Jesus' parables are mysterious. This is because the kingdom of heaven itself is mysterious. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is mysterious. It's in embracing the mystery of the kingdom of heaven that we come to an understanding of Jesus' parables. An additional key is reading the parables in their context. Matthew 18 profoundly demonstrates both of these lessons.
This lecture is part three of a four-part series on "Studying Jesus' Parables." In this series, I draw on my research for my book, Parables: Portraits of the Kingdom in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Jesus’ parables, we find a rabbi who will turn our world upside down. And that’s a good thing.
This lecture was delivered at The Table (a missional church plant in Bellingham, WA) on January 24, 2018. Get more talks like this one by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud.
Jesus was fond of speaking in parables. But why did he speak in these short, often confusing, stories? To understand Jesus' parables, we have to look at his first-century context and think of him as the rabbi that he is. We also have to make the commitment that Jesus asks us to make: We have to enter the journey with him; we have to follow Jesus the rabbi like his earliest disciples did.
This lecture is part two of a four-part series on "Studying Jesus' Parables." In this series, I draw on my research for my book, Parables: Portraits of the Kingdom in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Jesus’ parables, we find a rabbi who will turn our world upside down. And that’s a good thing.
Today is National Book Lover's Day. A day set aside to encourage bibliophile's to put down technology (after you read this post of course) and pick up a book to read.
On this day, all things books are celebrated. Reading, exploring new books and/or genres, literature, book clubs, writing a book, and shopping for books are all great ways to spend the day. And we thought, what better way to celebrate Book Lover's Day than by recommending a book to you?
Grab our Founder and CEO John D. Barry's latest book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, The Currency of Love, And A Pattern for Lasting Change from our Fair Trade Shop. The Jesus' Economy book offers long-term solutions to poverty around the world and what you can start doing right now in your own church and community.
Jesus’ Economy is a call to address our own spiritual poverty—as people who can too easily become distant from Christ—and it is a call to address the physical poverty all around us in a smart and sustainable way. Jesus’ teachings show that with simple, everyday choices, you can make the world a better place and create enduring change. Here’s how to live Jesus’ economy—a currency of love.
Best part? 100% of the author’s proceeds from this book go to the nonprofit Jesus’ Economy, to fuel the movement of creating jobs and churches in the developing world. Plus, it's on sale right now at Amazon for only $11.70! Just click the "Buy on Amazon" button on the Jesus' Economy book page.
And if you've been bitten by the buy-all-the-books bug, check out our other books written by John D. Barry!
Jesus' parables can be perplexing, to say the least. How do we interpret them? Before we can answer that question, we need to have a basic framework for understanding Jesus as a first-century rabbi. We need to understand Jesus as prophet, messiah, and savior. Here's that framework.
This lecture is part one of a four-part series on "Studying Jesus' Parables." In this series, I draw on my research for my book, Parables: Portraits of the Kingdom in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Jesus’ parables, we find a rabbi who will turn our world upside down. And that’s a good thing.
What is it like at your home when you have people over for dinner? Jesus suggests that our answer to this question tells us a great deal about our spirituality. Our answer to this question gets to the root of another question: Are we really loving our local and global neighbor? In what ways have we thought of ourselves as righteous, while ignoring the hurting? Have we truly counted the cost of being Jesus' disciples? Are we willing to give up our social status for the sake of those who have less than us? These are the questions behind Christian leadership.
In this sermon, I focus on Luke 14 and Matthew 22:2–14, where Jesus tells us to "count the cost" of being a disciple. I also look at the full meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). In the process, I tell a series of personal stories, including how I nearly died as a child, overcame a severe speech impediment, and then sold my home to follow Jesus. Each time, God led me to count the cost and determine the worth of being a disciple. But the journey of being Jesus' disciple is still an ongoing process for me, as I am sure it is for you.
If you only had three years to do a monumental project, what would you do? Chance has it that you would clear the deck, ignore most people, and just focus on that singular initiative. You would have little time for people and their random problems. But Jesus had an entirely different approach.
In this sermon, I look at Jesus' decision to stop on the Road to Jericho to not just heal a man but to engage in a conversation (Luke 18:35–43). To explain the passage, I draw on my field research for my book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.
Enjoy this talk? Check out my new book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. With simple, everyday choices you can make the world a better place. Learn how to live Jesus' economy, the currency of love.
Global inequality is the root cause of much of the world's problems. If you can't feed or educate your children, you will become desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. Desperation even breeds terrorism. But we can do something about it. We have the power.
Impoverished communities are especially vulnerable to corruption and exploitation. If we could fix these ethical problems and create fair-wage jobs, we could cut off the problem at its source. We could change the world. The key to all this: technology, organization, and simple choices. We need action and we need the right plan. In this talk, I explain how we can leverage our interconnected world to fix global inequality.
I believe in these ideas so much that my wife and I gave up our former lifestyle to make it happen: selling our house, our possessions, and quitting a great job. In this talk, I explain what motivated me to make these drastic decisions; and the part I believe we all can play in transforming our world.
Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." There are many players in the biblical story. In this grand play across time, with God as the great author of history, we are invited to see ourselves in the characters. There is one act in this grand play that stands above the rest: the great moment of the resurrection. But in this story, there are characters who have been neglected, forgotten, overlooked. Yet, they are the greatest source of inspiration. They are the women who stood by Jesus.
In this sermon, I examine Mark 16, suggesting that we should all emulate the women who stood by Jesus. We should be witnesses in God's grand story like the women were.
This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 21, 2019 (Easter Sunday).
World Book Day celebrates all aspects of a book—reading, publishing, authors, illustrators, even the copyright. Most importantly, the day is marked to encourage people around the globe to read and to enjoy what they read.
When the founder of Jesus' Economy, John D. Barry, set out to write a book on how to empower the impoverished, he decided to consult a global cast of Christian leaders prior to publication. Since that moment, more than 30 Christian leaders around the world have read and endorsed his book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.
What better way to celebrate World Book Day than by sharing what these Christian leaders had to say about the book?
“John Barry has written an inspiring and readable account about Jesus, poverty, and the mission of the church. This book tells you what poverty is, where it is, what Jesus said about it, and how you can follow Jesus’ commands to end it. A great introduction to the socioeconomics of poverty, as well as Christian teaching on the subject. Great resource for pastors, students, and church groups!”
—REV. DR. MICHAEL F. BIRD
Author, Evangelical Theology and What Christians Ought to Believe
Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
Author, Euangelion blog, Patheos.com
“In Palestinian culture, we are accustomed to saying, ‘If poverty were a man, I would have killed him.’ This book shows us how Jesus wants to alleviate poverty through the sacrificial love of His followers. Such love is only possible through a vital relationship with Jesus and also with the poor. John D. Barry prophetically reminds us that we cannot be true followers of Jesus and ignore the poor. We cannot separate physical and spiritual poverty. In Jesus’ Economy, we find disturbing contemporary data, heart-stirring stories, and inspiring challenges, as well as opportunities for ministry. The book informs us, inspires us, and gives us the opportunity to be involved in addressing poverty in biblical ways. I recommend this book to every Christian who desires to know how Jesus wants us to help the poor.”
—REV. DR. YOHANNA KATANACHO
Academic Dean, Nazareth Evangelical College, Nazareth, Israel
Reconciliation leader in Israel and author, The Land of Christ: A Palestinian Cry
Old Testament Editor, Arabic Contemporary Commentary and Asia Bible Commentary
“Considering the passion and action that John Barry and his wife, Kalene, have put into this project, I trust they must be prompted by God to do so. Barry shares deep insights into wealth and poverty from Jesus’ perspective. Jesus’ Economy is well worth reading, pondering, and putting into action, especially in this day and age.”
—DR. JULIE LEE WU
President and Dean, China Bible Seminary, Hong Kong
Recipient of Women in Leadership Award from the Association of Theological Schools
“Inspiring and eye-opening, John D. Barry’s Jesus’ Economy is a rallying cry for all believers to meditate on and rethink the Great Commission in practical, humanitarian terms. John and Kalene, as fellow humanitarians and followers of Jesus, are committed, as we are, to the cause of seeing poverty erased in our world through the only successful means possible—the way of Jesus Christ and His gospel.”
Author of the best-selling, Once an Arafat Man and The Mind of Terror
and KAREN SAADA
Founders, Hope for Ishmael, a reconciliation ministry between Arabs and Jews
Founders, Seeds of Hope, a humanitarian organization serving the people of Jerusalem, Jericho, and Gaza
“John Barry’s Jesus’ Economy is not just a must-read, but it is also a book that the global church needs to embrace and use to teach Jesus’ life-changing and transformational principles. Barry is a terrific writer and an unusual type of Christian leader: he can correctly be described as a selfless, shepherd, servant type of leader. Barry’s ministry, the nonprofit Jesus’ Economy, makes a case for this book. Jesus’ Economy is a narrative of how to conquer the twin enemies of the human race: corruption and poverty. Barry gives the church not just theories and empirical data on poverty, but also concrete and practical examples of Jesus and His disciples’ models of poverty alleviation. Our churches in Africa can comfortably use this book in Sunday school or theological seminaries. I strongly recommend it to members of the global church who want to engage in the mission of God!”
—DR. SUNDAY BOBAI AGANG
Professor of Christian Ethics, Theology, and Public Policy, ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro, Nigeria
“Oriented in the global landscape of poverty and impoverishment, John D. Barry’s Jesus’ Economy is biblically anchored and remarkably personal. His self-engaged 'I-voice' and narrative approach will appeal to audiences of all ages—'to all who hope to make the world a better place.' Captivating both in theme and writing style, Jesus’ Economy is a delightful read—informative and thought-provoking yet practical, providing pointers and directives for alleviating poverty both overseas and right where you live.”
—DR. BARBARA M. LEUNG LAI
Research Professor of Old Testament, Tyndale University College & Seminary, Toronto, ON, Canada
International trainer of missionaries
Author, Glimpsing the Mystery: The Book of Daniel
“Jesus’ Economy is a wonderful biblical and practical study—and it comes from the heart and mind of an expert in the field. John Barry sheds light on one of the most important issues of our day: that the church recognize its mission, not only inside its walls, but also outside them—looking after the impoverished, those whom Jesus cared about the most. The only hope for overcoming poverty in the world today is in Jesus and His church. Please don’t read this book if you are not ready to change your heart, mind, and attitude!”
—REV. DR. THARWAT WAHBA
Chairman, Missions Department, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Cairo, Egypt
Chairman of Council, Pastoral and Outreach Ministries for the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt
Author, The Practice of Mission in Egypt
“Jesus’ Economy is an invitation to a journey of faith in Christ’s transformative love. It equips you to uplift and to dignify the poor and, in so doing, glorifies Jesus Christ, who became poor that the world may experience the riches of that transformative love. The book also challenges humanity, particularly the church, to live a life of fruitfulness and worthy sacrifice.”
—DR. DAVID K. NGARUIYA
Director of PhD in Theological Studies Program, Nairobi International School of Theology
Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, International Leadership University, Nairobi, Kenya
Coeditor, Communities of Faith in Africa and the African Diaspora
“What can we do to bring about restoration and transformation in our society, which is in many ways characterized by injustice, unfairness, and brokenness? First, we need a new outlook and a new approach. Jesus’ Economy will not only change your perspective of the world but also motivate you to change your response toward those who are suffering and impoverished. John Barry discusses the stark reality of society’s brokenness, including the unjust distribution of resources in the world. But he also provides a framework for creating a better world as we join hands with Christ, who died to transform society holistically. Jesus' Economy is a great resource for any context.”
—DR. A. N. LAL SENANAYAKE
President, Lanka Bible College and Seminary, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Coeditor, Educating for Tomorrow: Theological Leadership for the Asian Context
“Jesus’ Economy is a clear demonstration of the good news in action! John Barry shows us how God’s powerful grace and cross-shaped love are being manifested in our world of dire need. With moving stories, engaging information, and relevant teaching about empowering the impoverished and sharing the gospel, we are given a front-row seat to many such godly interventions. Barry, who is eminently competent to lead us on an incredible journey, shows us how we, too, can partner in nothing less than ‘Jesus’ economy.’”
—DR. JACOB CHERIAN
Vice President and Dean of Faculty, Southern Asia Bible College, Kothanur, Bangalore, India
“In Jesus’ Economy, with the passion that characterizes him, John Barry challenges us to revisit our commitment to the needy, from two fronts. First, through a compelling case, he invites us to study and follow Jesus’ dedication to the poor. Second, due to his broad experience in the field, he gives invaluable advice to those who are involved in—or looking to be involved in—ministries to the impoverished around the world.”
—DR. NELSON MORALES
Professor of New Testament Studies, Seminario Teológico Centroamericano, Guatemala
“Jesus’ Economy is both a significant scholarly effort and a practical manual for missions. It reaches the North American reader, as well as my context of Eastern Europe and other regions. John Barry challenges, on both biblical (special revelation) and logical (general revelation) terms, the American church’s contemporary perspective on global missions. He invites us to work toward a holistic approach of sharing the gospel. We do this by moving away from both the culturally insensitive, imperialistic paradigm and the culturally sensitive, ‘withdrawal’ method—which prevents the contemporary church from achieving its global impact. Jesus’ Economy demonstrates how we can serve and empower the impoverished by allowing indigenous leaders to lead the way while providing for basic needs, fully loving other people, and giving sacrificially.”
—DR. GELU PAUL-FAINA
Founding pastor, Vox Domini Baptist (Multisite) Church, Romania
President and founder, Churches with Global Impact;
National Director, Ambassadors for Christ Romania
“The title Jesus’ Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change is an incredible description of what you will discover in John Barry’s new book. It is an excellent resource on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as a model for the contemporary church. Reading Jesus’ Economy will provide you with a foundation for holistic, cross-cultural ministry in a world void of love and compassion. The church is called to be part of God’s transforming mission to bring His kingdom to all nations. Barry shows how we can empower the global church by supporting the work of indigenous leaders and local believers. I heartily recommend this book to all who want to gain a biblical and theological perspective on how to follow and model Jesus today.”
—DR. ANTONIO CARLOS BARRO
Founder and CEO, South American Theological Seminary, Londrina, Brazil
“Jesus’ Economy offers a sound biblical understanding of poverty—both its roots and its alleviation. John’s text is personal and sincere, written with humility, and reflects the author’s actual experience of dealing with the needy. The approach he advocates is relational and holistic, bringing the soul and the body together. Moreover, John offers some very practical and feasible ideas for how to alleviate poverty through the local church. Worth reading!”
—DR. ANDREY KRAVTSEV
President, Intercultural Connections (a nonprofit in Russia mobilizing pastors to serve in areas with little Christian presence)
Former President, North Caucasus Bible Institute of Russia
“In the context of the developing world, Jesus’ Economy translates the Scriptures into reality. John Barry shows that we must first live within the sacred text—allowing it to read us, examine us, bring life to us, and transform us. It is here where we personally encounter God. In this way, with the biblical text as our interpretive lens, drawing us into communion with God, we can understand how to best eradicate poverty according to Jesus’ economy of sacrifice and love.”
—BISHOP PHILIPO MAFUJA MAGWANO
Africa Inland Church, Tanzania
Celebrate World Book Day and grab your copy of Jesus' Economy today!
Over 500 years before Jesus came in flesh, a prophet proclaimed that one would suffer, die, and rise again for the sin of humanity. It was also prophesied that the resurrection of a Suffering Servant would lead to resurrection for every single person. Here is the gospel according to Isaiah and Daniel. This is Easter proclaimed 500 years before Jesus came in flesh.
This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 1, 2018 (Easter Sunday).