The message in Jesus’ parable of the tenants was very clear to the Jewish leaders: they were the ones who had rejected Jesus, and because of their unbelief, they would be destroyed. In telling this parable, Jesus introduced the new Israel, which is made up of all those who possess faith – both Jews and Gentiles. Alistair Begg uses this parable to remind us that we, too, have rejected God, and that eternal life can only be found by believing in the promised Messiah.
The cursing of the barren fig tree was a living prophecy of God’s judgment against Israel because of their rejection of Christ. Like the fig tree, the Pharisees looked authentic but did not bear the fruit of true faith. Alistair Begg challenges us to beware of living a life which outwardly looks attractive, yet bears no evidence of faith.
The question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” is adequately answered only in the Gospel of God’s redeeming grace – through faith in Jesus’ righteousness, not our own. As Christians grow to know and love God more fully, we grow in love for our neighbors as well.
What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? Do we have a clear idea or do we sometimes just “go along with the crowd?” In Luke 8 Jesus utilizes an earthly story that has a heavenly meaning by telling a parable about seeds and soil. Hearing God’s Word and taking it to heart are two different things, and perseverance in faith is paramount to hearing, retaining and being responsive to God’s Word in our Christian walk.
It is possible to listen to God’s Word without benefitting from it. Sometimes, the reason is that we have not carefully considered the questions and demands that Scripture asks of our lives. Alistair Begg teaches us that God’s Word is an appointed means by which a person comes to faith, and also a means by which the Christian grows in grace.
When God’s Word is proclaimed, people’s responses can be quite diverse. As illustrated in the Parable of the Soils, some respond with intellectual curiosity, but find no need for a Savior in their own lives. Others receive the Word with great emotion and delight, but soon the pressures of life extinguish the zeal they had in the beginning. Alistair Begg shows us that when we humbly trust in the Word of Truth, God’s enabling grace will produce a true and lasting faith.
Some who thought that Jesus came to establish an earthly kingdom found great difficulty in understanding the parables He told. Unlike a physical kingdom, Christ’s kingdom is directly tied to His rule and reign in the hearts of His people. Alistair Begg teaches that only the Spirit can create authentic faith, enabling men and women to submit to Christ as their eternal King.
Jesus once told a story of two men – one rich, one poor. In life they were opposites: one with health and power, the other a malnourished beggar. But after death, their story gives us a glimpse into the state of their souls. Join Alistair Begg for an insightful look at the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus.
Chapter 15 is at the very heart of Luke’s gospel. Luke tells us that the tax collectors and so-called sinners had gathered round to hear Jesus, but that those known as religious men, the Pharisees and teachers of the law, were not paying much attention. Jesus ends Chapter 14 with this instruction; "He who has ears, let him hear." Clearly most of us have ears, so He is really encouraging all those who are listening to pay very close attention to what He is saying. It is striking, therefore, that those who were listening intently were the kind of people ...
Genuine Christian kindness is not passive, or simply not doing people any harm. Alistair Begg reminds us that instead, genuine Christian kindness is shown in extravagant gestures of self-sacrifice toward all men, including those who are not particularly attractive in our sight. When this kind of love is demonstrated, it often softens hearts to receive the gospel with gladness.
Series: Belief And Behavior, Volume 3