The Parables of Jesus

We have concluded our study on the Parables of Jesus and I thought it appropriate to finish with a small review of what we have learned. Jesus spoke in Parables that those who had noble hearts with ears that would hear and eyes that would see would understand what He was teaching them. Many in the time of Jesus and today do not want to hear the mysteries of the Kingdom of God because they do not believe. The Disciples of Jesus asked the same question, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” when they did Jesus answered them with these words. “And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’ “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:10-17) The mysteries of the Kingdom of God are for those who have hearts that will believe, ears that will hear, and eyes that will see the truth that will set them free.

From the Parables that Jesus spoke we can learn much about the Kingdom of God itself. The Kingdom will grow and spread in spite of all the efforts of Satan to prevent it. As we learned in the (“Wheat and the Tears.”) (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) For now in the common grace of God the wheat and the tares grow together but in the end they will be separated to receive their just reward. “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30) Those who have the righteousness of our Lord will shine forth as the sun and this promise is for those who have ears that will hear. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:43)

The Kingdom itself will have a small start here on the earth but it will spread throughout the whole of the earth and grow until the end of the age. It will continue to grow till it is the largest plant in God’s garden. (The Mustard Seed) (Matthew 13:31-32) “When it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:32)

The influence of the Kingdom of God may not be readily seen in the eyes of the world but it will grow throughout the whole world. (The Leaven) (Matthew 13:33) “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

Many have tried to stop the growth of God’s Kingdom but none have even slowed its growth. The Kingdom has always grown more rapidly under persecution and its growth is beyond the ability of men of the world to comprehend. The power of God’s Kingdom is found in the power of His Word. (The Growing Seed) (Mark 4:26-29) “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows–how, he himself does not know.” (Mark 4:26-27)

There is nothing in all creation than to have the Kingdom of God as your destination. One can search and find the Kingdom as in the “Pearl of Great Price,” (Matthew 13:45-46) or can stumble upon it as a “Hidden Treasure,” (Matthew 13:44) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Both the righteous and the unrighteous are drawn into the allure of the Kingdom of God. But those who are not true followers of Jesus Christ and are wicked in heart will be separated from the just. (The Dragnet) (Matthew 13:47-50) “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:49-50)

Some will think by their privilege the Kingdom of God will be there’s but it will be taken from them and given to those who will appreciate it and will bear fruit for it. (“The Wicked Vinedressers” (Matthew 21:33-36) (“The Wedding Feast”) (Matthew 22:1-14) (“The Barren Fig Tree”) (Luke 13:6-9) and (“The Great Supper”) (Luke 14:15-24) “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

By our study of the Parables of Jesus we can learn much of the disciples of the Kingdom of God. They are the ones who have ears to hear the truths of the Kingdom and have good and noble hearts and will bear fruit by sharing the Word of the Kingdom. (“The Sower”) (Matthew 13:3-9; 18:23) “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23)

Those who have learned the ways of the Kingdom of God will have treasure both that is old and new. (“The Householder”) (Matthew 13:51-52) “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:52)

The disciples of the Kingdom of God are merciful as God is merciful. (“The Unforgiving Servant”) (Matthew 18:21-35) “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:35) Neither do the disciples of the Kingdom of God have a mercenary spirit. (“The Laborers in the Vineyard”) (Matthew 20:1-16) “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15)

As the Lord Jesus abided in the will of the Father so too do the disciples of the Kingdom. (“The Two Sons”) (Matthew 21:28-32) “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” (Matthew 21:32)

The disciples of the Kingdom of God are always watchful and in prayer for the return of their Lord. They are led by His Spirit and keep themselves prepared for when He comes for them. (“The Wise And Foolish Virgins”) (Matthew 25:1-13) “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

The disciples make good use of what their Lord has given them and are productive while they wait for His return. (“The Talents”) (Matthew 25:14-30) and (“The Minas”) (Luke 19:11-27) “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” (Luke 19:27)

The gratitude the disciples have for the salvation that has been given to them is related to their understanding of the forgiveness that has been given. (“The Debtors”) (Luke 7:41-43) “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47)

The disciples of the Kingdom of God are willing to help their neighbor regardless of their need. (“The Good Samaritan”) (Luke 10:25-37) “And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:37)

The disciples are persistent in their prayers with their Lord. (“The Friend at Midnight”) (Luke 11:1-13) and (“The Persistent Widow”) (Luke 18:1-8) “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)

Life is not the possessions that one has from this world, as the disciples of the Kingdom of God know it is the spiritual blessings found in the Kingdom of God. (“The Rich Fool”) (Luke 12:13-21) “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21)

The disciples of the Kingdom of God are humble towards others, (“Taking the Lowest Place”) (Luke 14:7-11) and in their prayers to God. (“The Pharisee and the Tax Collector”) (Luke 18:9-14) “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

The disciples of the Kingdom of God make good use of their material things. (“The Unjust Steward”) (Luke 16:1-15) As now is the time to make things right between them and God. (“The Rich Man and Lazarus”) (Luke 16:19-31) “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)

At the end of their race the disciples of the Kingdom of God know that they are not worthy of God’s grace that they have received. They know that they had done only that which was their duty to do. (“The Unprofitable Servants”) (Luke 17:7-10) “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.” (Luke 17:10)

By Jesus’ teaching in Parables we can learn of the King of the Kingdom. In the Parables of the (“The Lost Sheep”) (Luke 15:1-7) and “The Lost Coin”) (Luke 15:8-10) we learn of the great love that the King has for the ones who are lost to His salvation. We also see how all of Heaven rejoices when a lost sinner is saved. “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:7, 10)

We learn how quick the Heavenly Father is to receive a lost sinner when he repents and turns toward the Kingdom of God. (“The Prodigal Son”) (Luke 15:11-32) “But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.” (Luke 15:32)

We also see through many of the Parables that one day the King will bring us all into judgment of the service we have or have not rendered for the Kingdom. We all will be accountable for our time, talent, and treasure that He has given to us to use for His glory.

The Parables of Jesus are a wonderful collection of lessons for us to consider and to bathe in the truth of. The Parables are of things that many of the Prophets and righteous men had desired to hear but did not hear until Jesus came. But they remained faithful to the promises of God. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:16-17)

Through the Parables we have been privileged to learn the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. “And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” (Matthew 13:10-11)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 2, 2017

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