The parables of Jesus are not just quaint little stories; they are prophetic declarations of spiritual truth, and they give us invaluable insight into what I call the Irresistible Kingdom of God. Concealing the truth within the context of a parable was necessary, Jesus said, because “To you [the disciples] it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to the rest it is given in parables.” Those who want to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom have to have a relationship with the King. The mysteries of the Kingdom are reserved, not for passive listeners, but for true followers.
We’ll also talk about the “code” Jesus uses to link many different teachings together so you can interpret them correctly and apply them to your life.
It’s so interesting to consider how the parables are being fulfilled in prophetic history – past, present and future.
I pray that as we study all the parables of Jesus, our hearts, our minds, our eyes, and our ears will be opened to receive all that He wants to show and to tell us!
“For people who are lost, or who have turned away from religion, this teaching is so full of hope, light, and inspiration to get on that path of relationship with Jesus. One thing is needful! But for the religious who listened in…there was some teeth gnashing I’m sure. :-)” – C.C., Canada
There are ten messages (nearly 12 hours) of teaching in this series:
00. All the Parables of Jesus (Introduction) (1 hour 13 minutes)
This teaching is very important as we lay a foundation for all the messages that are to come.
We will discuss first and foremost, what is a parable? Let’s define what a parable is. It’s very simple. It’s not complicated but let’s make sure we understand what a parable is, what the parables are.
Secondly, we will look at parables in scripture. I’m going to give you an example of a parable from the Old Testament that’s going to help you understand the value and the importance of parables and why Jesus used parables.
We’ll also take a look at why study parables in the first place? Why are we doing this study?
And I’ll answer one of the big questions that I get when it comes to parables: Why hide the truth in parables? Why not just speak plainly? That’s an interesting question and I’ve got an answer that I think will be surprising to you.
Finally, we will look at three principles of parabolic interpretation. In other words, three principles of interpreting parables. These are keys not just to all the parables of Jesus but to all of the Word of God.
01. The Parable of the Sower (1 hour)
This particular parable is important because the interpretation is recorded for us (not all parables have a recorded interpretation, so this is helpful).
This parable is foundational because it unlocks the meaning of other parables.
And, this parable conveys some prophetic truth as well.
Yes, quite a lot wrapped up in this simple little story!
What does it mean, and how does it apply to you?
02. The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (1 hour 8 minutes)
The interesting thing about this parable is how often it is misinterpreted.
But if we consider it in the context of ALL the parables of Jesus, the message becomes clear – and it explains so much of what we see happening around us today.
03. The Parables of the Mustard Seed, Leaven, Treasure and Pearl (1 hour 5 minutes)
Do the seven parables in Matthew 13 coincide with seven distinct periods of “church” history (both the religious system and the Ekklesia)? Are the parables are truly “prophetic” in the sense that Jesus is telling us what to expect in advance.
In this message we cover four parables in a single message. And we’ll also test this theory of the parables predicting the future of the Ekklesia.
04. The Parable of the Dragnet (1 hour 2 minutes)
The Greek word “aion” is often mistranslated as “world” or “eternal” when it should be translated “age.” The Bible doesn’t talk about the end of the “world” so to speak. But the Bible DOES talk about the end of the AGE! In fact, there are several ages (aions) mentioned in the Bible – past, present, and future. Ages (aions) have a beginning and an end; one age ends, another age begins.
That’s what makes the parables of Jesus so exciting. When He says, “So it will be at the end of the age” it’s not just poetry – He is giving us prophetic insight into what is coming.
We cover this in the Parable of the Dragnet.
05. The Parables of Faithfulness (1 hour 22 minutes)
Jesus gave us many parables that deal with the importance of faithfulness. And He shows us very clearly what happens to people who are unfaithful. And it sure sounds like a “heaven or hell” reward for your deeds!
The difference is He doesn’t expect sinners to be faithful! So it’s not about sending sinners to hell. Instead, it’s about testing people who claim to be followers of Jesus but they live like the devil.
To the faithful follower, He says, “Well done good and faithful servant!”
To the unfaithful hypocrite, He says, “Cast him into outer darkness!”
Now that ought to wake some people up who are just playing tiddlywinks. The first thing I would want to know is: what does it mean to be faithful?
I don’t mean faithful to go to church, faithful to pay your tithes, faithful to support the pastor’s vision, and all that other religious nonsense.
I mean: how does God measure “faithfulness” in people who claim to know Him?
06. The Parables of Fruitfulness (1 hour 18 minutes)
Would you ever plant a seed and not care whether it grew? Would you ever invest money in something and not care if you got your money back? Most people would not. Neither would God.
Fruitfulness is normal; unfruitfulness shows something is seriously wrong. Another way of saying it is: If you are faithful, you will be fruitful. Fruitfulness is the harvest, the end result, the ultimate outcome, of faithfulness.
Jesus used the theme of fruitfulness quite a bit in His parables. It’s such a great principle because it shows the Divine Partnership. What is that? It means that you plant the seed, water it, and take care of it. But God makes it grow. You can’t make it grow yourself. And God won’t plant the seed for you. It takes God and you working together!
So, fruitfulness shows (1) Your faithfulness and fervency; and (2) God’s faithfulness and favor.
07. The Parables of the Lost and Found (1 hour 22 minutes)
Some people think they are doing God a huge favor by “accepting” Jesus. Thankfully, Jesus isn’t waiting around, hoping someone will “accept” Him. Instead, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). He’s not just SAVING the Lost, He is SEEKING the Lost!
Why? Because the Lost can’t seek Him! Actually, “no one understands, no one seeks after God” (Rom. 3:23).
Maybe you were the one exception in all creation? I think not. HE looked for you, HE found you, and HE saved you – in spite of yourself. You didn’t even choose Him – HE chose you! (Jn. 15:16).
That’s good news, because religion has messed this all up. Religious folks put all the emphasis on what we “decide” and “accept” and “choose.” This elevates Man to be like God (deciding what he will or will not do) and limits God’s saving power only to those smart enough to essentially SAVE THEMSELVES by “deciding” to follow Jesus.
What a load of bull.
See how subtle religion is?
That’s why Jesus gave us a few “lost and found” parables to make the point.
08. The Parables of the First and Last (1 hour 3 minutes)
A lot of people think they have God all figured out! They even have a name for it: “theology” – the study of God. As if God is a laboratory experiment to be dissected and scrutinized under a microscope – or studied at a distance with a telescope. How absurd!
Anyway, they thought they had Jesus all figured out, too. But Jesus delighted to challenge and expose them. It’s easy to do, because the religious are easily, perpetually, offended by spiritual truth. They think they have it all figured out – even to the point of telling Jesus what He can or cannot do. And that hasn’t changed.
A fun way to mess with their mind is to turn their wisdom upside down. Jesus is a master at this, and his parables illustrate what I call “The Great Reversal.”
Basically, it talks about how one day…
– the proud will be humbled and the humbled will be exalted;
– the rich will be made poor and the poor will be made rich;
– the religious will be excluded and the sinners will be included;
– the first will be last and the last will be first;
You get the idea. Funny thing is? You would think after 2,000 years these lessons would have been learned by now.
But they haven’t.
So these parables are especially used by Jesus to give us a new perspective.
09. When Parables Come True (1 hour 7 minutes)
People ask where I get the things I talk about concerning the Harlot Church.
True, a lot of it comes from the Book of Revelation. But most of my insight comes from Jesus Himself.
The parables reveal secrets hidden from the beginning of time. And those parables clearly reveal the Harlot Church and its judgment.
A lot of people think the parables of Jesus are nice little stories.
But those parables are prophecies. And those prophecies will all come true. In fact, the parables of Jesus are prophetic utterances that not only convey spiritual truth, but foretell future events. Most of them contain WARNING as well as teaching.
Yes, some have already been fulfilled, while others are still to come.
Can you discern the difference?
We conclude the series by examining the past and future fulfillment of these prophetic parables.