TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, August 26, 2019:
An earthly story with a heavenly meaning; a story with earthly analogies to illustrate a spiritual truth or a moral truth; a story that compares something unfamiliar with something familiar.
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So, it was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
You may ask the question, “Why did Jesus teach in parables?” Jesus wanted to teach the disciples and His audience the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. By mystery Jesus does not mean something mysterious, but rather something unknown and not revealed until that present time.
While Jesus was teaching, the truth of His teachings was not understood. Even His disciples who were with Jesus day after day for close to three years could not understand some of His teachings. It was impossible for them to understand all the mysteries of Jesus teachings because they were not yet revealed.
Because Jesus knew that they were not understanding he said to His disciples, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterword you will understand” John 13:7. By afterword Jesus meant after His death, resurrection and return to heaven. Jesus taught them about His coming crucifixion and resurrection, three days later, but they could not believe that it would happen.
Jesus said He had come to seek and sacrificially purchase the world. He taught that His followers are to laboriously work, seeking to lead men out of the world and into His kingdom. This is the message that Jesus wants us to learn today from the parables.
Jesus was trying to have his disciples understand that He was the most unique person who ever lived because He was the Son of God who had come from the Kingdom of God.
H.G. Wells wrote, “Christ is the most unique person of history. No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher from Nazareth.”
Rabbi Steven Wise said that Jesus, the Jew, has influenced the world more than any other man. This person called Jesus lived on the earth for only 33 years. He never traveled more than 100 miles from His home.
Charles Lamb was right in saying that if all the great men of history gathered together at one location and Shakespeare should enter, they would rise to do him honor; but if Jesus Christ should come in, they would fall down and worship Him.
This man Jesus spoke and taught His disciples what God sent Him to communicate to the world that the Kingdom of heaven is more valuable than anything in this world and that it could only be attained through Him. “no man comes to the Father except through Me.”
Parables vividly communicated from the known (earthly) to the unknown or unseen (spiritual). When Jesus disciples asked Him why He spoke in parables, Jesus answered, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13.Those whose ears had been opened by God would understand His parables and be blessed, while the unbelievers and uninterested would hear but not comprehend.
Today the parables still help our understanding of what is going on in the world, what God is accomplishing and how He is continually working in our world. We also through parables see what God will do when Christ returns to set up His earthly kingdom.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Isaiah 1:18.
Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be as wool.
Help me to understand by studying the parables what You taught while here on this earth. Show me the mysteries of the Kingdom of God so I can help others see that the Kingdom of God is the most important thing they can have.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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