Posts Tagged ‘parables of Jesus’

I’m at my church’s annual conference this week. Today both out Bible Study and the evening message were about the same parable, The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. The whole time I was listening, I was thinking that’ll preach and now I want to do it as a presentation. The thing is, I’m having a hard time thinking of the creative element. I will keep praying and I know the Lord will provide, but I thought I’d put it our there. How would you express this passage creatively?

Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (NIV)

Don’t worry I won’t knock off your idea, I just want to see how others would approach it.

I love the trend of Bible Art Journaling. It’s making art inspired by Scripture… What’s not to love?

The one thing that I always have found difficult with Bible art journaling was the fact that there was either too little space to make art or people were adding their art over the text making the text hard to read. Also in many journaling Bibles, the text is so tiny, that they’re almost illegible at least for my old eyes.

I decided to try to cover those issues by making an 8.5″ x 11″ devotional book with the text running down the side of the page and plenty of free space to create to your hearts content. I added some faint guidelines for those who want to letter on their pages. I use the World English Bible translation, which is a really nice contemporary English public domain translation. My first book is 60 pages containing 46 parables of Jesus.

This is my first foray into a journal of this type. The price is $6.00 (just cents over the price Amazon requires to print it). Check it out. I pray it blesses you.

From the time I was a small child, I have always loved to tell stories. Later as I began to know Jesus, I began to see there was more to this storytelling. Jesus was a master storyteller. He taught many things in parables. Simple stories that have sort of a dual purpose. On one hand these stories help people with open hearts and minds to come to know and follow the Lord. On the other hand it is said that they are confounding for people who refuse to believe. I’ve never completely understood the second part of that, but the first part totally rings through. Jesus used simple stories to help believers to understand complicated things.

One of the things I love to challenge creative people to do, is to look up and read a parable of Jesus, maybe one that is really meaningful for you. Then once you have read and studied the parable, find a creative way to express the point of the parable to the world. You may want to rewrite it in a modern setting, try to express the same point with a different story, illustrate the parable, make a video of the parable. The possibilities are endless. Just be certain to be as faithful as possible to the original intent of the story. After all, if it was a point Jesus was trying to make, it is probably important.

Here’s a clip of a piece that I did for the Parable of the Sower.

and the parable of the unforgiving servant…

How would you express your favorite parable.

Above is an excerpt from my message on The Prodigal Son called The Older Brother.

This is part of my presentation called Story: Parables of Jesus.

There’s a difference between having ears and having east to hear. In this message from Story: Parables of Jesus, The Parable of the Sower, we will look at the difference. The principle of Story is looking at the stories Jesus told to help us all to live a better story. To bring Dave in to preach and paint at your church, contact him at

sproulparablesRight now, I’m working through this amazing video series on the Parables by R.C. Sproul. It’s pretty great. Yesterday’s lesson was on the Parable of the Rich Fool from Luke chapter 12. If you’re not familiar with the story, it goes like this. A rich man has just been blessed beyond measure with a bumper crop but rather than using his blessings to help and serve others, he tears down his barns and builds bigger ones to store up the bounty for himself. In the course of the parable, God calls this man a fool. It’s a great life lesson from Jesus on how He wants us to use God’s blessings.

What threw me in the study though was this series of questions. “What is a Biblical definition of a fool? What are some ways that you are tempted to live as if God does not exist? How might God be calling you to repent and change?”

The answer to the first question is pretty easy. Psalm 14:1 says, “A fool says in his heart that there is no God.” Now you may not agree with this statement, but I have to say I have lived both with and without God in my life and for me, this statement is true. Life with God is much better and to return to a life without Him would be, for me, the very essence of foolishness.

Feeling that way, you’d think my answer to the second question would be, I am never tempted to live as if God did not exist. You’d think that, but that would be a lie. You see I live as if God does not exist every time I make prayer the last priority, coming into play only after I have tried everything else. I live as if God does not exist every time I jump into “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself” mode as soon as God doesn’t do exactly what I want Him to do, when I want Him to do it. Oh there, is a god in that scenario, but the problem is the god is me. I live as if there is no God when I am self-reliant at the expense of being God-reliant. Lastly, I live as if there is no God when I get consumed with worry rather than taking my worries to God and trusting Him. In short, my issue is one of control. I say God is in control, but I live as if it all depends on me.

How can I repent? That one’s easy. Give God control, trust and obey. This is an amazing thing. First of all when I give God control, (as if I really needed to give Him what He already has) a huge weight is off my shoulders. I no longer have to act as if it all depends on me. With that off my plate, I can focus on the only thing I actually do control, myself. Because, let’s face it, sometimes self-control is hard enough. Trusting Him does not mean I sit back and do nothing, faithfulness is still required but the first five letters of faithfulness are faith and that must be foremost.

You may not agree with what the Scriptures say regarding “a fool says in his heart that there is no God.” That’s your right, but I know this, when I start to live as if there is no God…

That’s when I act foolish.

How about you?

Okay don’t fret, I’m not giving up on the Scriptures. The last few years I have gone wall to wall reading cover to cover. In 2013, I read the whole Bible once, went back and reread the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and then read the Psalms again and I loved it. I started doing this because there were times in my ministry where I felt like I was only in the Word so I’d have something to preach and I needed more.

The thing is sometimes trying to read the Bible in a year becomes reading for distance and it can all become a blur. So this year it’s something different. This year I want to learn to teach from the Master so this year, I am going to do an in-depth study of the parables of Jesus. I am going to study them, listen to and read teachings about them, memorize some of them, write about them, and more.

The goal is really simple, I want to teach like Jesus. I want to teach with as much authority as I can and as much as He gives me. I want to become a better more effective storyteller to be used impact the Kingdom and bring people from darkness into light.

I’d appreciate your prayers in this venture. I’d also like to know any resources you’ve found useful pertaining to the parables.

This year my goal is to learn to tell a better story, tell His story better, live a better story so I can lead others into His story. Would anyone like to join me?

Here is one of the resources I am using, from R.C. Sproul…

In addition to this, my church has subscribed to which has some great stuff on it, including a series of 12 messages on the parables from R.C. Sproul

The folks at Curryville Church of the Brethren recorded my message on the Good Samaritan from the Story: Parables of Jesus presentation.

You can hear it here for a limited time.

I’d love to get your feedback and pray it blesses you.

This convertible series will work in a variety of settings.

It can be anything from a single message to an evening program to a weekend retreat or revival, Spiritual renewal series.
The point of this series is to look at the lessons in the stories Jesus told and how to use them to live a better story.

Messages include:

  • What Kind of Soil Are You? The Parable of the Sower
  • The Older Brother: The Prodigal Son
  • Who’s Your Samaritan? The Good Samaritan
  • Hurried, Buried and Worried: The Parable of the Talents
  • What’s Your Story? The Sheep and the Goats, The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Evening Programs Include:

  • The Gifted: Parable of the soils, The Good Samaritan and The Parable of the Talents
  • Relationships: Parable of the Soils, The Prodigal Son and The Sheep and Goats

I can also work to your themes and use other parables. I want to help your congregation to live a better story. For more information, contact me, Dave Weiss, at
story poster

Last week I did the long version of this program as a series of revival/spiritual renewal services at the church where I came to Christ in 1986. This morning I will be doing the “A Night AMOK” version of my new presentation Story: Parables of Jesus at St. Thomas Independent Church of the Brethren in Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA. I’m excited to finally do this thing. Here’s the outline of the presentation.
story bulletinsm
This is the gifts and talents part of Story. There will also be another one that deals with our relationships with others and God that contains the prodigal son and The sheep and the goats/lost sheep.

Jesus gave these stories to help us “live a better story.”

I’d love to bring either presentation to your church. It comes in a variety of formats from a single message to a full presentation to a series perfect for a retreat/camp/revival/Spiritual renewal meeting format. The presentations contain live painting, story telling and the Word and sometimes even a little drama. I’ve built this one to fly so I can take it anywhere. If you’d like to bring me in, contact me and I’ll tell you how.