Jesus was a master storyteller. Jesus knew that the mystery of The Kingdom of God was not the easiest to understand, particularly as it was so counter to the religious culture of the time when Jesus walked the earth. Jesus’s parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and all teach a lesson in our daily lives. However, while on the surface they can seem simple, it is imperative that we put them in the context of Jesus’s time to make sense of them. In short, they represent what God’s Kingdom should look like in the here and now (and yet to come) as well as how we should behave as followers of Jesus. Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, and central to the teachings of Jesus.
For the last eleven weeks, we have been spending time in some of Jesus’s parables. There are many more, however, there are some themes that I believe we have observed over the last weeks that we need to keep in mind going forward:
- We have a great example of how we should order our lives from the parables. Loving God, Serve God by Loving and Serving Others. It really is that simple.
- Jesus ministered to people that many other would not have even considered. This is evident in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
- God’s Kingdom here on earth shows us how we are to participate in that – and it is counter-cultural to the culture around us. In fact, it is downright strange how we see from Jesus’s example compared to how our culture would suggest we act.
These are just a sampling of the takeaways we could draw from over the last eleven weeks. As we conclude this series, I challenge and encourage each of us to come back to the parables often. We will see how Jesus reacted to situations and by that example creates a pattern for us to follow. I believe as we come back to them often, God will continue to reveal more about God’s self and Jesus and The Holy Spirit as we do.
On the journey together,
~ Pastor Todd