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.

This lecture was delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on February 28, 2018. Get more talks like this one by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

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Psalm 23 captures our imagination as children and does so today. We read it at weddings and funerals alike. Why? Because we all want to to be pursued with a love that is beyond comprehension. This is what Psalm 23 keys in on.

But it's hard to see the love of God in a world that feels surrounded by death. But we've all seen it. A loyal love like God's is perhaps nowhere more seen than in the sacrificial mothers we've known. I think of my great-grandmother, Ma Murphy, who raised my mother. Her table was always open to the homeless, pregnant teenage girls, and children in need of a home. Ma Murphy's love also pursued prodigal children. It was a loyal love, loyal beyond all reason, like the kind of love we see from God.

God's love is loyal even when fail to be loyal ourselves. God's love is like that of a shepherd's. It pursues us.

I originally delivered this sermon at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on May 12, 2019 (Mother's Day). This sermon was prepared in collaboration with pastor J.D. Elgin. Get more sermons like this one by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

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Tough love is the Jonah way. By closely examining the book of Jonah, and looking at its genre and context, we can come to an understanding of its meaning. While it's a weird book, it profoundly shows God's love. Jonah could be described as a "top 5 worst of" list, but in the "worst" of Jonah and his efforts, we find the best of God. God's love can be tough and it's a love we need.

In this sermon, I examine the entirety of the book of Jonah (Jonah 1–4). This sermon / lecture was delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on May 12, 2019 (Mother's Day).

An article version of this sermon, titled "Tough Love: The Jonah Way," is available on the Jesus' Economy Blog. You can also subscribe to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud.


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.

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.

This sermon was originally delivered at Third Christian Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on March 31, 2019. You can subscribe to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud.


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.

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).

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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.

In this sermon, I utilize the research from my first book, The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah, to explore Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 1, 2018 (Easter Sunday).

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How often have we thought that we know exactly what God needs? Or that we understand what God is doing, just to realize later that we were mistaken? That's what happened with the crowds who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday; and with King David, who thought that God needed a temple. 1,000 years before Jesus, Nathan prophesied to David that God had different plans. Those plans centered on an eternal king. Those plans prophesied Palm Sunday.

In this sermon, we examine 2 Samuel 7:1–17, an ancient prophetic text that points to Jesus. This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday).

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At this time of year, we see "Believe" stenciled on the side of shopping bags and "Hope" displayed in block letters on mantles. It can all feel a little empty, especially when you feel like God isn't answering your prayers. This leads to the questions: But what is belief, really? And what does having hope really mean? In this sermon, I look at how the biblical book of Esther never mentions God directly and in the process profoundly answers these big faith questions.

 

Subscribe to our free sermon audio via the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud. This post is part of our series "Living for Jesus This Christmas."

Here at Jesus' Economy, we're focusing on empowering women. And one of the most amazing women in the Bible is the heroine Esther. Esther shows us what it means to take action for God, even when all the odds are against us. Esther shows us what it means to believe.

What is belief, really? What does having hope really mean? The biblical book of Esther never mentions God directly and in the process profoundly answers these big faith questions.

I delivered this Christmas-themed sermon at The Table, a missional church plant in Bellingham, Washington on December 14, 2014.

 

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When the storms of life come our way, when pain suddenly hits, we look to God for answers. But in the process, are we truly asking God the right questions? Are we looking for salvation from the struggle, when we should be asking God to join us in the midst of the storm? Changing the question can change everything.

Drawing on my own experience dealing with the storms of life, and the larger issues our world is facing, I examine John 6:16-21, when Jesus walks on water. I then compare the passage to the other gospel accounts to show how Jesus wishes to join us in our struggles.

This sermon was originally delivered at The Table, a missional church plant, in Bellingham, Washington on October 23, 2016.

 

Subscribe to our free sermon audio via the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.