Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome! Tuloy po kayo.

This is the blogsite of Union Theological Seminary's Bible Study Methods and Curriculum Development Class.


Emilio "Jon" Manaois said...

Reinterpreting the parable in the light of the fact that Jesus was executed telling this story

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that birds of the air can make nests in shade.” Mark 4:30-32

“Great thing starts from small beginning.” This is a line of the song in a T.V. advertisement pertaining to the perseverance of a young athlete to join and win in a sports competition. At first she is timid and hopeless due to some limitations; but she fights her fears and she is able to make it. I want to connect this illustration with the parable of Jesus from the Gospel of Mark as it relates to the story about the development of faith and the birth and expansion of God’s kingdom .

Jesus told the crowd about a story pertaining to the kingdom of God through the parable of the mustard seed. It is the parable of the imagery of small apparently insignificant seed being transformed into mature plants. The parable highlights the function of the full grown plants and the mustard bush that provides shelter for birds who nest on its shade.

The parables are used by Jesus to tell a very important matter and he wished that not all should understand but those people who considered to be his followers. In my own understanding, the seed in the parable can be epitomized as the faith being sown by God through Christ’s teaching to his followers. His life application teachings were meaningful to many but despised by the Jewish and Roman authority due to his subversive implications (as the authority understand them to be). He is somewhat a threat to them; that a simple man coming from a low profile family would turn the people’s beliefs upside down. Such teachings may ruin the foundation or the cornerstone of established religion and government in his time.

The seed is an organism that starts from virtually nothing to “something.” The kingdom that Jesus established started from simple stories, simple audience, simple scenario, simple teacher(as the authority used to see him). They were almost taken for granted movie that turned to be a blockbuster hit. The once insignificant seed of faith was stupidity to the authority but the seed grew and turned to be liberating factor in people’s lives. Today, millions claim to be the “birds” or the beneficiary of the mustard shrub that was once a seed that is humiliated, persecuted and taken for granted. Many found refuge and liberty through the shrub that was just seemingly insignificant seed in the beginning. Lives are redeemed , people are transformed through the Seed. Indeed, “Great thing starts from small beginning.”

Emilio "Jon" Manaois Jr.
Master of Divinity Senior

Randy Jay Austria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy Jay Austria said...


The story told by Jesus of the fig tree bearing no fruit in Luke 13:6-9(CEV) was a reflection of what is happening in our present days. The story goes like this.
A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. One day he went out to pick some figs, but he didn't find any. 7So he said to the gardener, "For three years I have come looking for figs on this tree, and I haven't found any yet. Chop it down! Why should it take up space?"
8The gardener answered, "Master, leave it for another year. I'll dig around it and put some manure on it to make it grow. 9Maybe it will have figs on it next year. If it doesn't, you can have it cut down."

The man mentioned in the story was looking forward for a yield coming from the tree. In embarrassment due to unexpected result after three years of coming to and fro, the fig does not bear fruit; he commanded to cut the tree. This attitude of the man is rampant in our society. They are the people who have riches who are just enjoying the produce of their wealth without minding of their significant role to the producers. The owner of the vineyard in the story did not even care for the tree. He just went in the vineyard to look for possible profit without minding the needed elements in order to make the fig tree bears fruit. These kinds of capitalist people where just focus on the produce of their laborers. We can see it in the situation of the labor sector in our society. There are thousands of laborers in different production industries who lost their job due to alleged low-productive capabilities declared by the companies. Serious problems in wages or salaries as well as benefits due to them were not given or if it was given it does not meet the basic needs of the workers. Their salaries can just buy sardines and noodles for their daily food in order to extend it to the next pay day. They were lucky enough if they have connection in rolling stores to buy dark and smelly rice from the National Food Authority (NFA). How can a laborer stand for more than eight hours of works without a proper nutrition? Eventually, due to under nourishment, they become prone to sickness and consequently suffer their basic food and other budgeted allowances. It will took a long time before one can claims its medical benefits if properly remitted by the capitalist which more likely not. Due to these factual facts in the lives of our producers or laborers, they became candidates and later removed from the compound of the company’s owner for they viewed as useless or profitless.

Fortunately, in the story, a gardener intervened bargaining to the landlord and committing to cultivate the tree and putting manures around it and if will not bear fruit in a year long then to be cut down. But this is very rare to happen. We are lucky enough if we find one in our place of endeavor. Most probably, caretakers were just following instructions from their bosses and afraid to suggest or made bargains to what they seen as authority over them. The story has no clear ending whether the landlord agreed upon the bargaining of the gardener or not. However, fig trees or any other trees produce fruits according to how it will be taken good care. Our common mistake is that we look directly to the plant and judge it according to its performance of production without minding our role to take good care of them, cultivating and putting manures or other things that will make the plants productive. In the context of our laborers, they will become productive if the company will take good care of their needs accordingly, if they can intake proper nutritious food, proper training, more and humanely benefits and a good relationship as partners in production.

In conclusion, this passage is primarily a call for all capitalist to give what is due to its laborers that they might augment their living. It is your responsibility of the company owners to nourish them and give them a reasonable living while becoming partners in production. Secondly, I’m calling for people who are taking in-charge of supervising the laborers. Bring the moaning of the laborers as well as their immediate needs and do bargaining to your boss/es. Espouse the right of these laborers that they might have integrity of living. And, lastly, to all labor groups and advocates, be united and continually fight for your rights which are due to you. God is in the side of the oppressed, upholding human rights.

Prepared by
Master in Divinity Senior

gracemawi said...

The parable of the publican and the Pharisee reinforces one of the central themes of the parable of the good Samaritan. This point is somewhat obscured by the manner in which Luke introduces and concludes this parable in his gospel. He predisposes the reader to look upon the Pharisee as prideful. In fact, the Pharisee only did what the temple map required of those who were considered insiders and members of the religious elite of the time. In fact, the social context of the temple, as we now know it from other historical documents, would depict him as the ideal pious Pharisee! His speech is repeated almost word for word in other examples we have of pious prayers from the same period. His conduct and prayers are typical of the devout Pharisee.
Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14)
This parable let us understand that a human being is fallen and sinful. A human has nothing to boast of before God. But with sincere repentance he must come back to his Heavenly Father and expose his life to the leadership of God. The Pharisee represents someone who was an insider in the social structure of the culture. People at that time paid a lot of attention to demarcating who was inside the social structure and acceptable and who was outside and unacceptable. In our times, this demarcation is expressed in racial and ethnic prejudices, and has manifested itself on a monumental scale in the horrors.
The tax collector in the parable is from the secular world. He stands outside the sacred precincts of the Temple and prays simply: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" The tax collector was just doing what he was supposed to do in that religious culture, which was to stay outside the sacred place. A sharp distinction is thus made between those who belong to the sacred elite and those who come from ordinary life. The parable of “Pharisee and Publican” was one of the reasons for the Jews to execute him on the cross. The Pharisees were men of high standing in the religious community and were well known for their strict adherence to the Law of Moses. On the other hand, publicans were Jews who collaborated with the Roman Empire. Because they were best known for collecting taxes they are commonly described as tax collectors. In the parable, Jesus presents these two men in the context of the popular stereotype of the time.
Thus the two men described in the parable manifest their relative places and status in the accepted culture of the time. One belongs to the sacred precincts of the temple and is an insider. The other belongs to the secular world and is an outsider. The social map calls for him to pray apart from the Pharisee who represents the holy. Thus from the text there is no evidence of merit or blame in the conduct or prayers of the two men. The main point of the parable emerges with stark clarity. The social map of the time is being abandoned and the kingdom of God is no longer to be found in the temple. The holy is outside and the unholy may be inside. The activity of the kingdom of God has moved from the sacred precincts of the temple to the profane arena of the secular world. The Pharisee represents well the piety of the temple. The publican represents well the secular world. The sacred place is no longer the place of the sacred. The sacred has moved to everyday life.
In this parable, a Pharisee, grateful for his own virtue, is judged lower than a tax collector who is ashamed of his own sin. The lesson teaches the value of displaying humility by seeking forgiveness for one's sins over displaying pride at one's own righteousness. This parable reveals the Pharisee to possess a misguided confidence that caused him to magnify himself by comparing himself against someone he felt to be inferior. It fed his own opinion of himself, causing separation from his fellow man. While that was happening, it also brought him into war with God! The Pharisees were known as the strictest sect of the Jews. That’s why Christ used them as an example of all men’s inability to produce that which God requires for acceptance when he said in Matt 5:20, “That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Now the Pharisees despised the Publicans and sinners (as these are often linked together in the scriptures). The publicans were the tax collectors – gatherers of the Roman tax – although they were Jews, they would collect taxes for the Roman government and because of this, the Jews generally held them in great contempt. The Pharisee became separated from God because, as the parable says, he was not justified. Ofcourse, this parable led the Jews (Pharisees) so angry and eventually they put Jesus on trial and at last they excuted him on the cross. This parable is one of the reason for the Jews to seek Jesus for his cruxifiction.

Presented by;
Grace Zung Tin Mawi
M.Div - Senior

vannawl said...

According to Mark 12:1-12 "The parable of the Tenants"

I think that this parable is like the present situation of our world today. Most of the Leaders (E.g. Presidents, Senators, Military leaders, Land lords, and Religious leaders etc) did not wants (afraid) to lost their authority and their position and they wants to stand firmly in their position. They don't wants to give-up their position into others hands, they want to control themselves. If someone tried to success their position/against them and they killed them. E.g. Myanmar Military Government and Philippines Government killed many monks, Pastors, peoples, and many political leaders putting into Jail, because they don't want to lose their position.
We know that this is clearly an historical parable. The Lord is the owner of the vineyard. The vineyard is a symbol of Israel and the vine-growers, who are stewards of the vineyard, are the religious leaders who reject the Lord. But the Lord comes to them again and again, through His representatives. First, he sends a slave and they beat Him. Another slave comes and they wound him. Still another, and they kill him. But God keeps sending many more of His servants, even though they are mistreated and killed. We see here the kindness and mercy of God in continuing to deal patiently with Israel's leaders, even though they reject His kindness.
According to this parable we know that the Israel's religious leaders' hearts were hard,( like Myanmar Military Government) God comes again and again, extending His offer of peace. These servants are the prophets who came to Israel in the name of the Lord with the word of God. But the religious leaders rejected the prophets. They killed them and beat them and mistreated them.( E.g. Elijah was driven into the wilderness by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Isaiah, as tradition has it, was sawn in half. The prophet Zechariah was stoned to death near the altar. John the Baptist had his head lifted from his shoulders). This was the fate of many of the prophets, servants of God, sent by God, because of His mercy. They rejected the Lord, the owner of the vineyard because they wanted the vineyard for themselves.
But the Lord was not finished with Israel. Finally, God sent His Son. Jesus himself had spoken this parable. He understood what would become of his own self. Instead of respecting His Son, the vine-growers saw an opportunity to take the vineyard for them. "The peasants spoke with each other. 'This is the heir. Hey, let's kill him. By doing that then, the inheritance will become ours.' Then they seized the son and killed him, and threw him outside the vineyard," (12:7-8). In fact, He is prophesying His own death at the hands of these religious leaders. In a few short days, they will deliver Him to their own authorities and condemn Him to death. They did not want to hear God. They wanted to be their own God. And so, they not only rejected the prophets sent by God, they rejected God's Son Himself. Jesus had understood it. As a matter of fact, after a few days, Jesus Christ would be crucified and killed on Golgotha's hill, which lied right outside of Jerusalem.
Finally Jesus asked the chief priests a question. "Well, what will the master of this vineyard do?" Then, he answered his own question himself. "He must come back and kill the peasants and give the vineyard to some other people," (vs.9). This is the appropriate conclusion that one would forecast. But, please take notice that Jesus did not include this conclusion into this parable at all whatsoever. The story up to the very end only goes that "they seized the son and killed him, and threw him outside the vineyard." In short, those hearing this parable would be made to stand between the time the son was murdered and the time of the judgment due from the master, which hadn't happened yet. Judgment day was still postponed for them and a chance to respond to God's grace was genuinely offered to them.
We, too, are hearing this question from the Lord standing at the same point (but in a different time) and hearing this parable. "They seized the son and killed him, and threw him outside the vineyard." One can also say that's what the Jewish leaders at that time have done. But, one can also say that is what we human beings have done. God sent his only son Jesus Christ into this world. It was the final message spoken from God to the world. God demonstrated that he does not want to destroy us with his power, but he wants us to return to the originally intended relationship with Him. In spite of that, we human beings ended up murdering the Christ. We live in the world that has murdered Christ. We are one of the human beings who have murdered Christ. In that condition such as we are, we are being asked a question. "What will the master of the vineyard do? What do you feel about it?"
But, the Lord said, "He is the stone rejected by the builders of the house, this has become the chief cornerstone." This is what the Lord has done; this is marvelously visible right before our very eyes. "The stone rejected by the builders of the house" means Jesus Christ. Jesus was certainly rejected by the hands of men and women. His being crucified on the cross means exactly that. It looked like God's final call out would end up returning void. But, it didn't end like that. Instead, it says that that a decisively brand new thing began from there. It says the stone that expected to be rejected became the chief cornerstone of the new house.
It is just as Jesus said it was. The rejected and crucified Jesus Christ became the atoning sacrifice for our sins. From there the gospel of the forgiveness of sins began to be proclaimed anew. The church was born. Jesus Christ certainly did become the cornerstone of the church. In that form God has continued to call out for repentance. God is still calling out even right now to this world, which has nailed Christ to the cross, and he is beckoning everyone in the world right now into his grace.
We are told in verse twelve that the chief priests, scribes and elders of the Jews knew that the Lord Jesus had spoken the parable against them. Like the leaders of the Jews, most of the people did not like to tell their real attitude or behavior. That reason, most of the leaders they want to execute there against persons. Therefore, they knew that Jesus against them this parable and they wants to arrest him and killed him. That is one of the fact reasons that Jesus was executed telling this historical parable.

Submitted by:
Van Nawl
M.Div. Senior

randy U said...

Text Mark 4: 1-9
The Parable of the sower

Sinabi ni Jesus ang talinghaga na ito para sa kanyang mga alagad, na sumusunod sa kanya, ngunit and kanyang mga alagad e nawawalan na sila ng pag-asa dahil sa mga problema na na-encounter nila at kung paano pa nila ipag-patuloy ang kanilang mission at kung ano ang kanilang makukuha nila na sila’y patuloy na paninilbi kay Jesus.
Kaya sinabi ng talinghaga na ito na kahit nasa gitna ng maraming tao, at hindi lamang sa kanyang mga alagad kundi rapa sa lahat, at Ginamit niya ang talinghagang ito para madali nilang maintindihan ang kanyang sinasabi. Kung sa mga mangbubukid, ito ay madali nilang maintindihan itong sinasabi ni Jesus. Bagkus sila ang nakaka-alam kung ano ang nararapat nilang ihanda sa pagbubukid.


Nasa gilid sila ng lawa at Umupo si Jesus sa Bangka at pinagkalipumpunan siya ng napakaraming tao, at patuloy siya sa kanyang pagsasalita at nang Makita niya ang isang magsasaka na naghahasik ng mga butil at sinabi niya sa kanila “tignan” ninyo ang magsasaka na naghahasik ng mga butil.
Sa texto na ito ay may malaking ibig sabihin si Jesus dito na gusto niyang ipaliwanag sa kanila at madali nilang maintindihan ng dahil sa paggamit niya ng mga talinghaga tungkol sa naghahasik ng butil para sa ganoon ay magawa ang kanyang kagustuhan o ang kanyang mission.
Nang Makita niya ang naghahasik ng butil kinuha niyang itong talinghaga para sa ganoon ang mga isip ng kanyang mga alagad at ang mga tao na nakikinig sa kanya ay magkaroon sila ng malalim na pag-isip tungkol sa hinaharap, at sa nangyayari ngayon. At dahil sa pag-gamit ni Jesus ng mga talinhaga ay maintindihan sana nila kung ano ang ibig sabihin ni Jesus.
Si Jesus ay nakita niya ang tiyaga ng isang magsasaka na naghahasik ng mga butil at ano naman uri o klase ng lupa ang kanya pinaghagisan ng mga butil, nuong panahon ni Jesus duon sa Palestine ang mga magsasaka ay basta hagis nang hagis nalang sila kahit saan lugar at pagkatapos ay ara-ruin nila,
At nang panahon na Makita natin ang mga magsasaka sa kanilang tiyaga sa paghihintay ng ulan, hindi sila sumuko sa pagtatanim kahit dumating ang malakas na bagyo, tagtuyod o tungro at iba pa, at ang magsasaka ay sila yung nagbabahagi ng salita ng Dios.
Ang mga lugar na dinapuan ng mga butil at ipakita niya ang klasae ng buhay at pananampalataya ng mga tao sa pang-espiritual na buhay, ibig sabihin sa dahil iba-ibang dakong lugar na bumaba yung mga butil karamihan sa kanila ay hindi nila main-tindihan kung ano ang ibig sabihin ni Jesus.
Ang mga iba madali silang manghina dahil sa paghihirap na nararanasan nila, at dahil dito marami ang mawawalang ng pananampalataya sa Dios.
Dahil sa talinghaga na ito gusto ni Jesus sa sabihin at ipala-ala sa mg sumasampalataya na ipagpatuloy nila ang kanilang yapag na maging saksi sa pakikibahagi ng salita ng Dios at ganito ang klase at resulta na pupuntaha nila na tao.

1. May mga tao na pinapakinggan ka gusto nila yung sina sabi mo pero hindi ito pumapasok sa kanila at hindi ito magtatagal sa kanila, pero kung dumating ang mga pagsubok sa buhay nila manghina sila hanggan sa mawala ang salita ng Dios sa kanilang buhay.
2. meron naman mga tao na napakinggan nila yung salita, pero marami naman silang dahilang at marami silang inaala-ala pero masmahalaga sa kanila yung iba kaysa sa salita ng Dios marami silang rason.
3. pero meron din mga tao na gusto nilang pakinggan ang salita ng Dios at inilalagay nila sa kanilang puso, at isipan kahit maraming mga problema ang dumating sa kanilang buhay bagyo man o ano paman hindi sila sumusuko kundi patuloy sila sa kanilang mission sa Dios na nagbigay nang kasiglaan upang magawa nila ang mga bagay na ito.
Kaya tayo hindi nawa tayo susuko sa pagtatanim/ at maghasik ng salita ng Dios sa ibat-ibang klase nang tao kahit may katigasan ng ulo, at puso, ang Dios na ang siyang bahala sa kanila..

Prepared By: Randy G. Ugaddan
MDiv. Serior

MannyValdez said...

Pakahulugan sa Talinghaga Tungkol sa mga Aliping Pinagkatiwalaan ng Salapi(Mateo 25:14-30)

May isang taong nagpahiram ng salapi sa kanyang mga alipin, ang isa binigyan niya ng 5,000 ang sumunod ay binigyan niya ng 2,000 at ang huli binigyan niya ng 1,000, at umalis ng matagal na panahon. Pagbalik niya tinawag niya ang mga alipin at pinagsuli sila. Ang aliping nakakuha ng 500,000 at 200,000 nagsuli ng duble sa binigay sa kanila, natuwa ang may-ari. Samantalang yong tumanggap ng 100,000 ay isinauli ang biniggay sa kanya. Nagalit ang may-ari ng salapi at pinarusahan ng mantindi ang taong ito.

Madalas iniintindi natin ang talinghagang ito na ang salitang “talent” naginamit sa NIV at ibang version ng Biblia ay sinasalin sa “talento o kakayahan” o “skills.” At ang panginoon ng mga alipin ay ang Diyos na siyang nagbigay ng talento/kakayahan/skill. Gayon din na nakikita natin ang mga aliping binigyan ng malaking halaga at nagsauli ng malaki rin ang siyang bida at ang taong nagsauli ng binigay sa kanya ay masama. Pero siya nga ba?

Una, ang salitang “talent”, ayon sa NIV commentary, ay tumutukoy sa malaking halagang pera, na katumbas ng araw-araw na sahod sa loob ng labing limang taon.
Pangalawa, ang taong nagbigay ng salapi sa mga alipin ay hindi ang Diyos na ating Panginoon kundi ang mga taong mayayaman. Sapagkat ang Diyos na dala ni Hesus ay Diyos ng pag-ibig hindi marahas, Diyos na nagdudunong ng biyaya hindi sakim, at Diyos pagpapala hindi mapagsamantala. Ang taong nagbigay ng salapi sa kwento ay taong ay isang marahas pinarusahan ng napakabigat ang taong hindi niya pinakinabangan. Natuwa siya noong binalik sa kanya ng boo ang salaping binigay at binigay ding boo ang kita. “Gumagapas kayo sa hindi ninyo tinamnan, at nag-aani sa hindi ninyo hinasikan.” Pangatlo, ang dalawang naunang alipin nagsisimbolo ng tradisyon noong unang panahon. Ang mga alipin ay sunod-sunoran, takot sumuway sa mga mayaman na may kinalaman sa kanilang buhay. At pang-apat, kung paghahambingin nating mabuti, masmaraming pag-uusap ang pangatlong alipin at ang kanyanilang panginoon kaysa sa dalawang naunang alipin. Ibig sabihin, masmalaki ang katungkolan ng huling alipin sa kwentong ito kumpara sa dalawa. Matapang siya dahil hindi ginawa ang nais ng kanyang panginoon. Masbida ang huling alipin.

Ibigsabahin, sa paghahari ng Panginoon, ang mga mahihina/alipin magkakaroon ng tapang upang harapin ang mga naghaharing puri. 'Alam ko pong kayo'y mahigpit,… kaya't ibinaon ko sa lupa ang inyong salapi. Heto na po ang 100,000 ninyo.' Sa kabila ng kalagayan sa buhay, pagiging alipin/mahina ng huling alipin, sinikap niyang mabuhay na hindi ginamit ang kapangyarihan o pagmamay-ari ngkanyang amo. Nakayanan niyang nagsurvive sa tulong ng kanyang sariling paraan kahit hindi niya gamit ang instrumento ng mayaman. Ibigsabihin, sa paghahari ng Panginoon ang lahat ay magiging responsible sa kanilang buhay. Walang nagpapailalim sa kapangyarihan ng iba. Dahil kung babasahin natin ang susunod berses sinasabi ni Hesus sa kaharian ng Panginoong nanddon ang pagbibigayan, pagmamalasakit, pagtutulongan at pagkalinga ng bawat isa.

Norlie & Agosto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norlie guapo said...

Luke 18:10-14
“The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector”

“Once there were two men who went up to the Temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood apart by himself and prayed, ‘Thank you God that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his face to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, ‘God, have pity on me, a sinner!’
‘I tell you,’ said Jesus, ‘the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humbled themselves will be made great.”

In this parable, Jesus directly attacked the Pharisees by using them as one of the two main characters in the parable. He directly concluded in his parable that a Pharisee is the one wretched in the story. Pharisees considered themselves as the “separated ones.” They strictly follow the laws of Moses. They claimed themselves to be the genuine remnants of the chosen people of God, and yet, according to the story of Jesus, they are the one not forgiven? How offensive it is to a Pharisee. It is revolting to a Pharisee who heard the story of Jesus. It was a direct insult to them and to their beliefs.

One thing more, a tax collector who is considered as an outcast of the society, a sinner as he described himself , a traitor to his fellow Jews for the benefit of the Roman Government, is he the one worthy to receive forgiveness? How unfair it is in the sight of the Pharisees…

So, through this story of Jesus, it is not surprising why Pharisees and other Jewish Leaders condemned Jesus to be blasphemous and heretic. This parable is only one of the parables told by Jesus who created antagonism from the rich, Jewish Leaders and powerful authorities who prosecuted Jesus which led to his crucifixion and death..

In our present context, many of our colleagues in ministry, followers of Jesus (“prophets/ Jesus’ successors”) imprisoned, killed and prosecuted because of their advocacy for justice and peace in our society especially for the oppressed, those who are considered as modern outcasts.
Our corrupt government officials and some of our church leaders (even they are aware or not) are considered as the “Modern Pharisees and Powerful Roman Authorities”. They consider themselves as faithful to the will of God but nevertheless, accusing those “modern prophets.”

Now, the question is this: among us, who are humbled and who are made great? Who is in the right with God? As Jesus said, “For those who make themselves great will be humbled; and those who humbled themselves will be made great.”

Prepared by: Norlie R. Vilog
M. Div.-Senior

san said...

The Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price
Scripture: Matthew 13:44-46
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In a peasant community the best safe was often the earth. The man in the parable "went in his joy" to sell everything. Because he found a treasure worth possessing above all else he had and has enough to buy the treasure. Fortunately, he only needed enough to buy the field. In a similar way, God offers his kingdom as incomparable treasure at a price we can afford! We can't pay the full price for the life which God gives us; but when we exchange our life for the life which God offers, we receive a treasure beyond compare.
The pearl of great price also tells us a similar lesson for us. In the ancient time pearl is the most represent the supremely valuable in human societies. Therefore, Jesus remarked that one should not cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). Do you learn why would a merchant sell everything for a peerless pearl? No doubt because he was attracted to what he thought was the greatest treasure he could possess.
Discovering God's kingdom is like stumbling across hidden treasure or finding the one pearl of great price. When we discover the kingdom of God we receive the greatest possible treasure -- the Lord himself. Selling all that we have to obtain this incomparable treasure could mean many things -- our friends, job, our "style of life", what we do with our free time.
How do we mean by treasure? Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure.

Prepared by: SanPwint
Master of Divinity-Senior

gracemawi said...

The Parable of Prodigal Son (Luke 15:12)

Submitted by: Erlinda Ulanday Layno
M/Div Student

Most beautiful, most finished, most compassionate and best known parables is the Prodigal Son. It touches us most sharply because it’s concern concentrates in the family. Jesus speaks family events.

In this parable the younger son has a petition “Give me” my share of the state or their property. This was an opening of the parable a weariness of paternal restraint, a limited sanctions of customs or an authoritative recognition or approval. An inclination of of more independent a nature of man.

I. Give

It is the cry of modern world especially the youth is restive and believes that all of the past is dangerous. The family thus its spell, love and respect were broken. The customs of family reunions, worshipping together was became wearisome practice no more respect in the memories of the past.

On the contrary this was also the problem of the adult. Adults of to-day are also crying for liberty.

One would think that an effort was being made to enslave the human descendants. Forbidding something becomes hatred. We oppose laws at regulations, we forget that man has obligations as well as liberties. In this parable the son lacked even respect for the father. He felt that he has given a right to take all he could and give nothing in return.

Here we find the starting point in our present day disorganized personal, social, political and religious life. God is no longer indispensable to us. We are trying to get as far away from him as possible so that we may do as we please. We want to take all that he can give us, but we do not want to him to meddle with our affairs. We want the peculiar advantage of expressing every natural impulse without the restraining hand of God.

Our prayer is Give us this day. . . and let us alone. So many people misunderstand God because of such rebellious nature of many since the beginning ,man first sin was rebellion to God. During Jesus time they get angry, to him up to the point of mobbing him, killing him even stoning him to death because o the parables he tell to the crowds.

The parables is true to nature and to life. The story itself may or may not be true as actual occurrence. The story of the Prodigal Son may not be true, but there is nothing not possible in it.

Many of those who listened had stupid minds. They did not understand spiritual truth readily. Jesus had to take the attitude of a teacher in dealing with these. He tried to build ideas into their minds gradually. Then Christ enemies were ready to trap Him with heresy, by putting his teaching in form he gave them nothing to take hold of.

joey cunanan said...

Mateo 13:24-30

Ang talinghaga na aking napiling gamitin ay yaong tumatalakay sa mga damong tumubo sa triguhan. bagaman sa panimula ay sinabi ng sumulat na si Mateo na binhi lamang ang itinanim ng isang tao. sa bandang huli ay naging malinaw na trigo pala ang kanyang tanim sa bukid. Batid natin na ang lugar nang kapanahunan ni Jesus ay napapalibutan ng “kaaway” nila, ito ay ng gobyerno ng Roma. Hindi na rin bago sa pandinig ng maraming tao na galit at ayaw sa pamamalakad ng nasabing grupo sa kanilang bansa. lumalabas ang pagiging makabayan ng isang tao (bagaman hindi lahat)kapag may higit na makaya na siya'y sakupin. hindi gusto ng imperyo sa usapin ng pagsasarili o self-determination. ganoon ang kalakaran noon at patuloy pa ring nangyayari hanggang magpahanggang sa ngayon, na ang may malakas na lakas militar, pangpondo na maipagpatuloy ang pananakop, kayang supilin ang diwa ng pag-aaklas at paglaya sa iba't ibang kaparaanan. Ginamit ni Jesus ang nasabing talinhaga upang ipakita na ang mga “damo” o dili kaya’y “masamang damo” ay ang gobyerno o imperyo ng Roma. Ang bukid ng trigo ay ang lupain ng Israel at ang mga “nakatanim” doon ay ang mga Hudyo ng kanyang kapanahunan. Ayaw ng may-ari o kasamá ng bukid na magalaw ang mga naunang isinabog nang binhi ng trigo kahit na alam niya na may gumawa ng ganoong pagkilos. Kilala ng may-ari o kasamá kung sino ang may gawa ng paglalagay ng mga binhi ng “damo” sa kanyang sinasaka. Dito itinuturo ng talinhaga na kahit may mga “damo” na nakasama sa pagtubo ng trigo, hindi nangangahulugan na walang pakinabang ang pagtubo ng “damo” na kasabay ng trigo. ngunit hindi ito ang nangyari dahil hindi ito nakita ng Hudyo noong panahon ni Jesus, isang malaking banta si Jesus sa samahan ng mga taong simbahan at sa estado o gobyerno ng Roma dahil sa grupo o samahan na kanyang "unti-unting" itinatayo.

joey cunanan said...

Ang talinhagang ginamit ni Jesus na aking nais na talakayin ay yaong binabanggit sa Mateo 21:28-32. Ito tungkol sa isang ama na inutusan pareho ang dalawang anak na magpunta at magtrabaho sa ubasan. Hindi sinabi ng teksto na kung iyong ubasan ay sa kanila o sila ay kasamá lamang. Ito ay isang katotohanang nangyayari sa mga bansang sinakop ng mga dayuhan, sila ay mga iskwater sa sariling lupain. Ang kanilang sinasaka o pinagyayamang lupa ay dating kanila, ngunit dahil nasakop sila, napilitang ipagbili sa murang halaga at ngayon ay nagtatrabaho doon. At kung atin pang ipagpapatuloy ang pagbasa at paghimay sa naging takbo ng pangyayari, ang unang anak ay tumutol nang una, ngunit sumunod, na taliwas sa ginawa ng pangalawa; pumayag sa utos o pakiusap ng kanilang tatay, ngunit hindi nagpunta sa ubasan. Narito pa ang ilang obserbasyon ko;

1. bakit ganito ang ginawa ng dalawang ito? Hindi naman sapilitan ang pakiusap ng kanilang tatay. Ang kanyang pakiusap ay pa rin sa kanilang ikabubuti.

2. bakit walang reaksiyon ang kanilang tatay sa ginawa ng dalawa? Hindi siya ang tipikal na larawan ng isang dominanteng tatay, na kapag hindi napasunod ang gustong mangyayari, agad na gagamitin ang kamay na bakal o “pagdisiplina” kung kinakailangan.

3. kung ako ang tatanungin, mas angkop na “pamagat” nito ay “ang maunawaing magulang”. Ito ang mas angkop dahil kahit hindi gaanong nagsalita ang tatay ng dalawang anak na ito, wala namang sinabi si Jesus tungkol dito. Ipinakita ng tatay o ng magulang ang kanyang pang-unawa sa dalawang anak o dalawang grupo ng tao.

4. bakit ang mga publikano at masasamang babae ang ginawang huwaran ng pagsunod ni Jesus? Kung tutuusin hindi naman “iba” ang mga pariseo, saduseo, mga taong simbahan at maging ang imperyo ng Roma sa mga taong ginamit ni Jesus, lahat sila makasalanan. Ngunit sa malayang pagtingin, makikita natin na ang itinuturing at pinararatangang makasalanan ng lipunan ay di-hamak na mas “angat” sa iba. Dahil ang nagdidikta o nagsasabi na kung ang isang tao ay katanggap-tanggap o hindi ay ang lipunan at hindi ang Diyos, naabuso nang masyado ang pangalan ng Diyos, lalo na ng mga taong simbahan.

Pinatay si Jesus dahil pailalim niyang tinutuligsa ang pagtrato ng lipunan sa mga taong nakapaloob dito. Kung tutuusin, sino ba ang nauna? Ang lipunan ba o ang tao? Ang malungkot na katotohanan lamang ay naikulong na nga lipunan ang tao sa mga dapat niyang sabihin, gawin, at isipin.

jaojian gangmei said...

The Parable of
the Wicked Tenants
Matt 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19

As I am flipping through the pages of the gospel for the Jesus’ parable that prompted the religious leaders to incite a scheme to arrest Him, I found the parable of the wicked tenants to be one of the parables that religious leaders considered to be a threat. Or in other word, they found this parable directly pointed to them as murderer or wicked tenants. In Luke 20:9-19 He began to tell the people this parable.
"A man planted a vineyard, and rented it out to some farmers, and went into another country for a long time. At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty. He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. He sent yet a third, and they also wounded him, and threw him out. The lord of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be that seeing him, they will respect him.’ "But when the farmers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ They threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these farmers, and will give the vineyard to others." When they heard it, they said, "May it never be!" But he looked at them, and said, "Then what is this that is written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the chief cornerstone?’ "Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, But it will crush whomever it falls on to dust." The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on Him that very hour, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.
According to the tenant law in India, if a tenant continuously stays at the rented place for ten years, they have the right to own that place and they can legally claim it. Now, if the landlord has gone long enough, there is possibility that tenants already own the vineyard!
Now, what is not clear to us is the contract. If the owner has to go long enough, it will be wise to keep one of his servants to take care of the vineyard business. But such arrangement was also missing and probably the parable overlook in that area.
It reminds me of the internal refugees we have in this sanctuary in recent time from Quezon Province. However, these farmers were not cruel as Jesus mentioned in His parable. In this case, the land owner over powered them. They didn’t resolve to any form of violence, really they are practicing AHIMSA.
The tenants mentioned in the parable appear powerful and daring. They were prepared to fight anyone who was sent by the landlord. They even killed landlord’s son. It is obvious from the reaction of the chief priest and scribes that it the tenants referring here is none other than them. Jesus for sure was referring to those prophets who were murdered by them and now the landlord son-Jesus is telling at their face that you will kill even the Son but eventually the Landlord will crush them at the end.
Now, the thing that is really threatening to them is the way how Jesus predicts about Himself; what He will become and what He will do in the near future. The chief priest and scribes has been following the development of His activities and teachings closely and such parable simply aggravate the situation. The chief priest and scribes were ready to lay hands on Him any time except for the fear of people.

elmer s.victoria said...

Ang Talanghiga tungkol sa Pariseo at maniningil ng Buwis
Lukas 19:9-14

Dito sa talanghigang ito ngalahad si Hesus para sa mga taong ang tingin nila sa kanilang sarili ay matuwid ngunit humahamak naman sa iba. Mapapansin natin sa kanyang panahon na ang mga judio lalo na ang mga pariseo ay gayon. Itinuturing nila ang kanilang sarili na matuwid, at ang palagay nila sila ay matuwid sa iba. Nginit tayo ay naniniwala na ang takinghagang ito ay hindi lamang para sa kanila agkus sa atin na bumabasa. Alam natin ang kuwento na ito ay patungkol sa isang Judio at isang Pariseo. Isang Judio na mahigpit na sumusunod sa kautusan ayon sa kaniyang pagkaunawa.ang pariseo sa kuwentong ito ay ang akala ay matuwid, hindi naman siya actually na masama pero ayaw niyang sundin ang kautusan ng mga Judio. Sapagkat ayun sa kautusan kailangan mag ayuno ang isang tao minsan isang taon. Ngunit ang lalaking ito ay nag aayuno isang beses isang lingo, at ayun sa kautusan kailangan niyang ibigay ang kanyang ikapu mula sa kanyang kita, at ang lalaking ito ay nagbibigay ng lahat ng kanyang ikapu.
Kung gayun ano ang kasalan ng Pariseong ito? Ahng kasalanan niya ay ang pafgtuturing niya na siya ay matuwid at hindi niya inisip na kailangan niya ang pagpapatawad at kahabagan ng Diyos. At dahil dito inanakala niyang maliligtas siya dahil sa paggawa ng mabuti. Sa mata ng Diyos ang mga bagay na ganito ay hindi maganda sa kanyang tingin. Palalo ang pariseong ito. Dagdag pa nito ay ang hindi niya pagiging matuwid sa kanyang puso dahil sa paghamak niya sa ibang tao. Ang layunin ng Pariseong ito ay manalangin kaya siya pumasok sa termplo, Ang masakit nito lahat ng pumapasok ngayon sa Templo o kapilya ay hindi makakapasok sa kaharian ng Diyos. Ngunit iba ang layunin ng ikalwaang lalaki,(maniningil ng buwis) Alam niyang siya ay makasalanan at alam niyang dapat na tumanggap siya ng kaparusahan ng Dios para sa kanyang kasalanan. Nagpapakita nito na siya ay nahahapis sa kanyang mga nagawang kasalanan at natuto siyang magpakumbaba. At ang kanyang kahilingan ay habag ng Panginoon. At malaking pasalamat niya dahil umuwi siya na taglay ang kapatawaran sa kanyang mga kasalanan, sa kabilang banda naman ang Pariseo ay di napatawad sa kanyang kasalanan at hinatulan ng Diyos ang Pariseong ito dahil sa kanyang kapalaluan. Marahil may natutuhan tayo sa talinghagang ito na ang nagpapakumbaba sa harapan ng Diyos at nagsising puso ay hindi niya itatakwil na katulad ng sinabi ni David sa Awit 51:17. marahil isa ito sa dahilan kung bakit ang atng Panginoon ay ipinako sa krus dahil sa mga pasaring niya sa mga taong ang tingin sa sarili ay matuwid.

ogie da pogi said...

The Parables of the Tenants in the Vineyard

Text: Mark 12: 1-12

During the ministry of Jesus Christ, he made citations or references of various parables in his teachings. A parable is a story which Provide truth. In this parable, Jesus indicated that the religious leaders had rejected the demands of God and acted only in their own interest.
In this parable Jesus straightforwardly attacked the religious leaders by using them as the caretakers using their authority abusively for their owned interest. The religious leaders claimed their selves as good leaders but they acted only in their owned interest and rejected the hassle of God. It was honestly insult for them in their way of life.
So through this story of Jesus, the Jewish leaders tried to arrest Jesus, because they knew that he had told this parable against them.

Prepared by:
Agosto B. Dosdosen

tolitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tolitz said...

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Text Matthew 18:23-35

This parable of the unmerciful servant, found only in Gospel of Matthew, in Matthew’s writing he presented this in lined with the context of the Jewish community practicing the bureaucracy as their legal basis of inter-relating to others. On their daily lives based on what the discipline of the community they where belong, and it was mandated by the hierarchal system. Most of them are nobility influenced by land lords’ and businessman.

The context of servant and King Relationship was the existing relationship in the community or a certain barrio, municipality or town and cities where the Land lords are the prominent of having good life and most of them are in the government position, and owners of the big portion of the land. The text is about the manifestation of forgiveness, for how it should be exercise.
Matthew has two representation of the text, 1. He mentioned that “the reign of GOD is like this”…., and
2. The King equated to God.
Matthew also mentioned indirectly the kingdom which the ruler is God that he equated to the merciful king of the land.

According to the text, Jesus Christ mentioned it in detailed, telling the stories to his disciples, because Peter ask Him about how many time they were going to forgive others. Jesus quickly replied to Peter, telling the parables of the unmerciful servant, in the context of unpaid debt, in relation to forgiveness as being asked by Peter.

For me, it was happen into the public place. It was asked publicly that every body can access to their conversation particularly by those who keenly observe them, or may be there are some who are following them or walking with them; were almost captured the whole conversation till to their stop over. It was Jesus intention to be heard by those who want to hear his words in respond to the question that has been raised by Peter.
And also, Jesus wants to clarify his confused disciples at the same time he can push another insight to the public to create order but favorable to those who is less fortune. The stories He has being told to the public was an approach of telling them for what they should do as a replica of God’s Kingdom, especially to the both parties and possibly his listeners at that time. The idea which the kingdom of God he represented in the light of the story he has delivered was very bad things to be heard by the group of the influential people at the same time of the rich and business sector of his time. It was not acceptable for them that the Kingdom of God was bias and treats for their lives and to their business world. But in the other sides, it was good and very favorable for those who are debtors.
The Kingdom which Jesus had spoken to the public is the place where there is no concept of investment, but the spirit of giving, love and forgiveness which shows consideration to every aspect of human life. It is a place where God is the King and the spirit of forgiveness that shows a just life for everybody. Jesus presented the story in two ways he assumed very understandable to the hearers. Accordingly; he mainly address these issue to those who are engaged in this business, to those who are in position as ruler which Jesus intention was to be clearly discussed by telling the stories in public. Jesus wants after telling the stories, people should learn and respond to the needs to be transformed either the society or the people itself. Jesus’ also intend for the people is to have right consciousness for their needs and to other needs as the pictures he presented as the Kingdom of God. And we all knew that after Jesus delivered the “parable of the unmerciful servant” it becomes a controversy and talk of entire cities.

In telling this stories Jesus awakening the mindsets of the hopeless to struggled with their situation and the God’s favor should be their hope assurance. And also to those who are rich, businessman and influential, there’s a message for them to be merciful to others who are poor and less fortune.

But the parable was not the same as what we observed in the real life; the king here was not the same as we looked to the character of God.

Reflection to the unmerciful Servant…

By: Joselito G. Ibanez
M. Div senior

William said...

INTERPRETATION FROM THE PARABLES OF JESUS“Kapirangot Na Lupa. . .”  Matthew 21:33-46       Ang talinghagang ito ay tumatalakay sa isang tao, na puno ng sambahayan, na nagtanim ng isang ubasan , at binakuran niya ng mga buhay na punong kahoy sa palibot, at humukay roon ng isang pisaan ng ubas, nagtayo ng isang bantayan, at ipinakatiwala yaon sa mga magsasaka, at napasa ibang bansa (v-33). At nang malapit na ang panahon ng pamumunga, ay sinugo niya ang kanyang mga alipin sa mga magsasaka,upang tanggapin ang kanyang bunga.(v-34).  At pinanghawakan ng mga magsasaka  ang kanyang mga alipin, at hinampas nila ang isa, at ‘ang isa’y binato.(v-35). Muling sinugo niya ang ibang  mga alipin na higit pa sa nangauna;at ginawa rin sa kanila ang gayon ding paraan (v-36). Datapwa’t pagkatapos ay sinugo niya sa kanila ang kaniyang anak na lalake, na nagsasabi, igagalang nila ang aking anak (v-37). Datapwa’t nang Makita ng mga magsasaka ang anak, ay nangag-usapan sila, Ito “ang tagapagmana; “halikayo, siya’y ating patayin, at kunin ang kaniyang mana (v-38). At siya’y hinawakan nila, at itinaboy ‘siya sa ubasan, at pinatay siya (v-39). Ang tanong,  pagdating nga ng panginoon ng ubasan, ano kaya ang gagawin sa mga magsasakang yaon? (v-40)  Sinabi nila sa kaniya, Puksaing walang awa ang mga tampalasang yaon, at ibibigay ang ubasan sa mga ibang magsasaka, na sa kaniya’y mangagbigay ng mga bunga sa kanilang kapanahunan (v-41).       Sa usapin ng talinhagang ito ay may tatlong bagay akong gustong talakayin: una, ang pagmamay-ari; pangalawa, pagtanggap; at ang pangatlo, ay ang bunga.       Nabanggit sa talinghaga ang isang tao na nagmamay-ari ng pataniman ng ubasan, dito hindi naman binanggit kung ilan ang sukat o gaano kaluwang ang lupaing iyon. Pero gusto kong isipin na lang natin na ito’y lupa na puwedeng taniman ng anumang bagay na pakikinabangan. Maalala ko noon pa ma’y matagal ng usapin ang pagmamay-ari ng lupa. Sa kasaysayan ng mundo ayon sa nasusulat base sa nasasaad na pangyayari sa Bibliya naging marahas ang pag-aangkin ng lupa. Huwag na nating ilayo sa kapanahunan nila Moses, Josue at iba pang tinawag ng Diyos upang pamunuan ang bayang Israel sa pagsakop sa Lupang Pangako pagkatapos ng pagkaalipin sa Egipto. Dugo’t pawis ang ipinuhunan at ang masaklap ay pati buhay ay naibubuwis kasama ang mga walang kalaban-laban at inosenteng mamayan, alang-ala sa pag-angkin ng lupa, gaanuman ito kaluwang o kahit kapiranggot lamang, ang mahalaga  ay ang pagmamay-ari nito. Ni hindi na alintana ang mga bagay na naisasakripisyong  ari-arian, buhay  at pamilya na hangad lang naman nilang  mabuhay ng tahimik. Subalit ang Lupang Pangako ay isang makasaysayang pangyayari sa buhay at paniniwala ng mga Israelita dahil dito sinasaklaw ang paniniwala at kung papaano kumilos at gumawa ng paraan ang Dios para itayo muli ang bayang Israel mula sa pagkaalipin.         Kahit na sa panahon ngayon ang pagmamay-ari kagaya sa lupa ay isa pa ring malala at masasabing banta sa buhay at katahimikan ng bawat isa. Isa dito ang naging usapin ang Hacienda Luicita sa Tarlac, na pagmamay-ari ng mga mayaman at capitalistang pamilya Cojuangco. Ilang dekada na ang nakakalipas na dapat maibahagi na sana sa mga maralitang magsasaka ang lupa na kanilang binubungkal na ayon din sa programang Agraryo ng gobyerno, sila ay patuloy paring umaasa na mapasakamay nila ito. Pagod na nga ang kanilang katawan, kulang pa sa pagkain. Kasi,  kakarampot ang kinikita dahil ayon parin sa gustong ibigay  ng Cojuangco na hindi nila ininisip kung makakasapat pa ba o hindi sa ikakabuhay ng mga magsasaka at sa pangangailangan pati na sa iba pang pagkagastusan. Masakit man sa kanilang kalooban subalit ano nga ba ang kanilang magagawa? Para sa kanila maitawid na lang ang kanilang gutom sa maghapon ay okey na sa kanila.           May programa kuno ang gobyerno subalit hungkag parin ang hustisya para sa mga mahirap. Sa kadahilanang may mga bias na pinanghahawakan ang mga kinauukulan. Minsan ‘di rin maiiwasan ang sabwatan sa lahat ng uri ng kalakaran sa ating lipunan, kaya tikom pa rin ang mga bibig ng mga tagapagpatupad ng batas na dapat ipagkaloob ang tamang serbisyo sa mamamayan. Hindi lang ‘yun ang mga usapin. Marami pang kaganapan na mas malala at kahindik-hindik na usapin ng pagmamay-ari ng lupa. Hindi ko pa rin makakalimutan ang pangyayari mismo sa aming kapitbahay sa Isabela. Ni sa panaginip hindi ko lubos iisipin na mangyayari ang ganun, na mismo sa magkapatid naganap ito. Sapagkat mula sa kanilang pagkabata hanggang sa paglaki’t nag-asawa, nasusubaybayan ko na ang kanilang kalalagayan subalit nangyari ang hindi inaasahan - sila’y nagpatayan dahil sa kapiranggot na lupang kinatitirikan mismo ng kanilang  bahay. Ang isang dahilan ay ang paglalagay ng pagitan o hangganan para malaman kung hanggang saan ang kanilang pagmamay-ari sa lupa.        Sa kuwento, isang katutuhanan ang sinasabi na ang pagmamay-ari ay mahalaga nga, subalit may talagang nagmamay-ari sa lahat, walang iba kundi ang Diyos na lumalang sa lahat ng bagay. Inilalarawan ng talinhaga na lahat ng bagay na nasa atin ay ipinagkatiwala lamang upang tayo ay gumawa at kumilos na ayon sa ating kakayahan upang pagyamanin ito. May mga bagay na naihahalintulad sa mga ipinagkatiwala sa’tin ng Diyos. Sa talinhaga, ang salitang ubasan ay sumisimbolo sa isang lugar na doo’y tinawag tayo upang gumawa at pagyamanin ang mga bagay na ipinakatiwala sa atin. Tayo ba’y tinawag na maging tagapagturo, tagapanguna, manggagawa ng Iglesia o simbahan, ordinaryong mamayan, government official, at iba pa? Tinawag tayo’t pinagkatiwalaan ng  Dios sa kalagayang mayroon tayong ginagawa o gagawin para sa kanya.        Sa ibang bahagi ng kuwento dumating ang panahon na kukunin na ng may-ari ang kaniyang bunga o bahagi niya sa mga magsasaka, kaya inutusan niya ang kaniyang mga alipin. Sa kuwento napakaganda ang hangarin ng may-ari ng ubasan. Simple lang ang gusto niyang mangyari dahil siya ang nagmamay-ari ng ubasang iyon, at siya na rin ang nakipagkasundo sa mga magsasaka na dapat mayroon matatanggap na bunga/ kabahagi ang bawat isa. Una, ang sa mga magsasaka at ang pangalawa siyempre sa nagmamay-ari mismo ng lupa. Sa puntong ito mukhang may nangyari na hindi maganda, dahil base sa kuwento naging marahas ang mga magsasaka. Lahat ng mga alipin na inutusan ay pinagbabato at pinatay. Hanggang sa pinakahuli ang kaniyang mismong anak, (sa ibang teksto o versiyon ito ang pinakamamahal niyang anak) subalit gayon na lamang ang kanilang galit dahil alam nila na siya ang tagapagmana kaya pinatay din nila ito.       Sa bahaging ito ng kuwento, naging malalim na palaisipan para sa‘kin ang mga pangyayari.  Tinanatanong ko sa aking isip bakit ganun ang takbo ng pangyayari, kung totoosi’y kung tumupad lang ang mga magsasaka sa kanilang kasunduan maaring disi’y sana mangyayari ang ganun karahasan. O baka hindi kaya nila matanggap ang mga kundisyones ng nagmamay-ari?  Hindi naman kaya may mga bagay na nakapagbago sa kanilang isipan kaya naging mahirap nilang tanggapin ang nasabing kasunduan? O baka naman gusto na nilang masarili ang lahat na kanilang pinagpaguran?       Sa palagay ko iisa ang ugat ng lahat - hindi nila basta-basta matanggap ang lahat. Sa usapin pagtanggap ito ay masalimuot din, ito ay may kaugnayan sa pag-uugali at pag-iisip ng isang tao. Na doon maaring madomina o mapangunahan ang kaisipan at damdamin ng isang tao. Ayon sa mga eksperto ng sekolohiya, may damdamin ang isang tao na naghahangad para sa kanyang hangarin at mayroon din pagkakataon na puwede siyang sumunod sa dikta ng iba na nasa paligid niya. Ang tao ay may katangian na mahina sa panahon ng kanyang pangangailangan at sa panahon ng kanyang kagustohan na maaaring ito ang magbubunsod sa kanya sa kapahamakan o dili naman kaya’y kahihiyan.      Ito rin ang sumasalamin sa kaganapan ng mga magsasaka sa tekstong ito. Maaring ang damdamin nila ay hindi malayo sa kanilang kalalagayan sa buhay. Naging particular ang focus sa kanilang buhay, hindi nila matanggap na palagi na lang silang inuupahan o nangangamuhan at ang tingin nila sa kanilang sarili ay sila na ang pinakaaba at kahiyahiya sa lipunan. Oo nga’t nakasilip sila ng pagkakataon na sa pamamaraan o sa hangarin nila na matatakasan  ang kasalukuyang sitwasyon,  ito na ang pinakamabuti na puwede nilang  gawin, subalit parang mali yata. Sa sitwasyong ito, hindi kakaiba sa mga nagaganap na pangyayari sa iringan ng mga maralitang manggagawa (nasa labor sector) sa ating lipunan laban sa mga nagmamay-ari ng mga pagawaan maliit man o malaking mga kumpanya. Hindi ko sinasabi na mali ang kanilang ginawa pero may mga kahalintulad na kaganapan. Ang tanong, sino nga ba ang may karapatan? Ganun din sa usapin sa amo at sa mga nangangamuhan dito sa loob at labas ng bansa (domestic, abroad) na may kaganapan na kahalintulad nito na doo’y nakakaranas sila ng karahasan at pang-aapi.        Ang pagkilala at pagtanggap sa katayuan sa buhay  ay isang karapatan,  Oo nga’t hindi madali para sa isang tao na kilalanin at tanggapin ang katayuan hindi lamang sa mga mahihirap kundi sa lahat. Ang usapin ditto ay  hindi nasusukat sa mayroon ka o wala kundi kung papaano mo matatanggap ang mga bagay na para sa’yo at ang hindi para sa’yo.       ‘Di ba ito ang gustong ipaunawa ng teksto sa mga tao, lalung-lalo na sa mga Pariseo at Eskriba, mga pinuno at mamamayan sa panahon ng ating Panginoon? Pero ‘di nila ito maunawaan at higit sa lahat hindi matanggap at ayaw nilang tanggapin ang katutuhanan. Una ang katuruan ng ating Panginoon, at pangalawa, ang katayuan at pagkatao niya. Para sa kanila hindi siya (Jesus) kapani-paniwala at isang paglapastangan sa kinikilala nilang paniniwala. Dili naman kaya’y dahil sila ay mga gumagawa ng katiwalian sa lipunan at sa usaping simbahan na kanilang ginanagalawan. Ang nais nila ay makilala sa katanyagan kahit mali ang pamamaraan. Sila ay sumasang-ayon sa dikta ng kalagayang imperyalista at mapagsamantalang pamunuan. Pinili nila na gumawa at isakatuparan ang maling pananaw sa buhay kahit may mga taong nasasagasan at naaapi. Ikinukubli nila ang kanilang sarili sa inosenteng paniniwala sa Dios, pero sa totoo hindi na ang katangian o mukha ng maka-Dios (Imago Dei) kundi ang pagkilala at pagpapakilala nila sa kanilang sarili, na sila ang Dios. Hindi nila iniisip na may tungkulin silang dapat gampanan upang ang sambayanan ay mailagay sa maayos at mabungang pamayanan na naayon sa kagustuhan ng Dios. Na hindi sila dapat gumagawa na tinitingnan muna ang mga sarili kapakanan, kundi gumagawa sila para sa kapakanan ng kanilang kapwa. Ang pagkilala sana sa sarili ay bilang mga kasangkapan lamang sila ng Dios upang kasama sa pagpapatupad ng diwa ng pag-ibig, pagakakaisa, hustisya, kapayapaan at sama-samang may ugnayan sa Dios.Bunga. “Kung may itinanim mayroong aanihin”. Gaano man kaluwang o kakarampot na lupa kapag itoy tinaniman at pinagyaman aasahan mong may maibubunga. Isang malinaw na pakahulugan sa nasabing salawikain. Sa nasabing talinghaga pagkatapos na nagtanim ang may-ari ng ubasan at pagkalipas ng mga panahon, at dumating nga ang panahon ng pag-aani. Dito kinalailangan ng may-ari ng ubasan ang bunga nito (bahagi,sa ibang teksto). Ang tanong, gaanu kahalaga ang bunga sa may-ari ng ubasan, at gaano rin ito kahalaga  sa mga magsasaka?         Kung susuriin nating mabuti parehong mahalaga sa bawat isa ang bunga. Para sa magsasaka ang bunga o bahagi ay kabayaran o kapalit sa kanilang pinagpaguran o pinagpawisan. Sa may-ari naman mahalaga rin sa kaniya sapagkat sarili niya ito na dapat pakikinabangan din niya. Kaya sa usapin ng bunga ito ay nakasentro sa kaisipang pakinabang. Na kapag ang pakinabang ang nakasalalay mayroong mga bagay na naisasakripisyo. Ito ay ang relasyon, kasunduan, at pati narin ang tiwala sa isa’t isa. Bagay na nagaganap din ito sa ating lipunan kapag may biyaya o kapakinabangan na may mga piling tao lamang ang nakikinabang. Ang iba nama’y di maiiwasang pinagtatalunan o kina-iinggitan. Ang konkretong halimbawa nito ay ang ZTE scam  na ibinunyag ni Ginoong Lozada kamakailan idagdag mo pa ang usaping MERALCO ng mga Lopez at maraming pang iba. Sa totoo lang sino nga ba ang hindi nagnanais ng kapakinabangan? Sinungaling ang magsasabi na hindi niya kailangan nito, subalit kung ang usaping kapakinabangan ay mituturing na hindi sa pansarili lamang, kundi kapakinabangan para sa karamihan,  sa palagay ko wala tayong masasagasaan o malabag na batas higit sa lahat ang batas ng Dios. Sapagkat itinuturo sa’tin na mamuhay ng isang nagkakaisang kumunidad na may pag-alala sa isa’t-isa.                     Kaya anumang bunga, pagpapala o kapakinabangan mayroon tayo, ito ay hindi dapat sarilinin kundi matutunan natin na ibahagi sa iba. Naniniwala ako na ang bawat isa ay may kakayahang ipamahagi ang bunga o pagpapala na natatanggap mula sa Dios para sa sa iba lalung-lalo na sa mga nangangailangan. Bilang pagkikilala o pagtanggap sa Dios at pagsunod sa kanya dito ay itinatatag niya sa kapirangot na lupa ang isang malago at mabungang ubasan sa ating buhay. Tayo yaong pinagkatiwalaan upang pagyamanin ito at handang ibalik o ihandog ang bungang para sa Kanya (Dios) bilang pagkililala at pasasalamat. Prepared by:                     WILLIAM D. EMILIANO                               M. Div. Senior

nix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nix said...


The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

here was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, "What is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer."

The manager said to himself, "What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg - I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses."

So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, "How much do you owe my master?"

"Eight hundred gallons of olive oil," he replied.

The manager told him, "Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred."

Then he asked the second, "And how much do you owe?"

"A thousand bushels of wheat," he replied.

He told him, "Take your bill and make it eight hundred."

The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.....Luke 16:1-13

sa Kwentong ito may tatlong pangunahing karakter..ang nagosyante ang mahihirap at ang tagapamahala.

sa kwento natuwa pa ang mayamn sa ginawa ng katiwala..

Sa Akin lang....

sa akin lang ang kwentong ito ni Hesus ay lumalarawan sa dalawang kalagayan ng lipunan hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kundi sa maraming bansa...ang tinutukoy ko'y ang maliliit at ang makapangyarihan.

sa akin lang..ang mayamang mangangalakal ay larawan ng mga makapangyarihan, matalino o maaring din tawaging tusong negosyante..
para sa negosyante ang lahat ng bagay ay may kinalaman sa "pera" at "pagkita".kung ikaw ay isang magaling na mangangalakal..bago mo ilabas ang pera mo alam mo muna kung magkano ang iyong malabong magbitiw ka ng pera kung hindi ka siguradong kikita ka.ang mangngalakal tutulong nalang gusto pang kumita...kaya nga mangangalakal ang tawag sa kanila.

ang sa akin lang... ang mag maliliit ay desparadong makasurvive...totoo sa mahihirap ang kasabihang "kapit nlang sa patalim..." at ika ng nga ng matatanda "pagbuhulin ang dulo ng pisi"

Sa ating kwento ang mangangalakal ay may mga pautang...

ang sa akin lang...kung ikaw ay mahirap na bibigyan ng pagkakataong mag negosyo papahiramin ka ng perang pamuhunan..kahit malaki ang patubo anu ang gagawin mo.?

dahil itong malilit ay desperadong maksurvive...tatanggapin nila yan..

ang problema sa laki ng tubo hulog ka ng hulog..pero interes nalang ang binabayaran mo...hindi na nakaahon ang mahirap sa kanyang pagkakautang..

ang sa akin lang...kung ikaw ay katiwalang ng isang mahusay na mangangalakal..siguradong alam mo kung paano tumatakbo ang negosyong pautang ng amo mo...kung mag magalit sya sau at aalisin ka sa trabaho alam mo na mo ang gagawin mo..maghahanap ka ng kakampi..

kanino ka kakampi? sa malilit...dahil mas marami sila, marami kang makakasama..

pinalaya ng katiwala ang kanyang mga kapwa mangngagawa sa interes at komisyong pasan nila na ipinataw ng kanyang amo.

kung ikaw ang mga mangangalakal at at mayayamang pareseo. magustuhan mo kaya ang kwento ni Hesus... End

prepared by:

Nixon C. Sarmiento
Master of Divinity Senior

ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

he Good Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37

The Good Samaritan is a popular Parable and a popular text, and this is one my favorate text, I heard this parable when I was in elementary grade,one thing that I always ask to my Sunday school teacher why that the priest and the levi did not help the man are almost died.and why that the two people after sawing the man they go to the other side. And the answer is may be the priest and the levi malalate nasila sa kanilang work.

Although we are know that the people always keeping the Sabbath day or bawal magwork but during the time of Jesus even Sabbath day he work mostly nanggagamot siya sa mga may sakit so the people always telling that who has that man.di ba niya alam na bawal magtrabaho pag Sabbath.they are murmuring about what Jesus they do.

This parable emphasizes that inherent in true saving faith and obedience in mercy and compassion. For those in need they call to love God is a call to loves others.

The new life and Grace that Christ given to those who accept him will produce love mercy and compassion. For those who are distressed and affected, it is the responsibility of all believers to act in the Holy Spirit. Love with in them and not to harden their heart.

Those who are professed Christian yet whose heart are insensitive to the suffering and needs of others, give sure evidence that they do not have eternal life in him.

Prepared by,
Donna Bella O Agaser
MDIV. Senior

ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

Re Interpret your favorite Jesus Parable in the light of the fact that Jesus was executed telling this story……

Luke 14:15-24
Ma. Beate Mantilla-Hernandez, RND

Retelling a Parable would mean retelling your understanding and a deep conviction on the truth about The Lord’s suffering and His purpose of placing abode with the people from different perspective, tradition and culture. Jesus before telling the story mentioned “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God.” The Lord has intentionally giving the understanding of the Kingdom and Reign of God.

Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, Come for everything is ready now.

The King mentioned is God who prepares a banquet, setting a place for those who seek and respond. The word Come is the invitation, just like a person who willingly opens door for acceptance.

But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him I have bought a piece of land and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets. Another said I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going to try them out, please accept my regrets. Another said I have just been married and therefore I cannot come. Looking through those passage, there are invitation for all, the King has invited all kinds of people, 1st the Landlord who bought new land, 2nd a shepherd/farmer and finally a socialite, all of them regret the invitation. Some of us fail to see the importance of responding to the Kings invitation. Truly we have indulge ourselves to sending our regrets to such invitation.

So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house become angry and said to his slave. Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.

This slave whom the King sent is like Jesus. He who unveiled himself, unveiled his kingship, His Sonship to call those who are crippled, lame, blind. Those who are socially deprived those who are peasant.

This parable tells how Jesus taught the people about the Kingdom of God. His reign will call us to share spiritual abundance, the dinner simply tells us about the Riches of Grace. The universality of the gospel and spiritual loss. Some may interpret it that the Reign of God belongs to those who may respond.

Be it as it may, this parable summed up the message of the reign of God. The very teaching of Jesus in his journey, that there is wrath of God, outcasts are received and the evidence of exclusion. This Parable has powerfully express the taught of persecution and execution of Jesus to those authority who heard him. The very essence of the Parable tells about the Kingdom of God, the misunderstood reflection of the authority which caused his persecution. This and many more parable of Jesus have led him to finally disclose the message that He should be telling and the very evidence of his resulted execution.

ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: the blog submitted by DONNA AGASER used the username of ma. beate hernandez, she has not made her blog address yet. Thank you.

choon ock said...

The Prodigal Son
(Luke 15: 11-32)
The departure of the younger son
With no further introduction, the scene of this story is started with debate of a younger son who asks his father to give him the share of the estate that will eventually come to him. “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me” (v12). It obviously sees that the son might t have received one third of the property under the law (Deut 12:17). This insensitive request is consequently to threat his father thoughtlessly. In spite of this insensitive request, his father favorably takes action without any condition: “He divided his property between them” (v12).
Shortly afterward, the younger son leaves home. In leaving home, he has eventually broken relationship with the family.
At last, the younger son turn out to feed swine as an employee. And yet this is not the end of the disastrous circumstance. This is badly and hopelessly driven the younger son: “He would gladly filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave anything” (v16).
Repentance of the younger son
At this point, the scene is kept the hearers in suspense for the younger son who is in the mire of the swine pen and realizes himself: “he came to himself” (v17). There, he talks to himself and makes a grand decision in verses: “I will get up and go to my father , and I will say to him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands” (vv18-19)
At that time, it seems that the younger son eventually come to see what he has done to his father. And, he completely gives himself up by humbly holding to be low in social standing in the middle of the contrition as a sinner: I have sinned against heaven and before you” (v.18)
Decisively, the younger son reclaims his identity: I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands” (v19). This makes a turning point, going back to his father.
For reference, what is swine? Swine is an abomination to Jewish audience (Lev. 11:17; Deut 14:8). A Talmudic proverb declares: “cursed is the man who tends swine, and the man who teaches his son Greek wisdom!” So, the younger son’s poverty extremely reaches the top of heaven and he has reaped the bitter and his foolishness.
A compassionate father (vv20-24)
As a necessary consequence, the journey of his return begins with coming to himself and ends with going to his father: “he…went to his father” (v20).
In response to the younger son who is now coming with contrition, a compassionate father warmly outstretch his open arms to his younger son: “while the prodigal son was still far off…he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him” (v20). Moreover, even before the end of the explanation that is untended to a grand decision by the sy0ounger son, the compassionate action is taken by the father: “let us eat ad celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (vv 23-24).
In fact, all the compassionate action taken by father comes from the expression of forgiveness for what the younger son has sinned before, and called to recover the relationship that was dead by the leaving of the younger son from the father’s home.
Resentment of the elder son
By the time when the older son, nearly approaching the house from the field, hears the sounds of celebration, this happy story is now turning to an unusual complicate story, because he has taken the present situation not from the spirit of tolerance, but from the spirit of resentment by his selfish interpretation: “I have been working like a slave for you, and …yet you have never given me even a young goat…this son of yours…has devoured your property with prostitutes, …killed the fatted calf” (vv29-30). This is exposed in the following argument with his father. Here, the elder son interprets about the younger son’s situation without the proof, and this occurred upon the report of the slaves, not by the father who hold a feast.
By this resentment, the older brother is still standing outside the house, refusing to go in. Notwithstanding, the father who had run down the road to welcome his younger son goes out again to called the elder son.
Then, as a climax, the story is extremely exploding the resentment of the older son who presently reminds his father how he had stay at home and served for his father. According to the text, the older son refuse to acknowledge his relationship to his father in saying the word “listen” (v29) rather than ‘father’. Then, he likens his role to that of a servant (v29). Moreover, as a Pharisee, the older son expresses his self-righteous. Finally the resentment of him refuses to acknowledge his relationship to his younger brother in referring to his brother as “this son of yours” (v30).
Father’s response seems to restore all of the family relationship, defend himself against the charge of injustice toward to older son, and justly celebrating the younger son’s return.
In response to his older son, although the older son has not addressed him as “father,” the father’s first word was “son” (v31). And, the father explains the reason why a welcoming party for the younger son is needed. There, the phrase “brother of yours” (v32) is probable spoken for the father to remind the older son who wants to classify his brother only as the “son” of the father. It means that the father strives to recover the relationship between brothers. And then, the father continuously reminds the older son of the miracle, the resurrection of lost that, as to be considered, occurs when someone returns from sin to a new life in the father’s house. That is to say, the younger son was dead by having sinned to his father in the broken relationship, and he has come to life in recovering the relationship by the repentance of the younger son and the forgiveness of the father.
By the father’s defense, this story is now ended. But it does not end, as we wish it might have, with the older son joining the party. However, if the older son did not get in on the party, a relationship with his brother and also with his father cannot be recovered and moreover, he is lost and dead from the time.

jems said...

ang tapat at di-tapat na alipin
Ang parabulang ito ni Jesus ay matatagpuan sa Mateo 24:45-51. Isa ang parabulang ito sa mga napinggan ng mga Guro ng Kautusan na siyang nagtulak sa kanila upang ipapatay at mapako si Jesus sa krus. Sa kwento ni Jesus lumalabas na lahat ay alipin subalit may lider din ng mga alipin na siyang dapat magturo ng tama sa mga kapwa n'ya alipin. Ang nakita ni Jesus ay ang di tamang ginagawa at di tamang pagtuturo ng mga Guro ng Kauutusan. Hindi nakikita sa kanilang mga buhay ang kanilang itinuturo sa halip nais nilang ituring sila na 'mataas' sa kanilang lipunan, nais nilang igalang sila ng mga tao at bigyang pugay. Sila ang dapat na inaasahan ng Panginoon na mangalaga sa kawan subalit hindi sila nasumpungan na gumagawa sa kung ano ang ipinagkatiwala sa kanila ng Diyos, at ginagawa lamang nila kung ano ang kanilang maibigan. Ang 'outcome' sa pagawa nila ng kanilang ibig ay marami na pala silang nasasaktan na kapwa din nila alipin. Kaya ang mga Guro ng Kautusan ay galit na galit kay Jesus sapagkat sa kanilang pang-unawa ginagawa nila ang kanilang tungkulin but they were surprise dahil iba ang sinabi ni Jesus, sila'y inihalintulad sa di tapat na alipin na ginagawa lamang ang kanilang maibigan.

Tindog Pag iriba said...

mauragon ang saindong mga posisyon, yan man, alagad magayon kung ini isina sabuhay ta asin namamatian kan satung mga katugangan na direktang nakamamati kan matinding pagtios, alagad dai nanggad natataoan kan marhay na linaw kan sa saindang kinamomogtakan.An mga parabola na ini gamiton ta tanganin magtao ning linaw sa mga isyuna direktang minaparumpag sa kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino, bako itong buta at bungog kita sa mga kahagadan kan satung mga pag-iriba.

randy U said...

Randy G. Ugaddan
Mdiv Senior.

Matthew 20:1-16
Workers in the vineyard

To show that the Christians real motive for work is service to God and his fellow men, and not profit for himself.

In the book of Matthew they present the two great principles the right of every man to work, and the right of every man to a living wage for his work. But actually the master might have cut the pay of the late comers, but he knew well that if he had done so, there would have been hungry homes that night and on the morrow. Even in the book of lamentations 3:19-26 two great truths for the Christian workers will make to our daily work.

Work a friend or a foe? Is work something to be avoided if possible supposed the boss is out and you spend a morning in idleness, does that do you good or harm and if you work after the time for closing to finish the job you are doing, do you suffer or do you benefit.

Although: Paul’s comment on work and illness in 1thessalonians 5:12-14 even in the 2thessalonians 3:6-12 he condemns the idleness in strong and he refers to his own and how he did more than required of him that work is not a foe it is a very good friend! That nothing more tragic in this world than man who are unemployed, a man knowledge and strength are rusting in the idleness because he has no work to do the unemployed who flock daily to the Employed but the (equivalent of this is a market place in the book of Matthew 20) that can witness to the tragedy of going home without work but from the center to see the worried wife and hungry children.

Work means or an end? The spirit in which we work makes all difference. But Peter said to Jesus “Master, we left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it? “And he wanted to know what reward they were going to get. In the parable it is stressed that the first comers come to an agreement with the master (Matthew 20: 2-13). Maybe they haggled. Certainly and the spirit was, “we work if you give us so much to pay” they work simply as means to get money for food and to pay lodging. Of course we expect to be paid for the work we do. But work is worth while for its own sake. But it is an end not just a means it is the patter of life which is God’s ordained us,

Is all work worth doing? Some kinds of work should be avoided at all cost you know: making or selling alcoholics’ drinks and etc…what if your work poorly paid, or if you feel the owner makes excessive profit? In Colossians 3:23 – 24 – but all means look for a more suitable job, asking God to lead you but so long as you stay in the old job, put all your effort into it because you are serving the lord and not men.

Randy G. Ugaddan
Mdiv. Senior

The Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard
Marcos 12: 1-12

Adhikain\ Aim.

Para magkaroon ng linaw ang lahat ng talento na ibinigay ng Dios sa atin, kailangan na magamit ito sa magandang paraan.

Para maipakita na ang Dios ay matiaga at ang mga suwail ay mapaparusahan.

Ibinigay ng Diyos sa atin ang kanyang kalooban upang makamit natin ang buhay na walang hanggan.


Mayroong isang tao na nagtatanim ng maraming ubas. At binakuran niya ang kanyang ubusan, hanggang sa gumawa siya ng kanyang pagpigaan ng ubas at nagpatayo ng torre para mabantayan niya ito. Pagkatapos, ay isinanla niya ang kanyang ubasan sa mga magsasaka at umalis o lumuwas at nagpunta sa kabilang bayan.

At nang dumating na ang anihan sa ubasan, inutusan niya ang kanyang tauhan para pumunta sa mga magsasaka at kunin yung para sa kanya, pero ito ay hinuli nang mga magsasaka at ito ay sinuntok at pinauwi nila na kamay-kamay ibig sabihin walan siyang nakuha para sa kanyang Amo.

Ang trabaho ng Dios ay ipinagkatiwala Niya sa mga tao, ito ay isang biyaya ng Dios. Na ang trabaho natin ay ang maibahagi ang kanyang ebanghelyo sa mga tao para purihin at sumunod sila sa kanya. Dahil ang Dios ay nagtatrabaho para sa ating lahat na sumasampalataya.

Iba-iba ang mga talento na ibinigay niya sa atin at gusto niya na tayo ay magtrabaho ng mabuti.para sa kanyang kalooban (Mateo 16:27) sapagkat darating ang anak ng tao na taglay ang dakilang kapangyarihan ng kanyang Ama at kasama ang kanyang mga anghel. Sa panahong yao’y gagantimpalahan niya ang bawat tao ayon sa kanyang ginawa.

Elmer S. Victoria said...

1. The Visiting Forces Agreement, more specifically the Balikatan Exercises, has turned Mindanao into the US’ Armed Forces “new base” in South East Asia. Questions were raised during the forum on America’s involvement in the negotiations between the GRP and the MILF. What do you think is the United States’ agenda in all these?
The setting up of US camp in Mindanao was actually linked to Osama Bin laden before, where they will join operations against Muslim rebels. A new phase in Washington’s against terror. It is because this is what the MDT and the VFA has defined in terms of external aggression. But the VFA agreement provides only training for the Filipino soldiers. But what happens is an actual combat mission and that is not included either in the MDT or VFA. Last 2002 if reminded of what Ex. Senator Francisco Tatad, this is a deceptive and treasonous move because the Philippines became the virtual extension of war and this is a big mess for us Filipino. Their involvement in the battle against the Muslim affects many lives and properties. Their agenda is quiet obscure is to control not only economic system but domination in the whole country.
2. Mindanao has traditionally been called “The Land of Promise.” Unfortunately, the years have shown that what the Moslems and Lumads have experienced are a bunch of broken promises. Moreover, most of the island’s real estate is controlled by trans-nationals and the landed-rich, what do you think can the churches do to respond to the Moslems and Lumads’ clamor for land and liberty?
I do not know if the church has the credibility to respond to this challenges and crisis…because hopefully the church main aspects of the ministry are to identify himself to the people who are victims of this system of inhuman actions. Because as of today the emphasis of our church is to be more institution building rather than building a just, participatory and democratic society and sharing the life of abundance with the millions of Moslem living under the inhuman conditions. The church should be involved in agitations, in solidarity with all other existing people’s movements against unrighteousness’ actions.
3. What concerns raised during the forum challenged you? Please share at least three and discuss how you intend to address these challenges?
The displacement of the bangsamoro, The total control of vast land of transnational corporation (the security of their land) and lastly, the unending war against them. I will just comment based on the experience of people now in Zambales, three years ago when one of the high official in the province commission the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to subdivide the Resettlement area into Forest Zone and Alienable and Disposable Zone. So that it has possible to be titled the Alienable and Disposable Area for him to have own the vast area of land. But unfortunately the community decided to fight for this and ask for a Dialogue… after a long process of dialogue with the churches to the government, the settlers got the favor...
But because they were aggressive to own that land, the community facing now struggle against the military send by the government and viewed the community as sympathizers of the New Peoples Army. But again…. The need of the unity among people and with concerted efforts of individuals, churches and concern citizens is necessary.
4. What does the phrase “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter” mean in the light of the Mindanao crisis and America’s “War on Terror”?
It’s very difficult to define who the terrorist are and who the freedom fighters are. From the perspective of the Americans, they were sending here to fights against the so called Moslem terrorist, we are reminded by what William Mc kinley, the 25th President of the United States when God allegedly called him to keep the Philippines. But for our Brother Moslem, they were the one who are truly freedom fighter because they only defend their rights of self determination against the global dominations.
5. How do we integrate all these concerns in our Sunday schools and Bible studies? Which specific biblical passages would help inform our group discussions?
Yes, the very powerful tools in changing the society are to have such kind of ministry in the church. Through Sunday school and bible study with intentional and a very serious ministry to open the minds and hearts of the people from a mere activities which we think that is more spiritual rather than promoting a just society. By using Biblico theological Reflections which probably has a relationship with their struggle, clamor and for their dreams. Promotions of Sunday school and Bible study materials that would help to enlighten the people and wake up from a very long year of being asleep, blind and deaf. But how can we battle the mass media? But when the church has unity to promote greater awareness of these issues at all levels we surely overcome this crisis.

Elmer S. Victoria Prof. Velunta/Prof. Tapia
Master of Divinity/Senior Bible Study Curriculum Development

oke3da said...

(as prepared by Joey Y. Cunanan and Elmer S. Victoria)

Assigned readings:

The healing of the leper (Mk. 1.40-45)

1. Significant terms in the reading:


2. Social Analysis: (related words found in the text)

Pity – knelt, begged, touched
Clean – show, offer, came
Warning – proclaim, spread, testimony

2.1 Description of the terms:

Pity – the feeling of the leper to him/herself; connote that of Jesus to the leper.
Clean – this happened with the leper upon “approaching” Jesus.
Warning – was given to the leper by Jesus.

2.2 History:

Pity – this emotional feeling suggests the situation of the people being oppressed and being denied not only of their rights (or basic rights) but most likely their right to live or exist.
Clean – this word connotes the situation of the religious leaders as being “upright” and “blameless” in their own sight and “sound” judgment. Certain groups impose rules or regulations for the individuals or people to observe and follow, in order to be accepted.
Warning – this is being given to those who do not conform to certain rules and have the tendency to break the existing norms of a given society or culture. The extreme result of such disobedience leads to isolation, expulsion, excommunication, exclusion and others (like in the case of the leper).

2.3 Knowledge:

Pity – an emotional feeling common to every living individual though not all practice to maintain such.

Clean – something or someone is considered clean if it has undergone cleaning rights and has passed through thorough tests, accompanied by certification/s or accreditations from existing agencies or groups to augment a certain claim.

Warning – this is a word often associated with punishment, apprehension and other various forms of imposing rules or guidelines that accompany sanctions or rewards (if done properly). But it this situation, the “warning” was not taken lightly but it was performed seriously, it was when the cleaned person went out to share his “healing” experience with Christ.

2.4 Models:

Being pitied is one of the lowest forms of giving importance to a person, like beggars. In the culture existing during the time of Jesus, beggars are often times pitied upon by others, though very seldom would people give them anything (e.g. alms). In the early years of the Christian church, believers were ridiculed by saying “they (Christians) even cared for our own poor” and that “charlatans” (posing as beggars) even benefited from the “kindness” of the early believers. Being clean is often associated with being accepted by a group, being “in”, like in fashion, though you are not a trend setter, yet still you could manage to get yourself in to the group. Cleanliness during the time of Jesus is often looked at as something that is manifested physically, not in the inside, or using the term (outside-in) rather than inside-out. Warnings are summons made to those who go “against the flow” of the society, the “outcasts”, “rebels”, “outlaws”, “sinners” and there are a thousand and one ways to “label” an individual/group as such. This labeling idea “dehumanizes” and takes away the “value” and “presence” of a human, as invented by man to downgrade other fellow beings. The extreme results of such warnings often lead to punishment, banishment and worst even death.

3. Relevant teaching:

The ministry that was given to us by Jesus is one that goes “against the flow” of the highly structuralized society. Being pitied upon by the historical Jesus is one kind of an unforgettable experience. This was the experience of the leper, like a beggar, the basic need of a person, is someone who would notice him/her existence, though it was very clear that the leper never received any. The issue of existence or recognizing the existence of any individual is very valuable to Jesus. Women, children, widow, sick, “demon-possessed”, elderly, disabled, outcast, and slaves are some of the many existing groups that the society during their time, even in ours would NOT accept because of “what” they are (being), not “who” they are (in the sight of God). Second, being clean means the issue of being reinstated in their previous (if not new) status. The leper found what he/she had been longing for in the presence of Jesus, that’s why that person truly went home “forgetting” Jesus’ instruction, that is to see the temple priest to “certify” the event of cleaning, to hand over the piece of paper that would verify the validity of the event. Thirdly, Jesus’ warning was not actually a reprimand; rather it was an encouragement for the leper and to the others to do the same thing, “go back”, which happened unexpectedly, (the leper went back to the community/family where he/she really belonged to). Words are important tools of oppression, repression, destruction; persecution and domination, as stated by Dela Torre “use the tools (of the empire)”. The way it was said by Dela Torre, he was probably referring to the indirect use of words to counteract/attack the empire; and or at the same time uplift those who have been abused, maltreated, neglected, abandoned by the empire.

The Gerasene Demoniac (Mk. 5.1-20)

1. Significant terms in the reading:

2. Social Analysis: (related words found in the text)

Other – city, sea, country, side, distance, apart.
Afraid – shout, (to) tell, demoniac, howling, bruising (ant. amazed)
Happen – see, came, immediately, ran, met, lived, restrain, wrenched, broke,
strength, subdue, bowed, etc.

2.1 Description of the terms:

Other – this pertains to the location of a thing, person, or situation.
Afraid – this pertains to the feeling of the people around the person “possessed”. Happen - this pertains to events and everything that took place and will follow.

2.2 History:

Other –This is the direction where Jesus went to (i.e. travel), that is the land of the
Afraid –This was also the feeling of the people who heard the conversation of
Jesus and of the possessed man. This also pertains to the feeling of the people when they see and hear of news regarding the arrival of Roman soldiers or other unexpected and unwarranted information.
Happen - this pertains to events and everything that took place and will follow.

2.3 Knowledge:

The (other) place where Jesus went to was inhabited by people under the control of the soldiers positioned by Roman government. There were probably detachments which addressed the concerns/needs (?) of the restrained people. Swine-raising is not prohibited in that place, probably because Roman soldiers were fond of eating animal meat. Being caught in the middle of wars, and unexpected upheavals would certainly result to losing of livelihood and they could not afford to experience one. Since their place is near the Lake of Galilee, there is a possibility that their animal wastes go down straight to that body of water, probably causing water pollution. They have been branded as “traitors” by their own “relatives”, the Jews, and have been called “swine” (dirty) as something wallowing in the puddle of mud. But what makes them dirty is not their place, nor their livelihood, but their existing culture. The people have developed a certain culture of fear and passivity. Fear from wars, Roman soldiers, destruction and disturbance from their daily living. Passivity in the form letting these external influences dominate them and leave them empty-handed (though possibly not at all times). People become passive when they have seen and experienced an event that almost broke or shattered them into pieces.

2.4 Models:

Fear of the unknown is inherent among people, much more of the known that causes more discomfort than pleasure. We coined this term for those living in the forests (“jungle people”). Even those living in the suburban, city and metropolis fear something that is unknown to them (accidents, drug-related crimes and others) which would possibly happen. We even fear unpredictable events that in a nick of time would suddenly happen (wars, earthquakes, tsunami in Indonesia, volcanic eruption like in Zambales, major accidents, catastrophes, nature and man made calamities). We cannot escape the fact that we are enclosed in a situation unknown to us, which is our reality. We are bound by events, and most of the times these events make us or break us. But these should not hinder us to make our lives meaningful, if not totally free from the unwanted effects of the society.

3. Relevant teaching:

In the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, he is always moving around places. He can’t be found in a particular location that is probably why his detractors/nemesis could not know his whereabouts instantly. His visit there in Gerasenes was not just for sight-seeing or recreation, his visit there was for a purpose. He was well abreast of the situation of that place, so he went there. As church leaders, we should be well informed of the situation, in other words, be well-rounded. Our views regarding “reading the signs of the time” should help us address the needs of a particular place or situation. Upon entering the land, he probably noticed that nobody’s welcoming him, so he went on his travel. As church leaders, most of the time, we are not accepted by the people whom we visit. We are left alone to entertain ourselves. He was on the middle part of his travel when a “possessed” man welcomed him and had a not so “light” conversation. He knew right at that moment the problem, of the man, the people and the land. There are instances in life that someone “unexpected” welcomes us and begins a discourse. They were afraid of the loud conversation, confrontation and what will follow next. They were afraid for a long time of the (un)friendly “visits” of the Roman soldiers. Most of the time, they were afraid when an unfamiliar person visit their place. Friendly or unfriendly discourses usually happen when we encounter someone whom we are not familiar with. And this is a common problem to most of us as church workers, when we are not well versed with the discourse, more so, not interested with the topic or the person involved with. This sadly results to arguing, shouting or debating. The healed person who wanted to follow Jesus (feared) those he left in his family, or his community would not accept him again. This becomes a dilemma when fear engulfs a person and spreads like a disease in the community/society. Like in a typical Filipino movie, people surely would flood the cinemas and watch what will happen to their hero/villain character, most especially if FPJ would be the underdog. The people who heard and (probably) witnessed the conversation were anxiously waiting who will take the upper hand or “win”, and who will “go home crying”. Obviously, there will be “others” who will surely watch and do nothing, which not something new or strange to us, in fact also biblical. This behavior is persisting in our society today, where more people would not even dare to lift “a single finger”, not even a glance, to see what is happening around.

Jesus, the Centurion and the Servant (Mt. 8.5-13)

1. Significant terms in the reading:

Lie (position of a person/thing)

2. Social Analysis: (related words found in the text)

Lie – servant, slave, paralyzed, distress
Appeal – say, speak, under, go, do, heard, said, amazed, tell, cure, terrible
i/my – also, am, many, thrown, your

2.1 Description of the terms:

Lie – this was the situation of the slave/servant.
Appeal – this said by the Roman centurion/leader to Jesus.
I/my – though is a pronoun, it refers to the person speaking

2.2 History:

Lie – this was the physical condition of the slave whom the Roman centurion
pleaded for.
Appeal – this pertains to words that will somehow appease or get the attention
of the person being sought.
I/my – these words used by the Roman centurion pertains to himself and those
around him or does under his custody (like the slave servant).

2.3 Knowledge:

It was very common during the Roman Empire that slavery was rampant, accepted and practiced by ruling and it was said that there were around 60 million slaves that were sold, traded, abused and mistreated. It was also common for Roman centurions to have many slaves coming from countries losing from battles and from those that just gave the fight to prevent more damage. Slaves can be sold, traded, killed and branded (like that of a cow) where the name of the owner was “laid” on the skin of the slave. It prevents the slave from getting away from the master/owner. When a slave runs away from its owner, it can be brought back easily because the slave has the name of its owner placed on him/her. It was believed that the Romans were the most cruel and brutal in fighting and wars and had invented the most gruesome punishments (i.e. hanging on the cross of criminals) the world could ever imagine. The Roman centurion had a slave that was sick or probably bed-ridden, and the reason for such was not described to us in the passage. I assume that the slave suffered severe punishment from this person that is why he would not want Jesus to go to their place and have the slave seen and healed. There is also a probability that Jesus knew this centurion and how this person treats his slaves.

2.4 Models:

Slaves or the act of slavery is not a new issue; in fact, history tells us that even former presidents of the USA during the early part had slaves under their custody. Persons who become slaves had been dehumanized and they are treated as objects, things and possessions. Once a slave can no longer perform its duty, there are so many things that its owner can do to it. Slavery nowadays come in new packaging, gone were the times when slaves are in chains/shackles and carry behind them a huge metal ball that prevents them from escaping or running away. Slavery now comes through SALARY, when a person cannot fully express his/her potentialities as an individual then that person is a slave.

3. Relevant teaching:

Jesus speaks here about the realities of life, there are masters and slaves. Masters own the slaves, and the salves should serve their masters. In the same breath, Jesus liberates those in bondage; those who have been enslaved by someone greater and more capable than to do such. Jesus is the freedom giver, the liberator (of the oppressed, slaves) of the enslaved hearts, mind and situation. Jesus teaches here in this passage the equality of all persons and the possibility that those who call themselves as “Christians” will not become a part of God’s reign. Jesus calls the attention of his listeners and speaks to us now regarding this reality, expect the unexpected.