OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE PARABLES OF JESUS
- 7/3 - The Parable of the Four Soils
- 7/10 - The Parable of the Good Samaritan
- 7/17 - The Parable of the Good Samaritan Question 2
- 8/7 - The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
- 8/14 - Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Costly Pearl
- 8/21 - The Parable of Persistent Persevering Prayer
- 9/4 - How to Wait - Part 1 (Matthew 25)
- 9/18 - How to Wait - Part 2 (Matthew 25)
In the Parables of Jesus we get to see what it truly means to live as "citizens of the heavenly kingdom" (Philippians 3:20). All too often parables are seen as moralistic stories about how to live a more God-pleasing life and how to be nicer to the people in our lives. While there are principles we can gain from the parables that do indeed help us think about our actions towards God and towards other people, these themes are not the primary focus of the Parables that Jesus taught.
In the Parables of Jesus the main focus of Jesus's teaching is to show those that were truly serious about following Jesus, what the Kingdom of Heaven truly looks like. The point of the parables of Jesus was to show His students and His disciples the beauty of what a life looks like that is lived in response to the merciful work that would be accomplished in the future on the cross. In the days and teachings of Jesus there was a mystery as to who Jesus truly was and also as to what Jesus came to accomplish, and so he taught those that were serious about learning these things in parables, and He did so, so that they would be able to unpack and see the truths of the mystery.
Today, for believers, there is no more mystery. There is no more mystery because we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ. The amazing grace of God has revealed the whole mystery to us in the power of the resurrection of Jesus and in the teachings in the rest of the New Testament. Today we can truly see what it means to live as an already, not yet citizen of the heavenly kingdom. And again by the grace of God we can use these teachings to measure our lives by so that we can see if we truly understand the depths of the gospel and what Jesus has done on our behalf.
The parables are a beautiful picture for us as to what it truly looks like to be a sold out follower of Jesus, and so as we journey through some of these parables this summer, my hope and my prayer is that we would take the teachings of Jesus in these parable and we would faithfully and honestly look at our lives and ask ourselves if the desire of our hearts is to live as citizens of the heavenly kingdom as we see described in the parables of Jesus.
Remember the parables are not a list of things that are needed to be done to gain favor with God, but instead the parables are grace for us to look at our lives and to see if we do truly love Jesus. A heart that has been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ will be a heart that desires to follow Jesus's teaching in the parables, not out of obligation, but instead out of gratitude for life, death, resurrection, and the imputation of Christ's righteousness in our lives. Together as we study the words of Jesus this summer, let's allow the gospel to change us from the inside out and let's allow our lives to be overcome by JOY.