Sunday, March 20, 2011

Studying the Parables

As mentioned in the very first post (February 14), we are working on a new study based on the parables of Jesus.  We are taking a somewhat different approach to the parables and hope to share some new insights into the parables.

In this post I want to give a little background on our approach.  Each parable has a physical or natural element.  For instance, it really does help to build on a solid foundation, rather than sand.  When the literal storms arise you need protection from the flooding waters.

Next, the parables also have a spiritual or eternal component.  A solid foundation for life is to obey the teachings of Jesus.  When the storms of life gather, you need protection from doubt, discouragement, and hopelessness.

In our study guide we are also going to consider the kingdom aspect of the parables.  These lessons taught by Jesus helped prepare His disciples for a major change in God’s work on earth.

Up to this time God’s people was the Nation of Israel.  After the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s work on earth would be through the church.  As Jesus prepared His followers for this change He used parables to help them be prepared.

What was the change in the parable of the solid foundation?  Before this time the people had the Law, the Prophets, books of History, and books of Poetry.  Jesus made it clear that those building a solid foundation would be “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them.”  (Luke 6:47)

This is just one simple example of how we can see Jesus preparing His disciples to be leaders, followers, and workers in the coming Kingdom of God.

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