Week 11: More Parables of Jesus

Half way

We’re now halfway through our Essential Jesus Challenge!

Our next five readings cover perhaps the greatest theme that emerges from Jesus’ parables:  The Kingdom of God.  They also cover some of the ‘I am…’ statements of Jesus:  … the Good Shepherd, the Vine, and so on.

53 thoughts on “Week 11: More Parables of Jesus”

    1. From Essential Jesus, Even though most of us don’t live in farming societies today, Jesus’ reflections on where the seed fell still communicate an important truth about the Word of God: it must be received and nurtured in order to bear fruit in our lives.

      Like

    2. From Essential Jesus, Taken together, these parables help us see a more complete picture of the kingdom of heaven: It starts small (like seeds); and has a unique power to grow (like a mustard seed or yeast); it’s worth everything you have to obtain (like hidden treasure or a pearl) and eventually it will include many, many people (like a net).

      Like

    3. Matthew 13 v8: Some other seed fell on good ground where it grew and produced a crop. Some plants made a hundred times more, some made sixty times more, and some made thirty times more.

      Like

    4. vv34, 35: Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people; He always used stories to teach them. This is as the prophet said: ‘I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made.’ (Psalm 78:2)

      Like

    5. v44: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so happy that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field.

      Like

    1. Essential Jesus Day 52, The parable seems easy to understand at first: workers are hired at different points throughout the day with the promise of fair wages at the end. The suspense builds as the ‘early birds’ anticipate how much overtime they might receive. But that’s where the plot gets complicated; everyone receives the same amount. Those who worked twelve hours are paid the same as those who worked one hour. Now we are really confused. Is the landowner fair or unfair?

      Like

    2. Essential Jesus Day 52, But Jesus is using this seeming unfairness to make a point. The Kingdom of Heaven cannot be earned; it’s a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Instead of calling this ‘the parable of the workers in the vineyard’, it might be more accurate to call it ‘the parable of the generous landowner’. Our salvation is dependent o God’s generosity – not on our good works.

      Like

      1. Essential Jesus Day 52, This was a tough message for the religious do-gooders of Jesus’ day to accept. If anyone deserved to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, it was them – so they thought. But religion based on human effort and earning salvation leads away from God and into pride.

        Like

      2. It’s Lent at the moment. One of my friends has given up chocolate, others are probably doing other things ‘for Lent’. On the radio this year I heard someone say something like, ‘This year for Lent I’m giving up the idea that I can earn anything with God by what I do’.

        Like

      1. Essential Jesus Day 52, The truth is, God wants everyone to enjoy the benefits of His Kingdom. Instead of grumbling about who deserves to be in or out (vv 11, 12) the workers would have done better to celebrate the generosity of the landowner. That’s what it will be like in the Kingdom of Heaven.

        Like

    3. Essential Jesus Day 52, Jesus taught that His salvation is a free gift to us. Why do you think most religions of the world are based on the idea that we can somehow earn salvation?

      Like

    1. Matthew 25 v10: So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.

      Like

      1. Essential Jesus Day 53, In earlier parables , Jesus made the point that God invites everyone to enter His Kingdom. But now He says that some won’t accept that invitation; some will be left out and it won’t be God’s fault.

        Like

    2. v21, 23: The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’

      Like

    1. John 10:4, 5: When He brings all His sheep out, He goes ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger. They will run away from him because they don’t know his voice.

      Like

      1. Much later in 2015 we are planning a series Yes We Can! in Explore to recognise how well we already hear God’s voice (v4) and how we can hear and relate to Him better.

        Like

      1. Essential Jesus Day 55: Jesus is saying He’s the vine, His followers are the branches and God is the gardener… The gardener is in charge, the vine holds everything together; the branches can’t live apart from the vine.

        Like

    1. v15: I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father.

      Like

    2. William Barclay writes that Israel is commonly pictured in the Old Testament as the vine or vineyard of God, but always a degenerating vine, running wild. It is as if Jesus was saying: ‘You think that because you belong to the nation of Israel you are a branch of the true vine of God. But the nation is a degenerate vine, as all your prophets saw. It is I that am the true vine. The fact that you are a Jew will not save you. The only thing that can save you is to have an intimate living friendship with me, for I am the vine of God and you must be branches connected to me.’ Jesus was laying it down that not Jewish blood but faith in Him was the way to God’s salvation. No external qualification can set a man right with God, only the friendship of Jesus Christ can do that.

      Like

    1. Essential Jesus Day 55: The main job of the branches was to bear fruit: That is, for Jesus’ followers to do the things He’s been instructed them to do (vv 7, 8). That’s still true today. The most important thing we can do in life is not to be successful, or wealthy or recognised. It’s to bear ‘fruit that will last’ (v16).

      Like

      1. Essential Jesus: In what ways should a Christian bear fruit? Should all believers bear the same kind of fruit? Is there some fruit that all followers of Christ should have?

        Like

      2. The way to spread Christianity is to be a Christian. The way to bring others into the Christian faith is to show them the fruit of the Christian life. Jesus sends us out, not to argue men into Christianity, still less to threaten them into it, but to attract them into it; so to live that its fruits may be so wonderful that others will desire them for themselves. William Barclay

        Like

    2. We must remain in Jesus, keep contact with Him. We cannot do that unless we deliberately take steps to do it… It will mean arranging life, arranging prayer, arranging silence in such a way that there is never a day when we give ourselves a chance to forget Him. William Barclay

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s