All posts by Peter Ditzel

The Parables of Jesus> The Kingdom Parables> The Parable of the Leaven

by Peter Ditzel

This parable and the Parable of the Mustard Seed are a pair. They tell much the same story, but with somewhat different emphases. Understanding the Parable of the Leaven is very straightforward. In fact, it is so straightforward that it is amazing that most commentators give a wrong interpretation for it. In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus taught that the small, powerful, and simple faith that He planted would grow into a large and corrupt institution. The Parable of the Leaven focuses on the corruption.

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The Parables of Jesus> The Kingdom Parables> The Parable of the Mustard Seed

by Peter Ditzel

The previous parables we have examined in this series centered on the planting of grain. The next two parables we will look at are different. The first one is about a mustard seed that grows into a large tree. The second (which will be discussed in our next installment) is about leaven that leavens the entire three measures of meal. As we study into these parables, we will find that the Bible reveals that their meanings are far different from what most commentators and preachers assume. This means that what you have heard about these parables is probably not what the Bible teaches.

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The Parables of Jesus> The Kingdom Parables> The Parable of the Seed Growing by Itself

by Peter Ditzel

In his children’s book, Frog and Toad Together, Arnold Lobel depicts a toad planting a garden and becoming impatient for the seeds to grow. He is convinced he has to help the seeds along. First, he tells them to start growing. Then, he commands them to grow. Next, he goes out at night and reads them a story. He then sings them songs, reads poetry to them, and then plays them music on his fiddle. Finally, being very tired, he falls asleep. While he is asleep and doing nothing, the seeds sprout from the ground. Unfortunately, the toad doesn’t learn the lesson and concludes that the seeds came up because of all his hard work. I wonder if Arnold Lobel had the Parable of the Seed Growing by Itself in mind when he wrote that story?

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The Parables of Jesus> The Kingdom Parables> The Parable of the Tares of the Field

by Peter Ditzel

The Parable of the Tares of the Field appears only in Matthew 13:24-30:

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

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Is Sex Outside of Marriage Okay for Christians Today?

by Peter Ditzel

Before I take on this subject, I want to explain why I am writing about it. I don't want to be mistaken for moralizing, being a legalist, or laying guilt on anyone. I am not trying to sic the law on anyone or be judgmental. 

I am writing this article because I am concerned that the secular humanist society we live in and which dominates the media and education is beginning to have more of an influence on Christians than Scripture. In fact, this reasoning is behind much of what I write. But, in this area of life particularly, the effect of our secular humanist culture, the failure of parents and the church to pass on a truly biblical world view, and the neglect of Christians to studiously examine the Bible for themselves are resulting in Christians becoming ignorant of the standard of behavior that becomes a Christian. Or, if they are aware of this standard, they fall for the relativist argument that it is old fashioned and no longer applies to Christians today. And so we have people—usually young people but not always—who think that petting, casual sex, friends with benefits, and even living together unmarried are acceptable behaviors for Christians. They are not, and I want to explain why.

We live in a world that considers itself in a state of moral flux. That is, right and wrong are thought of as not concrete but change as society develops. In such a society, it is common for even Christians to wonder whether sex outside of marriage is okay.

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Q. Is Genesis 6:1-4 saying that angels married humans? Who are the “sons of God”?

by Peter Ditzel

A. Before studying into this question in depth, I assumed I knew the answer. So I surprised myself with what I found. I also found that the correct understanding of this passage is important because it serves as a lesson for us today. I will go through the common explanations of this passage, show from the Bible which is correct, and then discuss what we can learn from this lesson.

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Do You Love Me?

by Peter Ditzel

CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE MIGHT BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR FREE TIME, YOUR GOLF SCORE, AND, FOR SOME, EVEN YOUR CAREER GOALS.

Parents, what is the most important thing you can do for your children? Provide for them financially? give them a stable environment? schedule quality time with them?

Reading parenting books and magazines might lead you to believe that at least some of the above are the most important things you can do for your children. But I have it on good authority that the number one thing you can do for your children is something else altogether. My authority is the Bible.

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“Who do you say that I am?”

by Peter Ditzel

A large question mark
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

It’s common for Christians to ask others if they are saved. Those people can answer with a mere yes while holding a completely wrong understanding of salvation. Another question asked is, “Do you know the Lord?” Again, the people asked can reply with a simple yes while holding entirely erroneous views of the Lord. Jesus, on the other hand, asked His disciples a question they could not answer with a yes or no. Jesus’ question is like a razor that splits humanity into two groups—those who answer correctly and those who do not. How would you answer? Who do you say Jesus is?

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Q. Did Jesus claim to be God?

A. This question is usually posed and then answered by those who
 are trying to debunk Christianity. The answer they want their listeners to believe is that Jesus never claimed to be God, that Jesus being God is merely a myth that grew up around Jesus after His death. They certainly have a point that Scripture never records Jesus mouthing the words, “I am God.” Nevertheless, did Jesus use any other words to claim to be God?

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