Fred has taught Sunday School classes for over 35 years.  Almost always, people say: “I’ve never thought about it that way before.”  Every week we will add lessons to this archive.

The Parable of the Tenants

Now we come to another parable with the common theme of others. The master puts responsibility in the hands of men and then goes away. He expects a return and by not getting what is rightfully his he punishes those who are unproductive.  Again, like we did last week, I want to use Matthew’s version of the parable in Matthew 21:33-46. Of course, this is a bit different from the parable of the minas ...[Read More]

Parable of the Pounds

While there are differences between the way Luke tells the story of the ten minas and Matthew the story of the talents, there are many similarities. So, this morning I want to use Matthew’s account because I think he takes more time to create the context behind the parable – two whole chapters. In Luke’s account it says, “While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, ...[Read More]

The Prodigal Sons

While the text this morning is Luke 15, I started thinking about the similarities between this story and Genesis 33 where Jacob meets Esau after a long estrangement.  This is the only positive story about Esau and the Edomites in all of the Old Testament. If anything, it is a picture of forgiveness and grace. Instead of meeting Jacob with 400 men armed and ready to get even after what Jacob had do ...[Read More]

The Good Samaritan

Last week we talked about the temptation to discover secret meanings in the parables and read them as mysteries instead of reading them for what they are. They are stories that speak to the part of our minds and hearts that are not reached by proclamations and straight facts. They are torpedoes and not missiles. Until now, I had never thought about the title given to this parable. But this week I ...[Read More]

The Sower and the Soils: Luke 8

Luke 8: The Sower and the Soils I’m always reluctant to teach a parable. Flannery O’Connor, the great Catholic writer said, “In most English classes the short story has become a kind of literary specimen to be dissected. Every time a story of mine appears in a Freshman anthology, I have a vision of it, with its little organs laid open, like a frog in a bottle. I realize that a certain amount of th ...[Read More]

Jesus and Simon the Pharisee

Our story opens with Jesus being invited to have dinner with Simon and his friends. It must have been a mixture of curiosity and a court trial on their part. It was not hospitality or an invitation of a friend to dinner. They showed none of the common courtesies they would have to him. Had he been a celebrity they would have fallen over themselves making him feel welcome. But they invite him to di ...[Read More]