The Twelfth Apostle

Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22 After He rose from the dead, …

The Householder

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Matthew ended his collection of parables in chapter 13 with the story of a householder. This parable follows a conversation between Jesus and His disciples. He asked them, …

The Dishonest Manager

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NLT) Every employer desires faithful employees—workers committed to enhancing a business’s reputation and success. God also desires such workers in His kingdom. How can we know if we’re meeting His expectations? To help us understand what God expects, Jesus told a parable about …

The Yeast

This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 Once, when my husband and I visited his sister and her husband, we were awakened to the wonderful aroma coming from their new bread-making machine. We’d anticipated the smell …

The Two Debtors

Jesus said, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47 NLT Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner. As they ate, a woman “who had lived a sinful life” entered the room (Luke 7:36). Weeping, she knelt before …

The Mustard Seed

Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32 When Jesus began His ministry, He said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Although He didn’t establish the kingdom in its …

The Hard-Working Servant

When you have done everything you were told to do, [you] should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” Luke 17:10  Do you ever think God expects too much of you? In Luke 17:1-4, Jesus presented two hard-to-swallow teachings. First, He warned the disciples about causing others to stumble (vv. 1-2). Second, He instructed them to …

The Lost Sheep

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,” declares the Sovereign LORD. “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” Ezekiel 34:15-16 (NIV 2011). Jesus told the parable …

The Unmerciful Servant

The king said, “I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” Matthew 18:32-33 “I’ve had it with you. Enough is enough!” Have you said something similar recently? Other people can drain our patience—particularly when they repeat an offense. In Matthew 18:15-35, …

The Ten Virgins

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. … The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. Matthew 25:1, 3-4 Jewish weddings in the time of Jesus …