In this episode we discuss Jesus’ “illustration” of the shepherd and the gate from John 10:1-18. Jesus speaks these words in response to the negative reaction by the religious leaders to the healing of blind man (9:40). Akin to the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus invokes Israel’s prophetic indictment of self-serving leadership. As the “good shepherd,” Jesus asserts his messianic role as the eschatological Davidic shepherd (Eze 34; Ps Sol 17).
- The Gospel of John and the Memra tradition – Genesis 15; Jeremiah 1; Psalm 119; Psalm 33:6; Proverbs 8 (3:53)
- Parables/illustrations in John (14:34)
- The apocalyptic context of John 10:1-18 (18:40)
- Shepherd/sheep in Jewish literature – Jeremiah 50:6-7; Psalms of Solomon 17:21; 39-42; Ezekiel 34:4, 23 (25:00)
- “Thieves and bandits” (28:10)
- “Abundant life” and the resurrection – John 5:28-29; 6:40, 54; 10:28; 11:25; 20:31 (34:09)
- One flock, one shepherd, and the regathering of the lost tribes – Ezekiel 37:15-28; Testament of Joseph 19; 1 Enoch 89:72; 4 Ezra 13:39-50 (37:57)
- Wrapping up (47:30)
In this episode we discuss the parable of the persistent widow from Luke 18. Jesus speaks this parable in context to the discussion of the sudden and apocalyptic coming of the messianic kingdom in Luke 17:20-37. As has been common throughout Jewish liturgical history, this parable is spoken to encourage faith and prayer for the coming of the Messiah and the day of the Lord.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable – Luke 17:20-37 (5:32)
- Allegory: the widow and the judge – Lamentations 1:1; Isaiah 54:4 (13:02)
- The “elect” in its covenantal context – Isaiah 65:9-22; 1 Enoch 1:8-9 (18:14)
- The delay and losing heart (22:18)
- Similar language in Second Temple literature – Sirach 35:14–25; 36:1-29 (28:35)
- Liturgy and the redemption of Israel – Isaiah 62:1-7; Amidah; Didache 10:5-6 (35:56)
- Modern approaches to the parable (47:35)
In this episode we discuss the parable of the dishonest manager from Luke 16. Within an apocalyptic context, the parable is quite simple and straightforward. The dishonest manager responds wisely in light of his own future judgment, whereas the “sons of this age” (v. 8) respond unwisely with their “unrighteous wealth” (v. 11), spending it on that which does not lead to “eternal dwellings” (v. 9) in the age to come.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable (4:42)
- Understanding allegory in the parables (8:43)
- “Shrewd”, “astute”, and “wise” (12:50)
- The unrighteous steward is actually the hero in the story (15:09)
- Background to the parable in the Tanakh and Second Temple literature – Sir 5:8; 29:10-11; 2 Baruch 44:9-15; 1 Enoch 63:9-10 (18:26)
- Modern approaches to the parable (27:36)
Bill, John, and Josh tackle your questions in this twelfth Q&A episode. Among many topics, we discuss dispensationalism, Galatians and circumcision, interacting with other disciples who hold to supersessionism and preterism, the idea of Jesus as a failed apocalyptic prophet, and how first century Jews understood “Abraham’s bosom”.
- How does your eschatology differ from the eschatology expounded upon in the Scofield Reference Bible? (2:27)
- How do you reconcile Paul’s discussion about circumcision having no value in Galatians with him circumcising Timothy in Acts? (19:03)
- How should we relate to pastors and other believers who teach supersessionism and preterism?
In this episode we discuss the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son found in Luke 15. Jesus uses familiar imagery in each of these parables to indict the religious leaders for their lack of concern for the sinners and marginalized within Israel. Particularly, the imagery of sheep/shepherds and God as Israel’s father were commonly known based on the covenant (Deut 32) and the prophetic tradition (Isa 63; Jer 50; Ezek 34; etc.). Rather than an individualized or ethnicized interpretation, these parables are best understood in an intra-Jewish (apocalyptic) context.
- The apocalyptic context of these parables (4:33)
- Shepherds and sheep in Jewish literature – Jeremiah 50:6-7; Ezekiel 34:1-6, 22-24; Psalms of Solomon 17:21, 39-42; Ex.
In this episode we discuss the parables of the Tower and the Army in Luke 14. As with his other parables, Jesus affirms the apocalyptic framework that was common in first century Judaism. He calls the crowds to persevering discipleship by “hating” one’s life and renouncing family, possessions, and security in order to “complete the tower” (Luke 14:28-29) and endure until the end and, thus, to inherit eternal life.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable (5:15)
- Semitic hyperbole: Jesus said to “hate” your own life – Malachi 1:2-3; Deuteronomy 33:8-9 (8:36)
- He “cannot be my disciple”: permission vs.
In this episode we discuss the parable of the Barren Fig Tree from Luke 13:6-9. This parable uses familiar imagery from the prophets to reiterate the urgent need to repent and to live life in light of the coming judgment. Within the context of Jewish remnant theology, this parable is best understood as Jesus reminding his audience that unless they repent (vv. 1-5), they will be cut down and perish in the coming judgment.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable (4:45)
- Vineyards and figs in the prophetic tradition – Isaiah 5; Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 2:12; Joel 1:7; Isaiah 34:4; Zechariah 3:10 (8:11)
- Judgment becomes a redemptive mechanism for God’s ultimate faithfulness to the covenant – Jeremiah 4:1-10 (11:49)
- Remnant theology apocalypticized – Isaiah 11:10-11; Zechariah 8:12-13; 4 Ezra 12:33-34 (17:49)
- The national and individual response to the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:18-20; Malachi 3:13-15 (22:58)
- Modern approaches to the parable (29:27)
In this episode we discuss the parable of the Rich Fool from Luke 12:13-21. Jesus exhorts his followers to steward wealth with sobriety in light of the coming judgment and the age to come. The apocalyptic context of the parable is often overlooked in commentaries, but Jesus’ words to his first-century hearers are just as applicable today as they were then (if not more!).
- The apocalyptic context of the parable (5:54)
- A lack of sobriety concerning the coming judgment – 1 Corinthians 15:32-34; Isaiah 22:12-13; Matthew 24:38 (9:57)
- The rich are oppressing the poor – 1 Enoch 97:3-9; Luke 16:19-31; James 4:13-14; 5:1-6 (18:34)
- Being “rich toward God” – Matthew 6:19-21; Proverbs 19:17; Luke 12:32-34 (23:26)
- The incompatibility of inaugurated eschatology with Jesus’ teachings on money and reward (28:50)
- Modern approaches to the parable (35:19)
- The appropriate response to Jesus’ parable – 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (41:55)
In this episode we discuss the parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37, emphasizing divine mercy and love of neighbor. The immediate context of the parable highlights many apocalyptic themes which frame its interpretation. This parable was spoken not to subvert Jewish apocalyptic eschatology or define a new kingdom ethic, but like many of Jesus’ other parables, was given to evoke a moral response of repentance in light of the age to come and the day of judgment.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable – Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34 (4:24)
- Is this parable highlighting a concern for ritual purity?
In this episode we discuss the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. Like many of Jesus’ other parables, common apocalyptic themes frame his message. The day of judgment and accounting is foregrounded in light of Jesus’ call to live faithfully and wholeheartedly for the age to come. These common apocalyptic themes are then rehearsed immediately after the parable of the talents in Matt 25:31-46.
- The apocalyptic context of the parable (4:28)
- The master, the minas/talents, and the settling of accounts – 4 Ezra 7:33-38 (9:08)
- A parable of delay and the appropriate response – Luke 19:11; 1 Corinthians 7 (15:36)
- Modern approaches to the parable (25:31)