Please reload

Recent Posts

Last week I opened up the topic of hearing God’s Voice and I gave you the list of ways in which God had spoken to our Jakarta based Cell Group over th...

Are you Filtering God Out? (Hearing God’s Voice 2)

May 15, 2020

Please reload

Featured Posts

Bible Gemz 1033 - Picking up on the Allusions (Luke 15:1-32)

June 26, 2019

And all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to Him, to hear Him. 

And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This one receives sinners and eats with them.

And He spoke to them this parable, saying,

Suppose one of you having a hundred sheep, and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the deserted placeand go after the lost oneuntil he finds it?

And finding it, he puts iton his shoulders, rejoicing.

And coming to the house, he calls together the friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that had been lost.

I say to you that so there is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety nine righteous ones who have no need of repentance.

Suppose a woman has ten drachmas, if she loses one drachma does not light a lamp and sweep the house, and look carefully until she finds it?

And finding it, she calls together the friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I lost.

I say to you, So there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

And He said, A certain man had two sons.

And the younger of them said to the father, Father give me that part of the inheritance falling to me. And he divided the inheritance between them.

And not many days after, gathering up all things, the younger son went away to a distant country. And there he wasted his property, living dissolutely.

But having spent all his things, a severe famine came throughout that country, and he began to be in need.

And going, he was joined to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.

And he longed to fill his stomach from the husks which the pigs ate, but no one gave to him.

But coming to himself he said, How many servants of my father have plenty of loaves, and I am perishing with famine.

Rising up, I will go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I sinned against Heaven and before you,

and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.

And rising up, he came to his father. But he yet being far away, his father saw him and was moved with pity and he ran and fell on his neck and fervently kissed him.

And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you, and no longer am I worthy to be called your son.

But the father said to his slaves, Bring out the best robe and clothe him, and give a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet.

And bring the fattened calf, slaughter and let us eat and rejoice;

for this son of mine was dead, and lived again, and was lost, and was found. And they began to be merry.

But the older son was in the field. And having come, as he drew near to the house, he heard music and dances.

And having called one of the children, he inquired what this may be.

And he said to him, Your brother came, and your father killed the fattened calf, because he received him back in health.

But he was angry and did not desire to go in. Then coming out, his father begged him.

But answering, he said to the father, Behold, so many years I serve you, and I have never transgressed a command of you. And you never gave a goat to me, so that I might be merry with my friends.

But when this son of yours came, the one devouring your living with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.

But he said to him, Child, you are always with me, and all of my things are yours.

But to be merry and to rejoice was right, for this brother of yours was dead, and lived again; he was lost and hewas found.

 (Luke 15:1-32)



Another thing you have to do to understand this parable is to pick up on the allusions. 



I have clipped this following section for Bible Gemz 27. 


The Rabbis trained in the House of the Book (Beth Sepher), the House of Interpretation (Beth Talmud) and the House of Allusion (Beth Midrash). Under the House of the Book the student learned the book by rote until it was memorized. This means you have internalized the writings. Then in the House of Interpretation you were schooled in rightly handling the Word of God, knowing the interpretation of a passage and what all the great Rabbis said about it. In the House of Allusion you learned how to handle the subtle allusions made to portions of the Word by the use of interpretive storying. At any time, even in the Beth Sefer, the student was asked to recall a passage just from a one line reference or less. The student of the word had to know the word well. Then under Beth Midrash the student was taught to pick up on the subtle allusions, like Jesus used when referring to a short segment from the Old Testament, which was often sandwiched between the two verses that were quoted. Doing that meant you were supposed to lift the whole section out and interpret the Word in the light of that whole segment. 


The speaker or writer is only using one small recognizable quote to refer to the whole. Often the quoted section is unique and is supposed to lead the hearer or reader directly to the passage being referred to. The Rabbis were so skilled at doing this that they often made elliptical references or cast allusions to the passage they actually meant. They would play with their students and quote the verse before or after the reference they intended, to see if the student picked up on the veiled reference. In this way the student learned to pay careful attention to the veiled references or allusions to passages from The Law, The Prophets of The Writings. 


Jesus is making a deliberate link here to something that the Pharisees know well. He is making deliberate connections to an Old Testament portion which sends a loud message to them. He intends them to pick up on the Old Testament portion and use it to interpret This Parable. There are significant parallels between the Old Testament passage and this parable. If you can find them, the meaning of the story becomes evident. Now there is a challenge for you. I will say no more at this point. Just a pointer, a clue to where you should dig. Get your tools, your shovel, sack, lunch, anything else you need and prepare to dig.Having done all to dig, dig therefore.


I will return to this allusion in a subsequent Gemz when we have put the other pieces together. At that point we will come back to this allusion, this example of Midrash and use it to explore the parable of the Prodigal at a deeper level. But don't forget the Parable of the Prodigal is not just the Lost Son, it also includes the lost sheep and the lost coin. You need to put it all together and analyze it. 


When you think you have found the connection, I would suggest you pay attention to the details and see just how many similarities you can find. Yes, I know it feels like homework. Those of you who have been following Gemz since the beginning know that I do this to you from time to time. Relax and enjoy it. Don't complain. And don't worry, I WON'T FORGET YOUR HOMEWORK. I will come back to it. 



Don't be afraid of tomorrow, God is already there! Kong Hee


When you are criticized, criticizing your critic only brings you down to their level. Joyce Meyer


Time isnt the problem, we have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Billy Graham, Mother Teresa & Albert Einstein. Casey Treat


You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself. Gene Mauch




Please reload