12.03.03 Lk. 14:34-35
PARABLE OF THE SALT
34 “Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? 35 It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
“Anyone who has ears to hear should listen.” Literally, “anyone who has ears should hear.” Obviously, everyone has ears. Jesus was saying that all who heard His words will be responsible for what they have heard. A major problem the leading Pharisees had with Jesus was that they refused to understand how a holy, pure, and righteous God could have anything to do with defiled sinners. They believed that God rejoiced when a tax collector or sinner died. Jesus addressed this issue in three parables (Lk. 15), in which He illustrated how the Father persistently searches for those who are lost. These parables were a single teaching lesson and build up to a climax as follows:
- Luke 15:1-7, is the search for a lost sheep (one out of a hundred) by the searching shepherd. In the first parable, of a wayward sheep wandering into the wild unknown realm of sin and deadly pleasure, the focus is on the one “lost.”
- Luke 15:8-10, in the second account, the lost coin (one out of ten) was not astray, but hidden somewhere in the house, and the focus was on the “search” for the coin.
- Finally, in Luke 15:11-32, the search was for the lost son (one out of two). In this parable, the most precious lost son was found and restored; the focus was on the “restoration” of the son.
Notice the literary escalation from the first to the third parable – a dramatic increase in value from 1 in 100 to 1 in 2. The words spoken and recorded as a literary device underscore God’s passion to restore lost sinners unto Himself. Jesus, the Master Teacher, taught by bridging the gap from the known to the unknown, using stories and parables the people knew. At one time or another, everyone had experienced a lost sheep, a misplaced coin, or had difficulties with an unmarried teenager. Furthermore, parables were often borrowed from rabbinic writings or were stories of common knowledge.
His attitude stood in stark contrast to that of the leading Pharisees and Sadducees. They had no compassion whatsoever for wayward souls, the souls of the Gentiles or the physical needs of the poor. Jesus, however, repeatedly showed compassion to everyone.
. The concept that intellectual teaching is based upon what is previously known to the person taught has generally been credited to Aristotle, in Posteriora Analytica. 1.1. However, the concept, although not described in this manner, is elementary and was practiced by the Jewish rabbis and prophets for centuries.