Summer Sermon Series
Approximately 35% of the teachings of Jesus come to us in parables. A parable is a story that connects the hearer to something happening at a deeper level. Literally, the word “parable” means to cast alongside. In order for us to understand the deeper reality of the Kingdom of God appearing in our midst, Jesus casts a story about something everyone would know, alongside a reality that was hidden. Therefore, His stories both connected the first audiences but also challenged them with their unexpected conclusions.
Today’s stories reign supreme as they always have. They are easy to remember, easy to share, and easy to use to illustrate ideas. Entire industries are built on the telling and sharing of stories (TED, TikTok, Instagram, Disney, the list goes on). As the culture shares its values through story, it is important that we hear from Jesus the depth of true reality that we often overlook. God’s values are not meant to restrict our lives, but rather to invite us into the freedom we receive when we give up the idols of this world, are set free from addictions (both substances and power systems), and stop trying to create our own identities.
Curiously, Jesus often said that the meaning of the parables would be hidden from many. He was indicating that most people would interpret them through their own lenses and their own value systems. Therefore, they would never see that the parables were truly revealing God's Kingdom in our midst. The “kairos moment” diagram below can help us as we read these stories. Let us keep asking these questions: What is God saying to me, and how will I respond?
Unjust Judge/Persistent Widow
Barren Fig Tree
Workers in the Vineyard
Treasure / Pearl of Great Price
10 Virgins (Watchfulness)