• Finding the Sheep That Refuses to Be Found Article by Tim Witmer

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    Sheep are interesting creatures. They are weak, defenseless, and not very smart. They wander away quite easily if not attended to, and their shepherds need to be ready to respond. It’s no accident that God’s people are called sheep. And, as the hymn writer said, we are “prone to wander.” The Scriptures provide clear direction as to how wandering sheep are to be sought out. Matthew 18 is the classic text where we see the Good Shepherd’s heart for His stray sheep. In verses 12—14, Jesus tells us that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to seek the … View Resource

  • Jesus’ Mission to the Lost: Luke 15 Article by Thomas Schreiner

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    When reading Luke 15, it is easy to forget the context , especial ly when reading the parable of the prodigal son. The chapter opens with the Pharisees and scribes criticizing Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners (vv. 1–2). Jesus’ table fellowship with sinners signifies the gospel of grace. All those who turn from their sin and put their faith in God will enjoy the messianic feast forever. Jesus tells His opponents three parables to defend His table fellowship with sinners: the parable of the lost sheep (vv. 3–7); the parable of the lost coin (vv. 8–10); and what … View Resource

  • The Loving Father Article by Allan Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    God is love” (1 John 4:8). He is also Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons, yet one God. We must never lose sight of the oneness of God, yet we relate to each of the persons in a different way. We relate to the Son as the One who became the man Jesus Christ and purchased salvation for us, to the Holy Spirit as the One who is ever present with us and applies to us the benefits of the work of Christ, and to the Father as the One who loved the world of sinners to the extent … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Son Article by David Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Sadly, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Happily, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Come with me inside the head and heart of this young man and hear his thoughts and words at various stages of his recklessness and repentance. I’m Fed Up (v. 12) Dad’s a good guy, a wise guy, and, thankfully, a forgiving guy. He’s gracious and generous to everyone in our family, especially to me, and even to his servants. I should have no complaints, and I don’t, apart from the fact that, well … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Son(s) and Church Discipline Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Providence reigns, even over editorial requests. When asked to offer pastoral insights on church discipline in light of the story of the prodigal son, little did I realize where this assignment would take me both spiritually and emotionally. Listening to the text of Luke 15 afresh left me very convicted but even more hopeful. I’m convicted because, after pastoring the same church family for twenty-six years, I wish I had a scrapbook filled with church-discipline stories that reflect the gospel-saturated beauty of Luke 15. I wish I could tell you about all the repentant Christians who, through well-implemented church … View Resource

  • The Story of Two Older Brothers Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Self-righteousness cannot exist without producing an attitude of moral superiority, a lack of mercy, and a joyless servitude. The elder brother of the prodigal in Jesus’ parable is a living picture of these characteristics that always suckle at the breast of self-righteousness. Every sermon on the “prodigal son” that I heard as a youth ended with the party the gracious father threw in celebration of the return of his repentant son. As a covenant child, I was led by such sermons to wonder at the inexplicable grace to this debauched wastrel. However, Jesus continued the story past the party. Enter … View Resource

  • He Who Has Ears… Article by Scott Anderson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    Everyone loves a story. Whether young or old, we all enjoy hearing, reading, or seeing a good story unfold. Stories are remarkably powerful things. They stir-up our imaginations and excite our affections. They instruct us and inspire us. They intoxicate and influence us. They linger with us, often becoming more precious and poignant and powerful over time. View Resource

  • It’s Me, O Lord Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008 | Matthew 22

    The day after Jesus cleansed the temple, He was confronted by the leaders who questioned His authority to drive out the money changers and merchants. In response to their questioning His authority, Jesus asked them about the baptism of John, whether it was from heaven or from men. In asking this counter-question, Jesus was not evading their question. Rather, He was driving them into a theological corner. If they answered from heaven, He would say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if they answered, “from men,” they would face the hostility of the crowd who believed John … View Resource

  • The Joy of the Lord Article by Greg Barolet

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    As I consider Matthew 20, I find that the laborers complained because they worked all day and received a certain wage. Then those who worked just part of the day received the same amount as the ones who gave it their all throughout the day. They grumbled because “they thought they would receive more” (v. 10). I can see them digging, wiping the sweat from their eyes, muscles aching with pain, saying to themselves or to those who worked the same amount of time: “I deserve a great deal more money today then those who worked just a few … View Resource

  • The Generous Landowner Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Chapter divisions in the Bible are usually helpful as they allow us to find our way around the Scriptures. Occasionally, however, they can hinder our understanding of a passage if they cause us to look at it apart from its context. This often is the case with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1–16). Because of the chapter division at the end of Matthew 19, we fail to understand the parable in its context of Jesus’ teaching in 19:16–30. Because that section of Matthew has already been treated in another article, we will not look at … View Resource

  • How the Kingdom Comes Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    Matthew 13 presents a priceless display of some parables of Christ and also gives His reasons for using this device in His teaching ministry. Best of all, it offers two examples of Christ’s own interpretation of His parables. They give us a snapshot of the history of the kingdom of God from its earliest beginnings to its consummation. A parable is an extended simile or a metaphor that explains aspects of spiritual truth in everyday terms. The word parable describes the act of placing two objects or ideas side by side for comparison. Christ’s use of parables is often commended … View Resource