Sunday, September 13, 2009

GIG 206 - Identifying Ourselves Correctly in the Parables

The words of Jesus - surprisingly to many people - are not always what they seem at face value, as we've discussed over the past few weeks here on Growing in Grace. Often we begin with a preconceived premise in our determination of what Jesus is trying to communicate, but if we start with the wrong premise then we're going to end up going down the wrong path, leading to the wrong conclusions. With this in mind, this week we take a look at how various characters in the parables that Jesus told are often misunderstood because we often start with the wrong premise of the meaning of each parable.

Often the parable of the Good Samaritan is read and taught in such a way as to make us (Christians) out to be people who should strive to be the Good Samaritan in the story. The parables of the Pearl of Great Price and of the Treasure Hidden in a Field are presented as stories that show Jesus as a precious pearl and treasure that we are to purchase after we sell all we have. Are these things really what these parables are communicating? We'll take into consideration the people Jesus was talking with in each situation and what questions He was responding to, and also take into account the surrounding context and other New Covenant truth to help us sort out who some of characters in the parables really represent.

Hint: We often try to make ourselves the heroes and/or the centerpieces of the parables. But perhaps these parables really show us how Jesus is the hero and centerpiece!

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