Hi blog family and friends! I pray that all is going well for you and yours. We have had a little drama this past week. My sister had to be admitted to the hospital with complications associated with her lupus. She is doing great now and home recovering nicely. God is good!
Today, I want to share why Jesus taught using parables and what He was conveying to the crowds with each one. Jesus is a Master of communications and knows how to take the unknown and make it come alive and applicable to our lives. In teaching this way, He gave us a perfect example to follow.
Let’s pray. Father God, we come to You in preparation to learn at the feet of Jesus. We ask that our study of the Gospel Parables lead to a greater understanding of our Gospel Commission. We thank You for Jesus’ example and the indwelling of Your Spirit as we explore some of the Parables Jesus used to impart Heavenly knowledge to the crowds in and around Jerusalem. Thank You for hearing our prayer and fulfilling Your promise in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
I have chosen a few from the chart below. They are Parables about God’s Kingdom and I would like to discuss The Sower and the Seed first. I have chosen to use a list format because I believe the important details are easier to see and remember. I will start out with a brief overview and then list the facts and their application to our lives.
In The Sower and the Seed Parable, Jesus is talking to the crowds about a farmer that went out to sow seed. While he was sowing, the seeds fell on 4 different surfaces. The difference in seed placement impacted the outcome dramatically. (Matthew 13:3-23)
- Key Message – 4 types of surfaces received the seed – represents people receiving the Gospel.
- The farmer sowed the seeds – the farmer represents God’s people sharing the Gospel.
- 4 surfaces – wayside, stony ground, among thorns, and on good soil. – represents a person’s spiritual heart condition when hearing the Gospel of Jesus.
- Wayside seed was quickly consumed by birds – represents a busy, worldly lifestyle, no time for Jesus.
- Stony Ground had little soil, seed sprang up quickly but sun burned the plants up – represents an initial interest in the Gospel but self wants and routine quickly snuffs out the light.
- Among thorns the seeds grow but are choked out by the weeds – represents the world with all its temptations and attractions pulling us back in.
- Good soil the seeds sprout and mature to be harvested – representing a person who walks away from the world to be with Jesus, forsaking all else.
- Moral – keep sowing seeds knowing not all will come to fruition. But that every person saved is cause for a huge celebration in Heaven!
Jesus gives them a view of the Gospel by telling them a story about a very familiar topic – farming. When we relate the blessed news about Jesus, using day to day life applications, people more readily get what we are saying and will remember it longer by the association we have placed on their minds.
The next Parable I would like to discuss is The Wheat and the Tares. In this Parable, Jesus using the familiar topic of farming once again. He tells them of a servant who sows seeds in his master’s fields and retires for the night. While he is sleeping an enemy comes and plants tares (weeds that closely resemble wheat in early development) in his fields. When he tells his master about the tares, his master tells him to leave them until the harvest. (Matthew 13:24-43)
- Key Message – tearing out the tares before harvest will uproot and kill a portion of the good wheat. Good wheat pulled by accident because they look very similar.
- Good Wheat – God people that will be taken to Heaven at Jesus 2nd Coming.
- Tares – Satan and his followers, wolves in sheep’s clothing.
- Look Alikes – in early stages of development the tares look almost like the wheat but they are counterfeit Christians. Can be very hard to tell the difference.
- At Harvest – The tare’s differences are more apparent, until this happens, true Christians could be lost as a result of broken relationships, etc.
- Moral – only God knows the true heart of a person, where there are witnesses for Jesus, there will be agents of Satan. Let Jesus do the sorting.
Again, Jesus spoke to them in terms that were familiar and second nature to the people. In this method of storytelling, we are reminded of how Jesus always took care of the peoples’ physical and emotional needs before giving them the Gospel. In this situation, Jesus used a topic common to the people so that they didn’t get bogged down with the story setting and could focus on the purpose and outcome.
Next I want to discuss the Parable of The Pearl of Great Price. This Parable is about a merchant that collected pearls. One day, he found a pearl of great worth and quickly went to sell all that he owned so that he could purchase the valuable pearl. (Matthew 13:45-46)
- Key Message – Jesus gave all for our redemption, came to earth to save us.
- Merchant – represents Jesus coming down to earth in the form of a man to find His people and save them. To pay the penalty for all the sins.
- Pearl of great price – Jesus’ Church, those of us that keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17.
- Moral – Jesus sent His people out into the whole world that no one need be lost. We are of great value to Jesus. Soon He will come and take us home.
This Parable touches my heart in a special way because we are the pearl of great value. This is how Jesus sees us. What an honor, one that we did not earn, but is bestowed on us by our Lord and Savior because of His great love and passion for His Church.
Now I would like to discuss the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Sometimes this Parable is referred to as The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. The theme of this Parable is centered around the 2nd Coming, when Jesus will come back for His bride, the Church. The ten virgins had been invited to the wedding feast, but the Bridegroom was delayed. While they waited for the wedding to start, they fall asleep. Suddenly, they were awakened to hear that the Bridegroom had come. At this late hour, 5 of the virgins (foolish virgins) were low on oil for their lamps and ask for oil from their sister virgins (wise virgins.) The wise virgins told them no because then they would be in danger of running out as well. By the time the foolish virgins found oil and got to the entrance of the wedding feast, they could not enter because the door was shut. When they cried out for entrance, the Lord told them He did not know them.
- Key Message – Be ready for Jesus, always watchful for we do not know the day or hour.
- Wise Virgins – those that were full of the Holy Spirit and were prepared for His coming.
- Foolish Virgins – those that loved Jesus but still had a foot in both Heaven and the earth. They did not receive the full measure of the Holy Spirit.
- Bridegroom – Jesus is the Bridegroom coming to take His church home.
- Bride – God’s church, both the living and the dead in Christ.
- Moral – Keep your lamps trimmed with oil, pray daily and throughout the day for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. Things of Heaven are only discernible through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
NOTE: Psalm 89:19-21 says; “I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, my servant with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.” The holy oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the converted soul.
This last Parable sends a powerful message to the last day church of God. The Laodicean Church is known for its lukewarmness. This was the condition of the foolish virgins. They were half-hearted Christians and lost out on eternal life. Jesus calls for a full surrender to the power that is His to give. Jesus is willing to do all things to prosper us and to save us. All He asks from us is surrender – surrender to His will which He gladly manifests in us, surrender to His path upon which He carries us when we are weak, surrender to his unsurpassed love which He puts in our hearts. He has given and continues to give ALL, Amen!
Jesus set a great example before us, by using Parable to share the Gospel. If we share the Gospel as was His custom, then we will find that comparing familiar content with Bible truths and morals, we will draw people to Jesus and it becomes much easier for us. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about becoming like the people he was trying to reach. In other words, if he was reaching out to a group of fishermen, he didn’t use farming practices to get his point across. When he was witnessing to the rich, he didn’t talk and act like a poor slave. He reached out to people where they were and strove to be relatable. This is what Jesus did quite successfully. And so can we. By His grace, we shall follow in His footsteps.
Until the next blog, may the Holy Spirit teach you the ways of the Spirit. (John 14:26)