God or man, would bend to the persistence of a brow-beating widow, then surely a just God, a fair God, a God who loves us, he’s going to hear the cries of his patient, enduring children.

Yes, the Lord delays executing vengeance upon the adversaries; but he only does that because he’s longsuffering, because he is patient.

As we mentioned from 2 Peter 3:9, long suffering, “not wishing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.”

Now I want you to look and see how Jesus would answer his own question about whether or not God would avenge his people.

And look at his answer in verse 8 of Luke 18. “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”

He will avenge them speedily, Jesus said. Oh, justice may appear to be delayed from our standpoint, from a Christian’s limited viewpoint, and yet we can be confident that when that awesome moment comes, that as one commentator put it, he acts swiftly as in the deluge, the great flood, and the destruction of Sodom, both of those events to which Jesus had just referred in Luke chapter 17.

Yes, just as he came upon that evil world of Noah’s day, just as he came upon the evil ones there in the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah, so God will come in deliverance for his people.

What is it that Jesus asked his disciples right here at the end of verse 8?

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes will He really find faith on the earth? That’s an important question. And I think here’s where we find the real conviction of this parable. When he speaks of faith, there’s the definite article there in the Greek before it. In other words, the faith.

It’s not just faith per se, but it’s a special kind of faith. It’s the quality of faith that persists in prayer. Even though bearing the persecution of adversaries, never giving up, never quitting, that enduring faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17. Will he find that faith on the earth?

Will he find that faith in your heart, in your life?

So yes, we as Christians, we have adversaries, we have our enemies, we have our persecutions and trials and difficulties. It’ll help us to be aware of that and to realize that and accept that.

In fact, I want to read to you from Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, beginning in verse 10. Notice what Jesus says. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus tells us not only that we are going to be persecuted, that men are going to mistreat us because of our faith, because of our love and our service to the Lord, but he also tells us there’s a blessing in persecution. There’s a blessing not only for this time, but for all of eternity. Our reward is eternal life. In suffering for the cause of Christ, we share in the suffering of Christ. Just as the world hated him, the world will hate us. But remaining faithful to him as he was raised that third day to ascend into heaven, one day he will come again so that we can be raised and join him there in his glory.

I love this passage from 2 Timothy 3:12, and yet to me it’s quite challenging. Here’s what the apostle Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy. He says, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

We might ask ourselves if we are being persecuted, if there are any who may be against us because we’re standing with Jesus Christ. It could be that some of us are too compromising, that some of us have given up on the faith. But it’s a sure sign that if we’re receiving persecution, that we are standing with the Lord Jesus Christ. And it may appear at times that justice is not prevailing in our life. We look around, and we see so much unfairness. But let’s note that one day, Jesus will come and right all the wrongs. And sometimes it’s even in this life that God straightens things out.

I want to remind you of this passage in Revelation 6:10, where we read of those who are under the altar in the vision of John, and they were crying out to God. It was the spirits of those who had been faithful to Christ but who had been tortured and even put to death for the cause of Christ. And now on the other side of death, we hear them crying. And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? It may appear that it’s not right; but God will come to avenge his own. The Father will avenge the wrongs done upon his children. And we need to leave that vengeance to the Lord.

In Romans the 12th chapter, in verse 19, look what the apostle Paul writes here that I think will help us in those difficult times when we feel as though we are being treated unjustly.

Here he says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

You see, it’s better for us, instead of trying to right all the wrongs and trying to take our own personal vengeance against others, to leave that to the Lord, to turn it over to him, because remember, he’s going to do a much better job of righting the wrongs than we. He knows everything, and he is able and powerful to do whatever needs to be done; and so we as God’s people need to trust him with those things, trust him in everything, with everyone.

Yes, God wants us to know that he does love us, that he does care for us, that he does see us in every circumstance, in every situation in life and is there with us to help us and to deliver us. Our responsibility is to look to him for that deliverance, to keep trusting him for that deliverance, to always pray and not to faint. Don’t despair. Jesus Christ is coming.

Are you ready for that day?

Do you have faith in your heart?

Do you have faith in Jesus Christ?

Or have you put your faith in someone or something else? Have you been obedient to the gospel of Christ, turning from your sins and confessing him as Lord and savior, giving yourself to him in the waters of baptism, that you might become one of his children and that you might know that he is with you and that you have eternal life reserved for you in heaven with God?

SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord, whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul,
from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
thy coming in.
Above thee watching,
he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea forevermore.

SINGING>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
the battle belongs to the Lord.
He’s raised up a standard,
the power of his blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, hono
power and strength to the Lord.
When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage, my friend,
your redemption is near.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember that all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So please let us know how we can help you, and join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1554 The Parable Of A Friend At Midnight

Have you ever had a friend knock on your door in the middle of the night and just keep on knocking until you come to the door? Well, Jesus uses such an incident to teach us a lesson about prayer.

ROBERT >> Have you ever had a friend knock on your door in the middle of the night and just keep on knocking until you come to the door? Well, Jesus uses such an incident to teach us a lesson about prayer. Hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> In our lesson today, we want to discuss the parable of the friend at midnight. It’s only recorded by Luke. It’s in chapter 11, verses 5 through 8. Let’s read it together. “And He said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him; and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you. I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”

This is a homely story, but it also has a touch of humor in it. But to really get ahold of this parable, we need to understand the context of the parable, the occasion of this parable. Jesus is teaching his disciples to pray here.

If you’ll look with me in the first four verses of Luke chapter 11, we’ll see the setting for this parable. “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And so He said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

You see here that Jesus is teaching his disciples to pray. Jesus of course was a man of prayer. And this is something you see emphasized throughout the book of Luke.

For example, if we look back in Luke 3:21, this is what we read. Here we says, “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized. And while He prayed, the heaven was opened.”

We see when Jesus begins his ministry, he begins it with prayer.

In Luke chapter 5, notice in verse 16, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”

This was a custom of Christ, to go aside, to set himself away from others for a moment where he could pray to his father in heaven.

And you see it in chapter 6, and look in verse 12. “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

It was not unusual for Jesus not to just say prayers, but for him to spend much time with God, talking with him. As he was on this earth in the flesh, we see how dependent he was upon his father.

And then look in chapter 9 and verse 18. Here Luke writes, “And it happened, as He was alone, praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, Who do the crowds say that I am?”

And so we see here that Jesus is spending much time in prayer throughout his ministry. And certainly we ought to ask, if Jesus needed prayer like that, certainly we also need prayer as we strive to serve the Lord today.

Let me read one other passage from Luke chapter 9. Notice verse 28 and verse 29. Here it says, “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.”

And so we see here how that Jesus was in fact a man of prayer and how he had been praying in a certain place, how he taught his disciples to pray by giving them a model prayer. But the parable that was given was given to encourage them, and it was given to encourage them to pray to their heavenly father. And so I want us to try if we can to put ourselves into the parable and to see how the parable applies to each one of us. I want you to notice if you could place yourself in the parable that you’re the one that you’re going to your friend’s house, you’re needing something because somebody has come over and you can’t feed them. And so you go over to your friend’s house.

And what time do you go to your friend’s house?

It’s midnight, in the middle of the night. It was common in the East to travel at night because of the heat. And probably that’s what was happening. This friend had a friend who was traveling and came by his house, and he needed something to feed him, and so he goes to his neighbor’s house.

And what do you ask your friend when you get there?

And why are you asking?

Well, you ask him for bread. You’re asking him because another friend of yours has dropped in unexpectedly, and you didn’t have anything to feed him. It was an embarrassing circumstance for you because the hour was late and the marketplace would be closed. And so you go to your neighbor, you knock on his door. And when you knock on your friend’s door, where did your friend answer you from? He answered from the other side of the door, inside his house. He didn’t want to open his house for you, even though he knew you and even though he was your friend.

What was his answer, and why did he answer this way?

Well, he said he didn’t want to be troubled by you. He said he couldn’t help you because the door was shut. It had been barred. It had been fastened for the night. The children were already asleep. They were in bed with him. It might be interesting for us to think about the crowded living conditions in those days. Most people in Palestine were poor, and they lived in one-room houses with clay floors. Often the animals would be kept inside for protection from the weather, from theft. There might be an upper story. Maybe it had been built upon stilts where the family would cook and they would eat and they would sleep. And so the friend didn’t want to let you in and disturb the whole household in the middle of the night.

Why did Jesus say that your friend wouldn’t help you in the parable?

What did he say?

He said he wouldn’t help you because he’s your friend. It’s not because I’m your friend that I’m helping you.

But why did Jesus say your friend would help you?

He would help you because of your persistence. I don’t really want to open the door, I don’t want to disturb everybody, but I know I’m your friend, but the reason I’m really helping you is because of your persistence, you keep on knocking at the door. Because of your importunity, your friend gives you whatever is needed. By now it was obvious that if anyone was going to get any rest at all, he was going to have to help you.

Now, let’s take a look at verses 9 through 13, because now that we have this parable in view and we see what happened in this story in the middle of the night, I want you to see how Jesus uses this story to teach us about praying to our heavenly father. Let’s read it together. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Do you see in Jesus’ interpretation of this parable the application that Jesus makes, that he’s teaching us to be persistent in prayer?

Jesus says ask; Jesus says seek; Jesus says knock. And each one of those verbs, ask, seek, knock, are in the present tense. In other words, he’s saying keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. Be persistent. Do not be discouraged.

Look what Jesus had taught us in Luke chapter 18. In Luke 18:1, notice what it says. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

So many times we become discouraged when we should be praying. Keep on praying. Men ought always to pray, Jesus said.

The apostle Paul in Romans 12:12 teaches us to continue steadfastly in prayer. Prayer ought to be a regular part of every Christian’s life. We ought to make sure that we pray when we get up in the morning. We ought to be sure and pray when we’re around the table partaking of meals. Pray when you’re going and you’re coming. Ask the Lord to be with you. Ask the Lord to bless you in your efforts. When you face temptation, when you face decisions, when you face trials and obstacles in life, be praying to God. Let’s continue to pray morning and noon and night so that we do not become discouraged.

I love what the apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, where he simply says, “Pray without ceasing.”

You see, we’re to never give up on prayer. Don’t ever quit praying. I’m afraid that some of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord have decided they don’t believe in prayer anymore or that it’s not doing them any good. They have forgotten God does hear and answer our prayers. So don’t ever quit praying. Don’t ever give up on prayer. Keep on praying to God. You’ll notice how Jesus uses the parable to teach us about praying. And he uses the parable as a contrast to what happens when we come to our heavenly Father. You know, our heavenly Father is always ready, he’s always willing, he’s always able to help with all of our needs, with all of the needs of all of those who come to him. He’s not like that fellow in the parable that was disturbed and may or may not have had what his friend needed to help him. God’s not like that. God does not answer begrudgingly, but he answers lovingly and he answers generously.

Look with me in Luke 6:38. Luke chapter 6, notice what Jesus teaches here. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

God wants to bless our lives. He wants to fill up our heart, he wants to fill up our lives with his blessings.

In James 1:5, when he tells us to ask him in faith, he says he gives to all liberally. “He gives to all generously and upbraids not.”

God is not going to rebuke you for asking. He wants us to ask him, and he wants to bless our lives. Furthermore, we can say there’s no inconvenient midnight hour with God. God is always on duty to help us, to be there for us, to answer us, to bless us. Let’s go back to the Psalms.

Look at Psalm 121. In this great Psalm we see that our God never sleeps. Here it says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Do you see God is always right there, ready, willing, and able to hear and to answer your every call?

And so unlike the man in the parable, he’s not troubled, he is not unwilling, and he is always able to help us and to answer us when we call upon him in prayer. He’s not troubled by our knocking at the door, as was the friend in the parable. God is not only our friend, he is our heavenly Father, and we are his children. He’s much more ready, willing, and able to help us than we, who are evil, are to help our children.

Did you notice what he said back here in Luke?

In Luke chapter 11 I want to read again what it says here in verse 11 of chapter 11. “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?”

You see, there is a similarity in the stone to bread. You take the stone, it looks like a loaf of bread as they would make it in that day. Or the serpent, some serpents rolled up look kind of like a fish, or perhaps like the eel. And the scorpion, as he’s curled up his tail in that kind a light brown color looks like an egg. But I want you to see that a father, a normal father would not try to trick his children, give them a stone instead of bread or a serpent instead of a fish or a scorpion instead of an egg. They wouldn’t want to do anything that would be harmful to their children, no.

Notice what Luke says in verse 13. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

You see, in the parable you ask your friend to meet your small physical, temporary needs. I just need some bread. Somebody’s come over tonight. But you see, we may come to God not only for these physical, temporary needs that we often have, but also for our greater spiritual and our eternal needs. And so you see here that Luke says the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. The Holy Spirit here is put for all the good things which God bestows upon his children in the kingdom of Christ, his church.

In fact, if you look at Matthew’s account of this very same preaching of Jesus, look how Matthew puts it in Matthew 7:11. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?”

You see, God wants to give us good things. And that all began with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts the 2nd chapter as God established his church with the preaching of the gospel by the inspiration and the power of the Holy Spirit that day. What we see in the use of the Holy Spirit in Luke chapter 11 is what is called metonymy, where one thing is put for another; in this case, where the cause is put for the effect. The Holy Spirit is the cause, and the effect are the good things. All of this pointing to the coming of the kingdom of Christ we read about in Acts chapter 2. And I want you to look over there for just a moment in Acts the 2nd chapter. After Christ had died for our sins and paid that awful price on Calvary’s cross, after he had been raised from the dead the third day to walk on this earth, to show himself alive, after he had ascended through the clouds into the heavens to sit at God’s right hand, he poured out his powerful Holy Spirit upon his apostles. And they preached that good news of deliverance from sin, the conquering of death in the death and the burial, and the resurrection of Christ so that we could have the hope of eternal life, salvation, and the forgiveness of our sins. And when this was preached in all of its power, the people, hearing, wanted to know what to do to be saved. And the Bible says in verse 38, “Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

And so that day, three thousand souls were baptized into Christ. That day, they were saved. That day, they received salvation from their sins. That day, they were forgiven. That day, they received a new life, a new power, a new strength, a new hope in the Holy Spirit.

In fact, Ephesians 1:3 tells us that every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places is found in Christ Jesus. Yes, we have all of these good things from God available in Jesus Christ. Let’s keep asking, let’s keep seeking, let’s keep knocking, knowing that our Father is never disturbed by our prayers, but he’s always ready and willing and able to hear us and to answer us.

In 1 John 5, I want you to notice this promise from this great apostle of love. Let’s read it together here, beginning in verse 14, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.”

I hope today that this lesson will encourage you to keep on praying to God. And we also hope that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come,
from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord, whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
thy coming in.
Above thee watching,
he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea forevermore.

SINGING>> Each day I’ll do a golden deed
by helping those who are in need.
My life on earth is but a span,
and so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
a few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.
To be a child of God each day,
my light must shine along the way.
I’ll sing his praise while ages roll,
and try to help some troubled soul.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
a few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.
While going down life’s weary road,
I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load,
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
make flowers bloom along the way.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
a few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

1553 The Parable Of The Pharisee And The Tax Collector

A Pharisee, one of those who belonged to the strictest sect of the Jews, one who had the law, who knew the law, who taught the law, or a tax collector, one of the most despised sinners of the day: Which of these two do you think was right with God?

ROBERT >> A Pharisee, one of those who belonged to the strictest sect of the Jews, one who had the law, who knew the law, who taught the law, or a tax collector, one of the most despised sinners of the day: Which of these two do you think was right with God? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today we want to take a look at the parable of Jesus concerning the Pharisee and the tax collector.

This parable is only recorded by Luke, and it’s in Luke chapter 18 beginning in verse 9. Let’s read it together. Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner! I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

You see from the reading of this that Jesus spoke this parable to some, as it says here in verse 9, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Don’t you think that’s a fitting description of the attitude of the Pharisees as they are revealed to us in the New Testament?

They looked down their nose at others. They thought they were better than everybody else. Notice how many men are mentioned in the parable of Jesus. There were two men who went up to the temple to pray.

Notice they were going to the temple to pray, which was quite a common thing. At regular hours, they would go and they would pray there, like we read in Luke 1:10 and Acts 3:1 and Acts 10:30.

We see that prayer was a regular thing there at the temple. And you might also notice that they went up to the temple to pray, because it was on Mount Moriah. You always had to go up to the temple when you came into Jerusalem. And then as you’ll notice in verse 14, when the man left, he went down to his house. So here were these two men who had come up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. And I want you to think about who these men were.

The Pharisees, they were literally the separated ones. These were in great number, about 6,000 probably at the time. They were the strictest sect of Judaism according to Acts 26:5. But they were strongly condemned by Jesus. Time and time again, he condemned the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy. I want you to notice some of that, because I think it’ll help us in understanding this parable concerning the Pharisees here of Jesus.

Look with me back in Matthew chapter 6, and let’s look at how he speaks about the hypocrisy of these religious people during his day. He says in verse 1, Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. You see, Jesus condemned them for doing what they did to be seen by men. That was their motivation. That’s what they were concerned about instead of their heavenly Father. He said, for example, they’ll do charitable deeds here in verse 2, and they’ll do them as hypocrites do in the synagogues. In the streets they will sound a trumpet before others so everybody can see what they’re doing and know what they’re doing. He went on to say in verse 5 how they would pray like hypocrites. They would be standing in the synagogues or on the corners of the streets, that they might be seen of men. And then further he would talk about the way that they would fast. In verse 16, again, it was like the hypocrites with a sad countenance.

They would disfigure their faces so everybody could see that they were fasting. They simply wanted to impress men instead of impressing God by serving him, by doing good for him, by bringing glory to him. No, it was more about themselves than what they could do for God.

In Matthew the 15th chapter, you’ll also see where Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Here we see they were very concerned about their own man-made traditions, the various washings they had before they would eat and those kinds of things.

And notice what Jesus says to them in verse 7 of Matthew 15. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying, These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Oh, they had a great outward show, but really their hearts were not where they needed to be, and they weren’t really worshiping and serving God from the heart, and they weren’t so concerned about his commandments and keeping those commandments as they were about their own man-made laws. And then perhaps the most scathing rebuke of Jesus anywhere in the Bible is seen in Matthew chapter 23, and it was directed towards these Pharisees.

Notice what it says here in Matthew 23:1. “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not.”

Oh, they expected others to keep the heavy burdens, the traditions and the laws they had placed upon them, but they themselves would not help to do it, and they themselves would not even carry out these things the way they should be done. He went on to say concerning them in verse 9 how they loved the best places at the feast, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men Rabbi, Rabbi. You see, they were more concerned about what everybody thought them and impressing others and putting on a show than they were about keeping the commandments of the Lord. As you go on through this chapter, you’ll see Jesus condemn them time and time again, pronouncing woes upon them because of their hypocrisy.

For example, you’ll notice in verse 14, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Yes, these Pharisees who had been privileged to have God’s law, who had been placed over the people to teach them and to bring them to the Lord, these had turned into hypocrites who were only trying to impress others.

Well, what about the tax collector?

Well, tax collectors worked for the Romans, and they were considered traitors by the Jews. They were classed with the heathen because they were taking money from their own people to give to the Romans, and many times pocketing some for themselves. No wonder they were classed with the heathen in Matthew 18:17. No wonder they were classed with the harlots in Matthew 21:31-32, and with sinners in Matthew 9:10-11 and other places in the New Testament. Yes, when you thought about a tax collector in the New Testament days, you were thinking about one of the most despised of sinners among all the people.

Now let’s see what these two did, these two men who went up to the temple. They went up to the temple to pray. And notice how they prayed. Look first of all at the Pharisee. Look at the posture that he took when he prayed. It says in verse 11 that the Pharisee stood and prayed. He stood and prayed. Really, the tense of the language there indicates that his recorded prayer, which was quite a short one here, was actually a continuation of a longer one. He was going on and praying. So here he is standing so everybody can see him and going on with many words because he wanted to impress others, the very thing Jesus had earlier condemned as we pointed out in Matthew 6:5-15, going on putting on a show for those around instead of really trying to worship and glorify God.

In fact, look what it says about to whom he prayed. It says that he prayed thus with himself. He prayed with himself. God wasn’t listening to him. He was really just talking to himself, putting on a show for those that were there. It appears that his prayer didn’t reach any higher than just above his head. And who does he address in his prayer?

Well, he addressed his prayer to God. He said, God, I thank you. But does that mean that God accepted his prayer? What did he thank God for? He thanked God that he was not like other men. I’m not like other men, extortioners, he said, the unjust, the adulterers, or even this tax collector. Sounded more like boasting than giving thanks to me. And it also seems the Pharisee was trying to convince himself and others who may have been listening to him. But God knows what we’re really like. We don’t have to convince him about who we are. But you see this Pharisee again was not so interested in what God thought, but what he could get the others to think about him.

What did he say about himself to show that he was not like these other men he claimed not to be like?

Look what it says once again here in verse 12. “I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”

He fasted twice a week, he gave tithes of all that he possessed. You see, the law only required fasting on the Day of Atonement. And the Pharisees fasted not only on the Day of Atonement, but they fasted two days a week, on Mondays and on Thursdays. And they let everybody know about it. Again, as we referred to earlier in Matthew 6:16-18, they would disfigure their faces, they would let everybody know, oh, I’m this miserable one who’s been fasting. They gave tithes, a tenth of even the smallest herbs. Yes, the law required tithes. And they were very meticulous about that. But again we see the hypocrisy, because they failed in the greater things of the law.

Look with me in Matthew 23:23. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

The Pharisee believed doing these things, making sure he prayed and he fasted and he was tithing of the very smallest of things even, he believed doing these things made him righteous and it made him better than others. But he failed to acknowledge his sin. He failed to acknowledge his need for a savior. And that’s the big difference between the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Did you notice the tax collector in Jesus’ parable here in Luke chapter 18?

You’ll notice that the tax collector was standing afar off, it says. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone with his prayer. He was embarrassed for himself because of his sinfulness, if anything. And then notice what it said as he was praying there. He would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven. It was because of the shame. It was because of the humiliation he felt over his sins.

I think Ezra expressed this quite well in Ezra 9:6. “And I said, O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.”

That’s the kind of grief that we ought to feel because of our sins. We cannot overlook them. We cannot just pass them by or try to cover them up. We must see them for what they are. And you’ll notice the man in the parable again there in Luke chapter 18 as he was standing over there and he wouldn’t even look up into heaven, it says that he beat his breast.

Why did he beat his breast?

Again, this was an expression of grief. This was an expression of sorrow.

Look at a couple of passages, Nahum 2:7. “It is decreed, She shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, beating their breast. That was the nation of Nineveh. And God would destroy that nation because of their wickedness and because of their evil. And there you see their grief.”

There you see their sorrow, the same thing that was expressed by this tax collector in the parable of Jesus.

Another passage in Luke, look at Luke 23:48. Here the Bible says, “And the whole crowd who came together to that site, seeing what had been done, beat their breast and returned.”

These were those who saw Jesus crucified on the cross. And you see their grief, and you see their sorrow for the one who died for their sins. But then look closely at the words of the prayer of this sinner, the tax collector.

Here’s what he said here in Luke 18:13: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”

. Be merciful to me, a sinner. To be merciful, it has the idea of conciliation, of atonement, of propitiation, and the idea being merciful and making reconciliation for someone.

In Hebrews 2:17, I want you to see what the Hebrew writer said about this. ”Therefore in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Here we see Jesus Christ as our merciful high priest, the one who made reconciliation with God possible, the one through whom we obtained the mercy of God. The tax collector, that sinner, acknowledges his sin. God be merciful to me, a sinner. And he acknowledged his need for a savior.

God accepted his prayer because it came from a broken heart. Go back with me if you will to Psalm 51:17, a psalm of David, a psalm where David pours out his heart to God, realizing, acknowledging his sin with Bathsheba, having committed adultery, having put her husband to death; and now having taken her as his own wife, trying to hide his sin for so long, now he comes to recognize that he must confess it and acknowledge it before God to find his mercy and his forgiveness.

And so this is what he says in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart; these, O God, you will not despise.”

David knew that in his grief, in his sorrow, in his penitence that God would hear and that God would forgive. We might ask as was shown in the parable here, which of the two men, the Pharisee or the tax collector, which of the two did Jesus say went home justified?

Notice what it says in verse 14, “I tell you, this man wept down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Yes, Jesus said that it was the tax collector who humbled himself that was justified. Justified means declared innocent or righteous. When I am justified, it is just as if I’ve never sinned. We are justified by faith according to Romans 5:1. Our salvation from sin cannot be earned by our own doing.

It is by grace through faith. Read with me if you will Ephesians 2:8-10. “ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared for Him, that we should walk in them. So Jesus says it was that tax collector who humbled himself that found the mercy and the forgiveness of God, that found himself made right with God, justified, just as if I’d never sinned.”

You’ll notice in Jesus’ words at the end of this reading here in Luke 18:14, who was it that was going to be humbled? “He said, I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.”

When we exalt ourself, when we begin to think that we’re more than we really are, when we try to think that we’re better than everybody else and that we’re not sinful creatures, those are the ones who are going to be humbled.

In Proverbs 16:8, look what the wise man said long ago. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

How many people will be kept out of heaven because of the pride in their heart, who will not humble their hearts?

But who did Jesus say would be exalted?

He who humbles himself will be exalted.

Let me leave you with this passage from 1 Peter 5:5-6, where Peter reminds us of this very thing. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourself to your elders.”

Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility; for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself before God today, see yourself as a sinner in need of a savior, and come to Jesus Christ, and let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> Years I spent in vanity and pride,
caring not my Lord was crucified,
knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan;
oh, the grace that brought it down to man;
oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.
Mercy there was great and grace was free,
pardon there was multiplied to me,
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

ROBERT >> I’d like to thank you for watching the program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul. The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ. But not just to believe in him generally; you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” John 8:24.

But he also said that a person must repent of sins. And that means to change your mind about your sinful past, to decide to change your action and live for God.

“Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

And the Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to verbally confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation. That’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

And so the preacher says in Acts 22:16, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope you’ll study these things for yourself to see if they are so, and I hope and pray that if you have not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late. If you have any questions or comments or requests, if you need a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or maybe you’d like to order today’s lesson on CD or DVD or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

E-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And visit our web site, www.ttil.tv.

All our materials, our services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

1552 The Parable Of The Good Samaritan

We all know that great commandment, Love your neighbor as yourself. But who is my neighbor? That’s what we’ll learn in our study of the good Samaritan.

ROBERT >> We all know that great commandment, Love your neighbor as yourself. But who is my neighbor? That’s what we’ll learn in our study of the good Samaritan. I hope you’ll stay tuned. I’ll be back in just a moment.

ROBERT >> The parable of the good Samaritan is only recorded by Luke. Let me encourage you to turn in your Bibles to Luke the 10th chapter as we take a look at this parable together. But before we get right into the parable, I think it’s important that we understand the context surrounding this parable, so let’s begin today in Luke 10:25.

Here the Bible says, “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? So he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this, and you will live. But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?”

Notice this was a lawyer. This was not the kind of lawyer that most of us are probably familiar with; but he was an expert in the law of Moses. And if you look at the lawyer’s motive, it will also give us some understanding about what was really going on here.

You’ll notice in verse 25 that the Bible says that he tested Christ. He was testing Jesus. He wasn’t really interested in the answer to his question. But what was the lawyer’s question? He asked him here, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

This is the most important question perhaps in the whole world that anyone could possibly ask. There’s nothing more important than eternal life. Notice that the question is very personal.

He said, What must I do to inherit eternal life?

No one can be saved for you. It’s an individual, it’s a personal matter. But also notice that there’s something one must do. He asked, What must I do to inherit eternal life? Understand today that salvation cannot be earned.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it’s not of works, lest any man should boast. It’s the gift of God.”

But there are conditions that must be met in order to receive the gift of eternal life. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 that, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

So Jesus said it’s not enough simply for us to call him Lord. We must submit to the will of God to do what he’s asked us to do.

In Hebrews 5:8-9, the Hebrew writer said that Jesus is indeed the author of eternal salvation, but then he adds, to all those who obey Him. And so we see the question once again, What shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Now I want you to notice that Jesus answered the question of the lawyer with a question. Look what it says in verse 26. He said to him, What is written in the law?

What is your reading of it?

I think here we see how the master teacher shows a good method of teaching here. This idea of answering a question with a question, it makes the student think, it makes him develop interest in the conversation. He’s also searching, and he’s finding the answer for himself. And this would not only cause him to be certain about the answer, but it will help him to remember it. In the case of the lawyer, he was very knowledgeable of the law. He thought he already knew the answer. He wasn’t asking Jesus for information; he was just testing Jesus. Jesus knew what he was doing, and so he turned the question back to him, as if to say you’re an expert in these matters. You of all people should be able to answer your own question. And let me say that there are a lot of people who know the answer to their questions. They just don’t want to accept the answer. They don’t want to do what they know God says to do. And so they keep asking the question, looking for a different answer until someone comes along and tells them what they want to hear. I certainly hope that is not the case for you.

Let’s notice how the lawyer now answered Jesus’ question. Look at verse 27. So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Where did the lawyer’s answer come from?

Well, his answer comes from two passages in the law of Moses really which were given to the Jews: Deuteronomy 6:5, where we’re taught to love the Lord God with all of our heart, and Leviticus 19:18, to love our neighbor as ourself. The lawyer had a ready answer to Jesus’ question. Keep the law, love God, love your neighbor. And you know, Jesus agreed with the lawyer’s answer.

Look what he says in verse 28. “And He said to him, You have answered rightly. Do this, and you will live.”

In other words, you’re right. And if you keep that law as well as you can quote it, you will have eternal life. What does this tell us about these two commandments, to love God, to love your neighbor?

Well, Jesus tells us that these are the two greatest commandments on which all the law hangs, Matthew 22:34-40. In fact, these two commandments are the fulfillment of the law, the sum of the law, as Paul brought out in Romans 13:8-10. Let me read that with you today so we can get an idea of what we’re talking about here. “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In other words, when you add all the laws up, they equal love. The lawyer had asked another question because he wanted to justify himself right here. You see, it wasn’t enough for the lawyer to have Jesus tell him I’ve got to keep the law, and if you keep that law, you’re going to live, because he realized he had not been keeping that law. He had not been living up to that law perfectly. And so he wanted to justify himself.
Look what he said in verse 29 back in our text here. But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

When Jesus put the lawyer on the spot, he sought a way of escaping. He asked, Who is my neighbor? He’s beginning to squirm. He was one of those Jews that despised the Samaritans and those of other nations, and thinking that he was more righteous, would have nothing to do with even the sinners of his own nation. And so the lawyer, he has to narrow the definition of neighbor if he wants to justify himself in regards to the law which said to love your neighbor as yourself.

Don’t we do the same thing today?

We try to justify ourselves when we know we’re not doing God’s will. We say, oh, everybody else is doing it, or, that really isn’t a big deal, or, hey, that’s just your interpretation. We try to twist the scripture to fit our situation instead of changing our situation to fit the scripture, rather than repenting, trusting God for forgiveness. And so the parable of the good Samaritan is Jesus’ answer to the question, Who is my neighbor?

Let’s read it together. Luke chapter 10, beginning in verse 30. “Then Jesus answered and said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”

Notice here in the parable where the man in the parable was traveling. Notice what happened to him. He was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among the thieves. Now, this is a quite treacherous, 17-mile decline of some 3400 feet, a place infested with bandits. But who comes along?

The priest and the Levite. And what did they do?

Well, the priest, think about this, was a descendant of Aaron. He officiated at the temple in Jerusalem. And the Levite, he was a descendant of Levi that assisted the priests. But neither of them did anything to help the dying victim on the road. They just turned their heads and kept on going. But then there was the Samaritan. And who is this Samaritan, and what did he do? Well, the Samaritans were half-breeds. They descended from the Israelites who had intermarried with the Gentile settlers who had been brought into Palestine by the Assyrians a long time ago after the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. And although the Jews hated these neighbors of theirs, the Samaritans, this Samaritan had compassion on the wounded man. This is a great illustration of the fact that love opens our hearts to others. And you remember, this parable was given in response to, Who is my neighbor, and that commandment that had been brought up, love your neighbor as yourself.

Look with me in 1 John 3:17, and look what John says about the kind of love we’re to have for others. “But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

You see, love truly opens the heart; not shutting it up, not passing by on the other side like that priest and that Levite. No, the Samaritan loved his neighbor, and so he opened his heart to his neighbor. In fact, if you’ll look closely with me again at the parable, I think you’ll see that this man, when he saw one in need, he acted. And that’s what love always does. It doesn’t just feel. It acts. Look at the verbs used to describe the actions of the Samaritan towards this man in need.

Look with me here in verse 33. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. And so he came where he was, he looked on him, and then verse 34, He went to him, and he bandaged his wounds, and he pours on oil and wine, and he sets him on his animal, and he brings him to an in, and he takes care of him. And that wasn’t the end of it. He goes on. The next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii. He gave them to the innkeeper. He said to him, Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”

So we see here that this was one who truly had compassion, who opened his heart, who acted upon that compassion and expressed and demonstrated the love of God for his neighbor. Now, that’s not the end of the conversation that Jesus had with the lawyer. And we’ll see in the words that follow the real meaning of this parable clearly pointed out.

Look with me here in Luke 10:36. Jesus asked, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

You see, he was asking about those that passed by that road that day, the priest and the Levite who went on by, and the Samaritan who stopped to help.

Which one of these was truly a neighbor to the one who fell among the thieves? And look at the lawyer’s answer.

He said in verse 37, He who showed mercy on him. You see, the lawyer knew the answer to Jesus’ question; but notice he still could not bring himself to say the Samaritan. And so he simply said, The one who had mercy on him. We all are in need of mercy; and therefore, we should be merciful. The Bible emphasizes this over and over again. If you look back in Luke the 6th chapter for just a moment, look what it says here in verse 31, where Jesus was again teaching the multitudes. He said, And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

And in verse 36 of that same sermon Jesus said, “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”

What was Jesus’ challenge to the lawyer?

As you see the end of the story here in Luke chapter 10, I want you to look at this in verse 37, when the lawyer said to him, It was the one who showed mercy on him that was truly a neighbor, Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. You see, Jesus’ challenge to the lawyer is simply this: To go, to treat others like the Samaritan had. Jesus challenged the lawyer to do what he knew was right. No longer could he justify his unloving treatment of others. And you know, we, too, usually know what’s right. The issue is whether we’ll do what we know we should do. There’s a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown indignantly says, Of course I love the human race. I just can’t stand Lucy. Well, the lawyer was saying something quite similar. Of course I love my neighbor. I just can’t stand Samaritans.

What are we saying?

Not with our lips. We often say, I love you, I love you, I love you; but what are we saying with our lives?

Jesus in this great parable has now made it very clear that my neighbor is anyone in need whom I can help. I hope that all of us will take this parable to heart, that we’ll begin to see and open our eyes to those around us who are in need and do what we can to help them, that we won’t turn a blind eye, that we won’t pass by on the other side, that we’ll truly have in our hearts the compassion that we see in Jesus and that he taught us here in this parable; that we’ll open our hearts to others to show them our love, doing what we can to help them, to meet their needs, to overcome their problems and their difficulties.

Of course, we here at The Truth In Love, we are concerned especially about the greatest need of the many souls in this world. And that’s why we have this television program. You remember the lawyer asked Jesus, What shall I do to inherit eternal life? There is really the greatest need of all: Our need for salvation, our need for forgiveness, to be reconciled to God so that we can know and have that certain and sure hope of eternal life. Because everything else then would be for nought. Doesn’t matter how much we might accumulate in this world, how successful we might become, what great works we might do in regards to the things of this world, if we haven’t secured for ourselves the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ and that hope of eternal life. And so today I want to encourage you to take a look at yourself and your relationship with God and ask yourself, Am I right with God today?

If I were to die today, would I be lost, or would I find a place with God?

You see, the Bible teaches us that God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Everlasting life, eternal life, that’s what God wants for us. He wants none of us to be separated from him because of our sins and to spend an eternity in hell away from him; but rather he wants us to be reconciled to him so we can be with him forever in that heavenly home that he’s prepared for us. He’s made all of that possible through Jesus Christ.

You see, Jesus Christ came to this earth to become one of us, to live a perfect life so he could offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. We like that lawyer have every one fallen short of the grace of God, fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve failed to keep his commandments. But God in his love and in his mercy and in his grace has provided for us that sacrifice, that perfect sacrifice of his only son to pay the price for our sins so we could be forgiven, so that we could be reconciled to him.

If you believe that today, if you’ll trust him for that today, then you’ll want to turn away from your sins in genuine repentance of heart. You’ll want to change your life and to live for God, and you’ll be willing to confess him, Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, the Lord, the savior, and then you’ll give yourself to him as he commanded, immersing yourself into Christ, being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins to begin that new life so you can be cleansed, so you can become a child of God.

He asks you to come to him. Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. We hope that you’ll do that today if you haven’t, and that if you have, that you’ll continue to follow in the ways of Jesus Christ and to show his love to everyone around you. And we also hope that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll, eternal love shall feast their soul.
And scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view, rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy,
holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing,
oh almighty king?
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting
song and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. So let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall
, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1551 The Parable Of The Wicked Vinedressers

So many close their eyes and hearts to the savior. It’s nothing new. This parable from Jesus tells of those who ultimately rejected Him in a prediction of His own death. Learn more about this powerful parable.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for joining us today here on The Truth In Love. Our God is such a gracious God, a loving God who has made every effort to make a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and to join him for all of eternity in the heavenly realm; and yet there are many who are so determined to persist in their wickedness, who have closed their eyes and their ears and their hearts to the savior. Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today we want to discuss the parable of the wicked vinedressers, which ought to convict the hearts of every one of us. This parable of Jesus is actually recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We’re going to read from Matthew’s account in just a moment. But I want to remind you that Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world. When he entered that city, he was met with hosannas, they proclaimed him as the Messiah, and now it’s Tuesday before his death, and he’s teaching in the temple when he gives this parable.

Let’s read it together from Matthew 21:33. “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, They will represent my son. When the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance. So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers? They said to Him, He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyards to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

Picture this, if you can today, how this man, this landowner planted a vineyard. As there were many vineyards in Judea in those days, the land would be made ready, the large stones would be taken out, the ground would be plowed, and the vines would be planted. He would set a hedge around it, maybe of thorns, perhaps a stone wall to keep out the animals and thieves who might break in. And then he would dig a vat, a winepress there in the vineyard. The ordinary press in those days was made of two pits dug out of rocky ground. There would be one pit connected by some kind of channel down to the other pit, one higher than the other, so when they pressed by foot the juice out of the grapes, it would flow down the channel into the lower pit. And there in the vineyard he would build a tower. The tower would be built probably of stone, and it would be used to lodge the workers of the vineyard and especially for a lookout against possible robbers during the harvest time. And so the landowner, having built this vineyard, would lease it out to vinedressers, and he would go off into a far country for a long time.

This was not unusual in the days of Palestine, a very troubled country. A man might leave his property in the care of others and go live somewhere else. But then I want you to notice here in verse 34, “Now when vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.”

You see, he sent these servants back at harvest time to get some fruit from the vineyard. Rent from land in those days was often derived in different ways. The tenant might give maybe some money to the owner, or he might pay a certain amount of the produce, whether the harvest was good or bad. He might agree to share in a certain portion of the fruit, usually about a third or a fourth of the harvest. But in the parable, when the landowner sent the servants to receive this rent, what did the vinedressers do to his servants? Well, they beat one. They sent him away empty handed. They killed one, they stoned another. When you look at all the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, you get all the details of this. But it was not uncommon for land renters to abuse those absentee landlords when they weren’t around.

What did the landowner do when these servants were mistreated?

He sent some more servants, even more servants than he sent before. What happened to them?

Again, the same thing they had done to the others that had been said before. At least one was stoned, one was wounded in the head and sent away, some were beaten, some were killed.

What did the landowner do last of all?

Notice what it says here in verse 37. “And last of all, he sent his son to them, saying, They will respect my son.”

But that was not the case. Instead, the vinedressers were plotting to kill the son so they could seize his inheritance. They took him, they cast him out of the vineyard, and they killed him. What question did Jesus then ask the audience that was listening to him that day?

Look at it with me here in verse 40. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”

And look at their reply in verse 41. “They said to Him, He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

And you don’t see it here in Matthew, but in Luke’s account he adds this response: Certainly not!

What does Jesus mean by this parable? The details of the story, what historical situation are they describing? Who does this apply to?

Well, let’s notice that he’s really referring to the historical situation of the Jewish nation in his day. And you see the landowner here very obviously is representing God, but the vineyard speaks of the Jewish nation. You see, God brought them out of Egypt, out of their slavery hundreds of years ago. He planted them in a good land, the promised land of Canaan, and he made them his people and he gave them his law, and he blessed them in so many wonderful and special ways. So God is that landowner, and that vineyard must refer to God’s people, Israel.

But who is represented by the vinedressers left in charge of that vineyard?

This would be the priests, this would be the elders of the people who abused their responsibility over God’s people.

Who was represented by the servants sent back again and again?

Those would refer to the Old Testament prophets, those prophets that were persecuted because they spoke against the evil of the leaders among God’s people. They constantly pleaded for the people to repent. According to Jewish tradition, Jeremiah, the great prophet, was stoned by exiles in Egypt. Isaiah, another great prophet, sawn asunder by King Manasseh. In the Old Testament passage of 2 Chronicles 24:21, we read where Zechariah was stoned. And in that same book in chapter 36 and verse 16, the persecution of the prophets during the days of Zedekiah. And let me read to you from Acts 7:52, when Stephen was preaching to the Jews of his day, the rulers of God’s people.

In Acts 7:52, he asked this question:” Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?”

And if I could, look at Hebrews chapter 11. At the end of this great faith chapter we read about the persecution that so many did towards God’s faithful servants.

In Hebrews 11 beginning verse 32, “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jepthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens in caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.”

Yes, just as those vinedressers persecuted the servants sent by the landowner to the vineyard, so Israel and the other nations often persecuted God’s prophets who warned them of their unfaithfulness and pleaded with them to turn back to God. But most importantly in this parable, who is represented by the son that was cast out of the vineyard and killed?

And of course we know now that’s Jesus Christ, our Lord and our savior, who was crucified at Calvary because they rejected him as their savior and as their Lord.

You’ll notice here at the end of the parable where Jesus asked the question, What will he do to those vinedressers?

And I want to read again their answer to that question in verse 41. They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

Yes, they recognized that those wicked vinedressers who killed the servants, who killed the son deserved destruction, they deserved to be destroyed; but they did not recognize that they themselves, because they had not been faithful over the vineyard God had given them, the Israelite nation, and because they would reject his son, Jesus Christ, also deserved to be destroyed.

Jesus had prophesied concerning the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, how the Romans would besiege the city and kill over a million Jews, this great judgment of God that would take place in 70 AD. Jesus had spoken of it in Matthew 24, in Mark 13, and in Luke 21. They would be judged because of their unfaithfulness and their rejection of Jesus Christ. But I want to ask this: Who’s represented by the other vinedressers to whom the landowner would lease his vineyard after those wicked vinedressers were destroyed?

Well, this refers to the church, the church of Christ made of many people from all nations that you read about here in your Bibles. The Jewish nation would not be restored to God’s favor, not as a nation; but God chose a new spiritual nation, the church, to be his people.

Let me read with you 1 Peter 2:9-10, where Peter shows that that physical nation of Israel in the Old Testament was just pointing to the greater spiritual nation of Christ, his church.

1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

This is the spiritual Israel of God we read about in Galatians 6:16, in Romans 9:6-8. These were not of the physical seed of Abraham, but they had the faith of Abraham. And believing on Jesus Christ and responding in obedience to his gospel, they became a part of Christ’s kingdom, his church. And thus, the parable here, the parable of the wicked vinedressers, is really a commentary on God’s gracious dealings with his people: His constant pleadings for them to repent, their determination to persist in wickedness, their willingness even to kill Jesus, and their final and irrevocable rejection by God. Jesus asked what the owner of the vineyard would do to his rebellious servants, and the Jews gave a ready response in which they unwittingly pronounced judgment against themselves. But I want us to look a little closer here at some of the verses that follow this.

Notice verse 42 of Matthew 21. “Jesus said to them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is a quotation from Psalm 118:22-23. And you might also compare it with Isaiah 28:16. But who is meant by the stone that the builders rejected in this passage that Jesus quoted? Well, that stone we know now is Jesus Christ.

We know that because Peter interpreted it for us.

In 1 Peter chapter 2, let me read to you verses 4 through 8. Here he writes, Coming to Him, that is, Jesus Christ, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame. Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and, A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. Not only does Peter show Jesus Christ as that stone that was rejected, but you can read Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and you’ll see that same understanding. Jesus Christ is that foundation stone upon which he built his church. Faith in him as the Christ, the Son of God, obedience to his gospel is absolutely necessary to be a part of this new great spiritual nation, the church; otherwise, we, too, are destined for destruction.

So what was Jesus’ explanation of the parable?

Look again back in Matthew chapter 21, and notice what he says in verse 43. Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. The kingdom of God would be taken from the Jews and given to another nation bearing those fruits.

And what is that other nation?

As we learned before, this refers to the church.

What did Jesus say would happen to those who fall on the stone in the scripture that he just read?

Look at it again in verse 44. “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder. Yes, they would be broken.”

This mean means that there are some that would fall upon Jesus Christ, humbled by Christ to recognize their sinfulness, to come to him in faith for salvation, like those we read about in 1 Peter 2:6 who come to faith, who believe in that one, never to be put to shame. And what did Jesus say would happen to those upon whom the stone fell?

They would be ground to powder. All of this refers to the condemnation of those who are disobedient, rejecting Christ as Lord and as savior. But who here in Matthew 21 came to realize that Jesus was speaking of them?

Look with me here in verse 45 of Matthew 21. ‘Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. The chief priests, the Pharisees, these leaders of Israel had been indicted by Jesus Christ and knew that they had fallen under the condemnation of God himself.”

What did they do about it?

Instead of repenting, instead of turning, look what the verse says in verse 46. “But when they sought to lay hands on Him, on Christ, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet. If it were up to the chief priests and Pharisees, they would have taken him then to destroy him, because they refused to accept his message. They were going to take it out on the messenger, except they feared the multitude more. They were afraid of losing their popularity and the following by the people. They were more concerned about that than what was right and what was good and what God had done for them through Jesus Christ, and they sought to get rid of him altogether. Surely this message of the parable of the wicked vinedressers is one that convicts our hearts and helps us to re-examine our lives to see if we are right with God, to see if we’re really being honest about the truth concerning Jesus Christ and his gospel. If you’ll believe on him today, turning from your sins and confessing your faith in him, you can become a Christian by giving yourself to him in the waters of baptism. As the Bible says, Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. I hope you’ll do that today, that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven.

SINGING>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood
a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll,
eternal love shall feast their soul,
and scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view,
rise in succession to view.
Holy,
holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing,
oh Almighty king?
Holy, holy,
holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.

SINGING>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power
and strength to the Lord.
When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
the battle belongs to the Lord.
He’s raised up a standard,
the power of his blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage,
my friend, your redemption is near.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. I’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or requests.

You can write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053 or e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966 or visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

And remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me
it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1550 The Parable Of The Unjust Steward

Have you noticed that the people of this world are often wiser in the ways of this world than Christians? Jesus told a parable that shows the necessity of understanding our world and using the things of this world for a spiritual advantage.

ROBERT >> Good morning, and thank you for joining us today on The Truth In Love. Have you ever noticed how it seems the world is more wise and shrewd in using what they have to accomplish their worldly purposes than we as Christians are with what we have to accomplish the purposes of God? Well, stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today we’re going to talk about another parable of Jesus. This time, the unjust steward. Now, this parable of Jesus is only recorded by Luke, and so we’ll be looking together in Luke chapter 16. And I want you to notice how this parable is connected with the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, as well as the story of the rich man and Lazarus. If you’ll look in Luke chapter 15, you’ll see the story of the lost sheep and the coin and that prodigal son. But then after chapter 16 verses 1 through 8, after we read the parable of the unjust steward, we have the rich man and Lazarus. So it’s in between these two parables that we find Jesus speaking about the unjust steward. And you’ll notice that Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples. And yet the audience of this message was much greater. It also included the tax collectors and the sinners and the Pharisees and the scribes.

If you look back in Luke 15:1-2, it says, “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” That’s where he gives the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son. But just following that is where he brings in this parable of the unjust steward.

Those still listening there in chapter 15 are listening here in chapter 16. And then we look over in chapter 16 verse 1, and it says, He also said to His disciples. And in verse 14 of that chapter, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.” And so we see that Jesus was speaking to many people on this occasion. And he speaks to us today if we’re listening.

Let’s notice today that Jesus tells the parable, and then he uses it to teach a very important lesson. Let’s first read it, and then we’ll discuss it, and then we’ll consider the lesson from Jesus that follows this parable.

The parable is actually recorded in Luke 16:1-8. Let’s read it together. “He also said to His disciples, There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, How much do you owe my master? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. So he said to him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty. Then he said to another, And how much do you owe? So he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill, and write eighty. So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”

You’ll notice in this parable of Jesus that there was a steward. And a steward is someone who’s been entrusted with or given charge of that which belongs to another. So the steward here was responsible for the rich man’s goods.

Well, what did the rich man hear about his steward?

He heard that the steward was being wasteful, and so he was going to do something about it, and he called his steward to account.

But what then was the steward’s immediate thought?

He didn’t really know what he was going to do.

Did you see there in verse 3?

Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my master is taking away the stewardship from me. Sometimes we find ourselves not being responsible, and then we don’t know what to do when we get in trouble for it. And that was the case here with this steward. He didn’t know what he was going to do.

Now, there were two options that he dismissed, he didn’t really want to do. He couldn’t dig. I mean, he really wasn’t someone who had been doing that kind of thing. And besides, he might have been a little too weak or a little too lazy.

Was there no other work, we must have thought?

On the other hand, he also didn’t want to beg. He’d be ashamed to beg. But he wasn’t ashamed of his poor stewardship. He wasn’t ashamed of his fraudulent plans to further abuse his master that we read about here, how he resolved to go out to those who owed his master.

Look what he decided to do here. He reduced the debts of his master’s creditors, that they might be indebted to him.

If you’ll look at the first debtor here that’s mentioned, you’ll notice he reduced the debt by 50 percent here in verse 6. “He said, A hundred measures of oil, and he said to him, take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty.”

He owed a hundred measures of oil. That’s about 800 gallons. That’s the yield of about 146 olive trees. That’s a thousand denarii, or about 170 dollars, a large amount in those days particularly, since a daily wage for a working man was only one denarius according to Matthew 20:22. And then the second debtor, he reduced 20 percent.

We see that here in verse 7. “He said to another, And how much do you owe? And so he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill and write eighty.”

And so he owed a hundred measures of wheat. That’s about 500 bushels, the yield of 100 acres, about 2500 denarii, about 425 dollars. When the master realized what the steward was doing, look how he reacted.

Read again with me in verse 8. “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. The master reacted in this way, commending the steward for his shrewdness.”

Now, why do you suppose the master would commend his steward?

Well, he commended him because he was shrewd, because he had this foresight in preparing for his future.

He was quite astute, wasn’t he?

I would say that this was a person that was intelligent and clever and perceptive and wise and prudent, that is, in accomplishing the purpose that he wanted accomplished. Maybe his purpose was not good, fraudulently denying his master these things; but certainly here was one who was shrewd in acting in this situation.

Now, the important thing for us to see is Jesus’ lesson from this parable. Let’s read on a little bit further, and let’s notice here some things about how Jesus comments on this parable.

First of all, let me just ask, does Jesus condone the steward’s dishonest conduct?

Of course not.

You’ll notice here in verse 8 again that the “master commended the unjust steward.” The master calls him unjust. And Jesus then recognized that what he’s doing is not fair, it’s not right. He certainly doesn’t condone the steward’s dishonest conduct. But what observation does Jesus make about the sons of this world like that unjust steward, and the sons of light, like those of us who ought to be following Christ?

Look at the end of verse, and we see these comments from Jesus. “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”

Jesus points out that the worldly are sometimes more prudent in preparing for their futures than the spiritual. It’s sad, isn’t it, when they’re more diligent, they’re more resourceful in serving the world than we are in serving God?

I have this quote from Plummer, a commentary. He says, If an unrighteous steward was commended by his earthly master for his prudence in providing for his future by fraudulent use of what had been committed to him, how much more will a righteous servant be commended by his heavenly master for providing for eternity by good use of what has been committed to him?

I think Plummer well summarizes the great lesson that Jesus is trying to make here with this parable.

And let’s notice the meaning of Jesus’ admonition then that would follow this great lesson in verse 9. “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”

What is Jesus saying here in verse 9?

Jesus is teaching us to use our material means to accomplish good, that we might reap eternal benefits. This idea of the things of this world and the greater spiritual things is something we must always keep in mind as Christians. And I want to read a couple other places where Jesus addresses this very issue. For example, let’s go to Matthew 6:19-21. In his great Sermon on the Mount, he deals with this idea of the things of the world.

Here he says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus reminds us that the things of this world, they’re going to pass. But there is something that’s going to last. And that’s what we need to be most interested in.

Look at 1 Timothy 6:17-19, because here the apostle Paul tells Timothy how to preach to those who are rich. And he has a great warning for them. He does not condemn them for being rich, but for how they use their riches.

In verse 17 he says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Money is necessary in our living out our life here on this earth; but we understand that there’s something far greater that we ought to really live for. In the parable of Jesus, he speaks of money and the things of this world as unrighteous mammon because it’s often associated with evil.

In fact, here in 1 Timothy 6:10, the apostle Paul also told Timothy, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

And so we need to recognize the dangers of money, lest we fall in love with it and all it can buy. We also need to recognize how to invest it wisely. And that’s what Jesus was emphasizing in this parable. Use your monies to help progress the gospel of Jesus Christ, to help build up and edify the church, to do acts of benevolence for those in need, to help others towards heaven. That’s our mission as God’s people. And when we do that, we’ll be greeted by many friends into heaven. And so Jesus is telling us to be more wise than that unjust steward, to use the things we have for God’s glory.

What does Jesus tell us about faithfulness in stewardship?

Look at verses 10 through 13 of Luke chapter 16, and let’s see his words that follow here. “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Jesus tells us here it is required, this stewardship, this faithfulness in stewardship is required whether we have little or whether we have much. It’s required with our material things as well as our spiritual blessings. It is required with another’s goods if we’re in charge of those or the stewardship we have over our own things.

In 1 Corinthians 4:2 the apostle Paul reminds us of our stewardship. And here he’s particularly interested in the stewardship of the gospel which God has placed in the hands of his church. “Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. We must be faithful with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be faithful with all that we have that God has blessed us with so that we do not lose it and so that we may receive more.”

Do you remember Jesus’ words back in Matthew chapter 25 in another parable? Here in chapter 25 and verse 21 he said, “His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you rule ever over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” And then in verse 29 of this parable, “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

You cannot be faithful to God and receive his reward if you don’t use wisely the things that you have. And you cannot faithfully serve two masters at the same time.

It’s impossible for us to be serving God as our master and money at the same time, because so often those two conflict one another. We must make God our master, and we must be a possessor of our possessions and not be possessed by them.

Colossians 3:5 gives us this strong warning: Covetousness, or greed, is idolatry. We have made money and the things it can buy our god instead of the one true and living God.

Well, now I want you to notice back in Luke chapter 16, how did the Pharisees react to Jesus’ teaching?

And what does Luke tell us about them that explains why they acted this way?

Look at verse 14, Luke chapter 16. “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.”

They sneered at Jesus.

Why? Because they were covetous. But in what way may the parable then be applicable to the Pharisees? And I think we’ll see that the Pharisees were certainly in view in this parable.

If you’ll look with me, you’ll notice in verses 15 through 18 how he draws them into this. “ And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Were the Pharisees faithful stewards?

No. What were they entrusted with?

They were entrusted with the law, the law of Moses. They were entrusted with the people of God, Israel.

Why did they do what they did?

To keep their power and to keep their position. You’ll notice here that Jesus calls them to account for not being faithful to their stewardship to God as leaders of this people, for reducing the standards of the law, like divorce and remarriage, to make friends of the people so they could keep their positions and keep their power instead of making preparation to receive the kingdom of heaven and the Messiah that had now come. So how would we sum up Jesus’ lesson from the parable of the unjust steward?

Let me sum it up this way: Be wise to faithfully use what you have been given by God to prepare for eternity, because we’ll all one day give account to him.

Romans 14:12, the Bible says each one of us shall give account of himself unto God. That’ll be me and that will be you. So what have you done with what God has given you? Right now, we all have time, and we have opportunity to get our hearts right with God. God is longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance. God is patiently waiting for each one of us to turn our hearts and our lives over to him, to live our lives for him, to continue to trust in him.

If you’ve never become a Christian, you have opportunity now. You’ve heard the word. And do you not know what Christ has done for you to pay for your sins in giving himself at Calvary, and how that he rose again the third day to give us hope and assurance of eternal life? Putting your faith in him, turn away from your sins today, confess him as the Son of God, and be immersed into Christ for the remission of your sins so that you can begin that new life. And you can use your life then as a good steward, preparing for all of eternity.

Thank God that he’s made a way for us through Jesus Christ. He’s made a way for you and for me. Let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood
a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll,
eternal love shall feast their soul.
And scenes of bliss forever new
rise in succession to their view,
rise in succession to their view.
Holy,
holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me
thy praise should sing,
oh almighty king?
Holy, holy,
holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> Thank you for watching our program today. God help us to be good stewards of what we have as we prepare for eternity. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you would like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write us at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call or our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember that all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me
it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.