When I told someone that leading up to Christmas, we, as a church, were going to be looking at a series on parables, their reaction was, ‘But we know all the parables, there’s nothing left to learn.’ For a moment I thought, ‘Maybe you’re right!’, but when I looked closer at these amazing stories that Jesus told, I thought to myself, ‘There’s always something new that we can find.’
And so this October we will start in our series of Parables, looking at, amongst others, The Good Samaritan, The Two Brothers, The Sower and The Pearl of Great Price.
Jesus used many forms of teaching, but parables were very common for Him.
Why? For a couple of reasons, Look at Matthew 13:10-13
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Those who really did not desire to know God or what God wants would not get it.
But he also spoke in parables so those who desired to understand would remember and think through the implications and truly begin to understand.
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
He spoke in parables to help those who were willing to understand, to understand deeply.
It is my hope that through this series, that those of you who desire to understand more and live life in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, will listen hard, so that as we discuss the parables, the Lord would draw our hearts closer to his and compel us to action in life.
These stories while easy to understand on one level, were sometimes difficult to grasp for those who weren’t prepared to think about them. The word parable means ‘to lay beside’ and has the idea of placing two things together in order to teach a spiritual truth. These super stories are like mental ‘time bombs’ designed to be unforgettable and then to explode into meaning for those who are serious about listening to Jesus.
Matthew 13:9 says: ‘He who has ears let him hear’. The Lord is wondering what kind of listener you and I really are. The word ‘hear’ is used 19 times in Matthew 13 alone! Do we hear and heed what He says? If you’re not willing to ‘heed’ what God says, you won’t ‘hear’ what he says. To say it another way, if you’re willing to love God then you will listen. Spiritual illumination comes to those who are personally committed to follow Jesus.
So let’s look at these parables with open hearts and let’s see together what God can do!
Sunday 6th of October 2019
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