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Friday, August 30, 2013


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Jesus often taught using parables/illustrations. His parables often tell of the kingdom of God and the nature of God. Sometimes the meaning is clear, at other times it can seem hidden. Regardless, they almost always stretch us to consider a new way of living life.

Jesus' parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery that helps each convey a deeper message. His stories drawing from real life issues of agriculture, justice, greed, and love would capture the attention of crowds. Yet despite the simplicity, His stories were filled with eternal, spiritual truths. Sometimes the parables confronted the people of Jesus day and revealed their hearts. For example, in the parable of the wicked tenants, the Pharisees were confronted by Jesus, and instead of repenting, they became even angrier - their true hearts were revealed by the parable.

Jesus' parables refer to simple everyday things, such as a woman baking bread (parable of the Leaven), a man knocking on his neighbor's door at night (parable of the Friend at Night), or the aftermath of a roadside mugging (parable of the Good Samaritan); yet they deal with major religious themes, such as the growth of the Kingdom of God, the importance of prayer, the meaning of love, and a clear mandate to be compassionate.

Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, powerful, and central to understanding the teachings of Jesus.

 I believe the parables of Jesus invite us to imagine another world; a world where we can be both inspired as well as inspiring. For the last part of August, we will be looking at three of Jesus parables where we, the hearer, are invited to not only come and listen, not only come and enjoy, we are also invited to come and live differently. We are invited to come and be changed.

[Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]


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