‘To you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God’
The Parables of Jesus #2: Themes
A lifetime of study and practice would not suffice to exhaust the riches of the parables of Jesus. But some themes stand out, and we shall begin our study with an outline of some of the most important. Above all, remember that the parables are held together with one important goal: to make plain the spiritual power of the Kingdom of God with examples from our earthly existence. In the weeks ahead we will be considering the 38 parables under the following titles:
- The Kingdom of God is hidden: The secret growth of the kingdom is not always clear to us, but we should always be looking for its blessings.
- The Kingdom of God is full of grace: God is gracious in seeking and saving the lost. But His grace is often expressed in ways so surprising that they make us think twice. And there are lessons here that should direct our behavior toward others.
- The Kingdom of God requires wisdom: ‘Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,’ said Our Lord (Mt. 10;16). What are the indications that we are using sound judgment in seeking the Kingdom of God?
- The Kingdom of God contains warnings: The opposite of the wise seeker of the Kingdom is what the Scriptures call ‘the fool,’ a character who is condemned for not discerning the true nature of the times. They present us with examples of what to avoid.
- The Kingdom of God has need for persistence: ‘Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you’ (Mt. 7:7). These are inspiring words from the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. But do they inspire us to be steadfast in faith, hope and love during times of suffering or trial?
- The Kingdom of God expects us to watch and wait: With persistence also comes patience. We say in the Nicene Creed that we await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. But we do not know the when or how of these momentous end-time events. As our Lord said: ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (Mk, 13:32). Yet, as the Kingdom of God was ushered in with the Lord’s first coming as our savior, it will surely come again, this time with power and in judgment..
You will want to have your bible close at hand as we examine these parables. May the Lord grant us the wisdom and character to follow them.