• The Purpose of Parables Article by Ben Dunson

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2015

    In Matthew 13:10–17, Jesus explains to His disciples why He teaches in parables. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (v. 13) This passage may appear perplexing at first, especially when Jesus indicates that His actual intention in speaking in parables is that truth would be concealed from those on the outside. How should we make sense of this? First, Jesus is clearly teaching that the secrets of the kingdom of God are unknowable through mere human reasoning and intuition. Jesus … 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

  • Evangelizing the World Article by Lane Keister

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009

    All people are supposed to hear the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead. Not only are all people supposed to hear that salvation has been accomplished in history, they are to hear that any who repent of their sin and turn in faith to Jesus will actually possess the benefits of that accomplished salvation as well. In other words, those who offer the gospel are to sow the seed personally and indiscriminately, and are not to be discouraged when many people reject the message. While it would be hasty to say that three quarters of those … View Resource

  • The Good Soil Article by Michael Glodo

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Matthew 13

    Can this dirt grow corn?” One cold, blustery, wet Midwestern spring morning I found myself kneeling in a vast, empty field on the expansive central Illinois plain. With a dozen or so fellow geography classmates, I was picking up handfuls of wet soil, squeezing ribbons of it between my thumb and forefinger, dipping pH strips into diluted samples and timing how long small portions of water took to seep below the surface. In spite of the early hour and the unpleasant weather, we were all paying close attention and meticulously recording our results because there would be an exam … View Resource

  • The Thorns Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Matthew 13

    The greater Miami area, where I was born and raised, is one of the most developed regions in the entire state of Florida. There are hardly any wilderness areas left in the midst of the urban sprawl, but every so often it is possible to happen upon an area in the midst of all the housing developments and shopping centers that has been left as is, a forest oasis surrounded by human construction. During college I worked at a summer camp situated within one of these rare plots of undeveloped land. At least once a week we would hike through … View Resource

  • The Wayside and the Rocks Article by Dan Doriani

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Matthew 12

    Matthew 13 begins with three words: “that same day.” They summon us to connect the parable of the sower to the controversy described in the previous passage. Troubles began when Jesus healed a man rendered blind and mute by demonic power. Jesus healed the man, so that many people wondered: “Can this be the Son of David?” (12:22). The Pharisees had another explanation. His power is undeniable, but He must be a sinner, for He works on the Sabbath and befriends sinners, which they considered sins. Since He is evil and powerful, the source of His power … 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

  • 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