Why Did Jesus Use Parables?

Why Did Jesus Use Parables?

But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.  (Mk 4:34)

. . . that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:  “I will open My mouth in parables;  will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”  (Mt 13:35)

Why did Jesus speak in parables so regularly?  Jesus used parables frequently as a means to illuminate weighty, divine truth.  He also had other reasons to use parables to communicate in public.

  • And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. (Lk 11:53-54)  The scribes and Pharisees were always looking to find fault with Jesus and to discredit Jesus in the eyes of all of the people.  By using parables, Jesus could thwart the plans of His enemies.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Mt 5:6)  Through the use of parables, Jesus could spiritually feed those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness.  Those who had a good heart, who were truly seeking God, could find what they needed in His teachings.
  • “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mt 7:13-14)  This story of the two roads (one narrow, one wide) caused people to think about where their lives were headed.  Using parables motivated people to stop and think about such profound topics.
  • Jesus’ parables brought pressure upon people to cause them to choose whether they wanted to be a sheep or a goat. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left . . .”  (Mt 25:31-33, for full story see Mt 25:31-46)
  • Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 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. (Ps 78:1-3)  As we can see by this passage, by speaking in parables, Jesus fulfilled prophecy concerning Himself.  (see also Mt 13:34-35)

Jesus always had very good reasons for His actions.  He listened for and obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit, and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He has set us an excellent example, hasn’t He?

Mustard Seed Faith

Mustard Seed Faith

Do you know how tiny a mustard seed is?  Mustard seeds can be different colors depending upon the plant; they may be anywhere from yellowish white to black.  But one thing that is uniform with them all is that they’re very, very small.   

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  (Mt 17:20)

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.  (Lk 17:6)

Since a mustard seed is about 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter, it’s astonishing to understand that faith as small as this can move actual mountains and bring about impossible things.  Reread those two Bible verses above.  Jesus did say this, and it is recounted in two different places in the Scriptures.

Many believers make a big issue of faith as if it is a limiting factor.  But I find these Bible verses very reassuring.  I realize that God isn’t requiring us to have mountain-sized faith, but rather seed-sized faith which can move real mountains!  Faith in God and in His Word is powerful.

Not only that, but faith is God’s gift to us!  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God . . .  (Eph 2:8)  We don’t have to work it up because the Lord has given it to every believer.

God actually has given us the very faith that we need in order to receive answers to prayer as well as the fulfillment of His promises found in His Word.  How much better can it get?  This truth fills me with tremendous joy.

Launch out today and use a tiny amount of faith to receive whatever you need from the Lord!  He’s definitely on our side and wanting to help each and every one of us.  He has already proven it by saving us and giving us the gift of faith which enables us to receive blessings, answers, and miracles from God. 

Justified by Faith

Justified by Faith

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are justified (made righteous) through faith in Jesus Christ alone—not by works. 

Here’s what the Bible has to say about justification:

. . . knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  (Gal 2:16)

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  (Gal 3:24)

. . . and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith . . .  (Phil 3:9)

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.  (Ac 13:38-39, underscoring added)

Even the faith which we have is a gift from God according to Ephesians 2:8.  So we cannot boast in our faith, because the faith in which we operate is a gift of God.  So, am I saying that good works have no place in the believer’s life?  No!  Of course not, but let us appreciate and thank God for His precious gift of salvation and the justification that is included in it.

Yes, there is a place for good works.  According to Ephesians 2:10, we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works.  Titus 3:8 reminds us to maintain good works because they are good and profitable to all people.

So, in our walk of faith let us recognize that we need to feed and strengthen our faith by reading the Word, and we need to maintain good works, as well.  With such behavior as this, God is well pleased.

Be Ready to Explain Your Hope

Be Ready to Explain Your Hope

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  (1 Pet 3:15-17) 

According to this passage of Scripture, we need to be ready to share with people who ask us the reason for the hope that is within each one of us.  The Bible actually tells us the answer for this in Colossians 1:27.  Christ within us—the hope of glory.  The life of Christ within us is our hope.

That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:21)

We need to answer all questions with “words of truth” according to this Proverb.  It is interesting to note that when Paul was being questioned by King Agrippa, Paul said:  “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”  (Ac 26:25)  Paul was speaking “words of truth” and reason.  According to John 14:6, Jesus is the Truth and Paul was telling the King all about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Paul spoke words of truth.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.  (Col 4:6)

We cannot say that we don’t know how to answer.  Our answer is Jesus Christ and His story as the Redeemer of all mankind.  Hallelujah!

Jesus, Loving Friend of Sinners

Jesus, Loving Friend of Sinners

Jesus was called by the Pharisees “A friend of sinners.” 

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  (Lk 7:34)

 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  (Mt 11:19)

They were criticizing Jesus for spending time with undesirables such as tax collectors and sinners!  But Jesus spent time with the very people who needed to hear His teachings and His gospel.  His mission on earth was to bring salvation to sinners!

The Scriptures below demonstrate that Jesus fulfilled the mission His Father gave to Him, and because He DID, He is truly a Friend of Sinners!  Hallelujah!

Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”  (Joh 8:5-11)

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  (Joh 3:17)

Let us celebrate and lift up the Name of Jesus!  Bless the Lord!

Righteousness & Praise Spring Forth

Righteousness & Praise Spring Forth

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ purchased (paid for) our salvation—thus our righteousness.  And how can we, who have received such a precious gift, prevent ourselves from crying out in praise and thanksgiving to our God and King?

The Scriptures remind us that God will cause both righteousness and praise to SPRING FORTH before all nations!  Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, our earth has seen the continuous unfolding and fulfilling of this promise of God.  Glory to God most High!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  (Isa 61:10-11, underscoring added)

What does “spring forth” mean?  It means:  to leap out; to rush out; to arise suddenly; to come about hastily with speed and powerful force.   This passage of Scripture tells us that one day righteousness and praise will rise up, suddenly, in all nations and all peoples in such a way that it will be a witness to all the world.

And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.  (Ps 35:28)

Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, And I will praise the Lord.  (Ps 118:19)

. . . being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  (Phil 1:11)

I trust God that this article will remind us and inspire us to lift our voices to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving today—and every day of our lives!

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works . . . (Heb 10:24)

Those of us who have believed in Jesus as our Savior and Lord are designed to continue in faith in good works!   This is a good work–to praise and worship the Lord.  Let us worship and magnify the Lord!

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!