“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
– Ephesians 2:8


THE PARABLES OF JESUS PART 4 – April 28th, 1983

Pastor John’s hope for this series was to go through all of the parables looking and hearing what Jesus had to say to us. For the fourth part in this series Pastor John will be reading from John 10 on the story of Jesus the Good Shepherd as well as Jesus healing the blind man in John 9.

In the Parable of the Blind Man the people are against Jesus for claiming to be the Christ and healing this man. The man comes to Jesus believing in the Lord and some of those around hear these words from Jesus and now he is in their audience saying the parable of Jesus being the shepherd found in John 10.

A shepherd would care for their sheep year after year becoming very close to the sheep. The shepherds were men who made it their lives profession to take care of these sheep. Jesus said there was something very interesting about being a shepherd. How do you come into a legitimate ministry? Jesus said the way you get at the sheep is through the door, the divine power of the Holy Spirit. If you are a real shepherd you don’t beat about it you go directly at the sheep. When the shepherd comes he calls his own sheep out by name and they follow. Jesus told Peter just before He ascended up, feed my sheep.

If you are a sheep and you’ve heard the shepherd, you’ve heard his voice. It was more than just his word, it was his voice that thrilled you and brought you out from amongst the other sheep to him.”

All the way through the Bible we find this allegory and parable type teaching of God being a shepherd. In this parable Jesus talks about a shepherd comes through the door, the porter opens it to him, and then he calls his own sheep.

Father in Jesus name let your Word come to us. Many of these things we don’t know how they can happen or believe how can you give us eternal life. How can you say and they shall never parish? How can you save us so weak, so incapable, so prone to wander? Lord, it’s because you know your own power and you know your own ability and you know your own love and you have confidence in your own word. Therefor Lord, we look to you with hope and with thanksgiving and we will repeat it and say it we will believe it. Therefore I shall never parish because of my shepherd.”

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In part 5 in this series Pastor John gets into some scriptures that are pseudo parables. They are not really parables but more of some allegoric statements. They were very powerful messages that Jesus gave to his disciples.

When we open our Bibles to the Book of John we find something very interesting about the way John deals with the personal life of Jesus and his relationship with his disciples. We don’t find the Sermon on the Mount in John, we don’t find a lot of the other public ministry that we found in the other Gospels. We find the intimate dealings of Jesus in the lives of people.

In the Book of John chapters 13 through 17 seem to be all in those few hours from the time Jesus went in and took the Last Supper until he was taken and crucified.   The bulk of the Book of John doesn’t focus on Jesus’ first 3 years of ministry but more on the last few hours of ministry. Some of the things found in these chapters are literally Jesus’ last words to his disciples, the things that He waited to share with them in that moment.

I think it would be good for us to just tonight try it anyway and put all of our reasonings out and let the Word of God effect us. Let it be creative word that comes into our hearts and impacts on us and deals with us.”

Pastor John likes to put himself in the position of the disciples when they are hearing from Jesus. The first parable that Pastor John looks at is Jesus being the vine that is found at the beginning of John 15. All throughout the Bible we see references to being part of God’s own root system, not just being good plants set off in the ground itself but being part of the root system. Jesus likened prophetical the root, the offspring or the branch as He is called in some places in scripture. So when Jesus says, “I am the true vine my Father is the husband” immediately in their minds the disciples could understand the parable from the Old Testament teachings about God coming that would be the branch.

Pastor John thinks all of us should say we cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Jesus. The parable of the branches says the branch can’t bear fruit unless it’s firmly attached and constantly to the vine. That’s our relationship with Jesus. We become part of Him, we become an extension of him of his life but only as we are abiding in him.

How do you abide in Jesus? By trusting Him. By continually relating to him in trust and walking with Him.”

The greatest expression of faith is obedience when we do what he said. Why do we do what He says? It is because we trust and believe Him. When we disobey Him it shows that we don’t trust Him and that we trust something else. Faith is best manifest in trust. Genuine faith will line us up with Jesus and when we are attached to the vine fruit comes on it. True faith produces fruit.

I believe that is exactly what Jesus was teaching in the parables when He says abide in me. It is exactly what He was teaching to the men when He gave them the parable of the Good Samaritan.   You can miss the whole plan of God by being so right in everything else that you are drawing your resources from your rightness rather from the relationship of love for Jesus. But when you are walking in a love relationship with Jesus it produces a love relationship with your brother.”  

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For the 6th part in this series on the Parables of Jesus Pastor John will begin reading the entire 16th Chapter of Luke. Pastor John wants us to remember that leading into Luke 16 the 15th chapter Jesus gave the three parables; the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son where He was teaching comparative values. These teachings that Jesus gave in those three parables establishes that in heaven God doesn’t look at things the way we look at them.

It seems as Jesus walked and taught many times on the mountainside He would teach the multitudes before zeroing in on His disciples and teaching them something. In Luke’s style he presents the truths more together rather than trying to present a chronological order of events. In other words, all of the events in Luke don’t line up historically exactly in the sequence that they happened.

So now Jesus comes along and explains to them that God doesn’t look at human life the way people do, that He looks at these people as children that are lost, as sheep that are astray, as special jewels in his crown that are not there. And there is joy in heaven over any person that turns back to the Lord and gives their life to him.”

He is talking about that value of the soul and begins to establish in his disciples a different way of looking at things using a natural understanding. When it comes to Luke 16 Jesus uses a different manner of parable with reverse psychology. According to Pastor John this is a parable that they would understand. Jesus begins to teach them through the stewardship message of ungodliness and He gets their attention because He talks their language.

This is very important to me because sometimes preachers and pastors in their messages and in their talking, talk so idealistic that nobody listens. It’s like it’s too rosy to be true or to be related.”

In the parables we find in Luke 16 Jesus reveals He really knew what was going on out there and then He makes some astounding statements. For this 6th part in this series on Jesus’ parables, Pastor John will be reading The parable of the Unrighteous Steward and The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus along with 3 or 4 straight out statements that are important for us to learn.

What we have in these parables is a revelation of the heart of man. That if he will not hear the witness of the Gospel he will not respond even though miraculous things are happening. According to Pastor John the lessons here are various. Jesus is compassionately teaching straightforwardly to these men who were listening to Him, to his disciples, and to those that were listening that were rejecting the message.   He was telling them first of all you better think about your eternal destiny and Kingdom. You better pay some attention to it and you better act like it is important. If you are going to be lackadaisical then you might as well be like that unjust steward and go make friends of the unrighteous mammon so that when you fail you’ll at least have somewhat of an enjoyable life here. But He said instead there are three levels of faithfulness bringing this tremendous insight into what happens eternally.

For Pastor John the last two lessons dealing with the Samaritan and then Lazarus are dealing with the love of God and a relationship with Jesus coming into our hearts enough to change us to have us socially involved with people.

Father in Jesus name would you speak to our hearts and open us up. Lord I’d ask first of all that you would purge our mouths and our hearts from any kind of a statement or philosophy that deals with race or with classes of people or economic stratus or lack of or amount of education or differences of political persuasions. And somehow Lord that you would guide us into an ability to love you in simplicity and be open Lord to care for those who may be brought to our gates by opening our hearts, in Jesus name we pray.”

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This is the seventh and finale massage in this series on the parables of Jesus that Pastor John gave in the early summer of 1983. He begins by reading from Matthew 21, which has some interesting things in it. The chapter begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as He came into the temple while the children were praising the Lord. Jesus then goes in and cleanses the temple by casting out the money changers and getting rid of the false and illicit businesses that were set up to gouge those that came to the temple. Jesus then goes out of the city and finds a fig tree. He hoped to find some fruit then curses at the tree when it had no fruit leading the tree to die.

In verses 23-27 we find the Jews coming to Jesus when He came back into the temple and they question His authority.   We find Jesus then playing their game with them by posing this problem because He knew they wouldn’t admit that John the Baptist was of the Lord. This leads to Jesus telling two parables; The Parable of the Two Sons and The Parable of the Wicked Tenants.

So I believe it speaks of the two ways to find the Lord. Finding Him before or finding Him when it’s too late.”

To finish this series on the parables of Jesus Pastor John looks at the Parable of the Banquet. Pastor John believes that this is a very important part of Jesus’ teaching. The wedding and entrance was free. It was for everybody and there was an urgency God’s house must be full but there are no exceptions, you must put on a wedding garment.

Some of these parables that Jesus told were given to them as a loving attempt to reason with those that were opposing him. The parables were the best way to reach them because they went around their natural defenses. The parables aroused their natural curiosity and spoke to them in a way they never had heard before. They gave them something to think about that didn’t quit make sense to them so that while they were open during those times of openness the Word of God could reach into their hearts and save them.

Father in the name of Jesus we recognize that your Word is much deeper than our minds are and that there are more meanings here than we have brought out. But Lord we sense by your Spirit that there are vital issues at stake before us and that your Word speaks to us and brings us to a place where we must make decisions about it. So Father as we approach you today we ask that this Word would live in us and bring warning and instruct us in righteousness bringing reproof and bringing righteousness to us in Jesus name, amen.”

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