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The Parables of the Kingdom

Published on:

5 May 2014

parables of Jesus
MEMORY VERSE:

Take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. Luke 8:18

TEXT: Luke 8:1-18; 13:18-21

We always sit at the feet of our parent to listen to their word of wisdom. Most of the time, they always support these words with illustrative stories. The stories always added strength to the theme of their discussions. No matter how useful and powerful their saying is to us, it is not any way comparable to the persuasive power of the parables of Jesus Christ.

The parables of Jesus Christ are simple and illustrative short stories that drive home both moral and spiritual maxims through which a man of understanding may draw inspiration to live righteously. Parables may be in form of metaphorical expressions that stick easily to our memory. Because of the relationship of these parables to day-to-day activities, they become very difficult to forget. The parables of Jesus Christ support the authenticity of the word of God. Several years before He came to this earth, King David prophesied one of the several ways that Jesus Christ will reach out to humanity with His message of deliverance. “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.” (Psalm 78:2-3) In Matthew 13:10-11, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” This is the more reason we should pay serious attention to these parables. The parables are often expressed in puzzling ways that create a craving for understanding in order to unlock the wisdom of God. The parables of Jesus Christ are divinely designed to place a man of understanding in the driving seat of making an informed decision. Patiently, through the guiding of the Holy Spirit, when the man eventually grasps the meaning of these sometimes puzzling parables, he will be able to apply the spiritual wisdom gained in taking spiritual decisions.

Another important to this to note is that, in all His parables, our Lord Jesus Christ always used enduring symbols, everyday things that existed in His time period and continue to exist in ours. These symbols drive home His teaching and the important spiritual principles, making it harder for a man to forget what he learned. Even if the principles are forgotten, the enduring characters sticks to mind and the parable lives on in our minds. There is one thing that is amazing about the parables of Jesus Christ: the wisdom they reveal cannot be outlived. Whenever a parable of Jesus Christ comes to the understanding of man, it always brings forth indisputable facts. The meaning of the parable becomes new every day as we continue to meditate more and more on God’s word. The rapid changes of the modern world cannot make His parables obsolete or outdated. These parables continue to manifest themselves in many current events.

THE MEANING AND SCOPE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven are interchangeably used and means the same things. It denotes a sphere where the rules of God (commandments of God as to, salvation, righteousness, holiness, love of God and humanity) is acknowledged. Wherever people live and yield to the precepts and revelation of the word of God, there exists the kingdom of God. Daniel prophesied about this kingdom as part of the interpretation of the Nebuchadnezzar dream in Daniel 2:44 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

The king of the kingdom of Heaven, Jesus Christ had admonished humanity in Matthew 6:33 to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

He also said in Matthew 12:28, “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” On several occasion, our Lord Jesus did this and gave power and authority to believers to cast out devils. In conclusion of this sub-topic, the born-again believers that are living according to the precepts of the word of God are already dwelling in the kingdom of God here on earth.
That is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:24-26, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

THE MEANING AND REVELATIONS OF THE PARABLES

At times when we consider this parable, we tend to blame the sower. We say, if the sower is careful, the seed will not fall on the path way. He would not allow the seed to fall on the rocky-soil, nor fall among the thorns. Contrary to the imagination of man, the Sower was extremely careful because He had only one piece of farm land. He sow on the farm land. The farm land is the heart of humanity. The sower had a high expectation that the seed will fall on a good ground in man’s heart and yield abundant fruit .

The reverberating character of the kingdom of God in the parable is “living.” We are told figuratively in Genesis 3:15, that Jesus Christ is the living Seed of the woman. We all agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of Living God. In John 6:63 the scripture says that the word of God is spirit and life, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The ground in which the seed falls upon is a living ground. That is why it is denoted as a good ground.

This parable explained the spiritual model of human receptivity to the word of God. In this model, there are four different quadrants upon which the gospel of Jesus Christ is received. Each of these quadrants expresses the level of fertility and the condition of the heart of man when he receives the message of salvation. In each of the quadrants there are spiritual factors that promote or inhibit the growth of the word of God. Each quadrant denotes a specific type of ground.

1. Seed fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up Spiritual instability leads to destruction of the word

2. Seed that fell on a rocky place where it did not have much soil—lack of nurturing leads to the destruction of the word

3. Seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked theplants—entanglement of worldly destroyed the word

4.Seed fell on good soil, where it produced fruits some– hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Spiritual fertility enhanced the excellent outcome

The fourth quadrant is interesting. The living seed which is the word of God, from the living Sower which is the Son of God was received upon the good ground. On this good ground there is spiritual nurturing, the seed is not exposed to spiritual dryness, and it is not subjected to worldly entanglement, there is no spiritual instability associated with the seed. That is why it produced abundance of fruits. The word of God will dwell in us richly and bear fruit, in Jesus name, Amen.

THE MASTER’S CHALLENGE TO HEARERS OF THE PARABLES—Luke 8:16-18; Matt 5:15-16

In verse 18, “Take heed therefore how ye hear” is suggesting that believers have responsibilities to process the word of God and apply the precepts to our lives. James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Romans 2:13, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” There is a reward to a good hearers and doers of the word—“Those who hath shall be given”— In Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Those who the word of God is dwelling in them richly and are living according to the precepts of the word shall be endowed with more spiritual responsibilities and expectations relating to their understanding. We must note that God does not waste His spiritual resources. That is why those who failed to put their spiritual understanding into use, always experience spiritual dryness.

In the interpretation of this parable, Christ the Light of the world is the candle light that had lighted the understanding of the believers. The believers in turn cannot afford to put the lighted candle under the shelf. They are expected to put those understanding into use to that others may benefit from their understanding.

In this New Year the challenge has come to you, “How do you hear the word of God?” Think about the excellent instruments that God is using to enlighten your heart with the understanding of the word of God in the person of our GS as well as our pastor in this church—the way God is using them to interpret the scripture in such a way we can easily understand the details. Think about the grace of being able to have custody of a bible without inhibition, intimidation and persecution.


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