When Jesus taught His disciples, He often used parables. They were Kingdom truths contained in memorable stories. His paradigm-shifting call within them is just as radical for us today. As we study these stories, they are guaranteed to alter our own.
Matthew 13:1-23 – As Jesus often spoke in parables, it divided those who understood the truth and those who rejected it. When people’s hearts become dull, they cannot receive the blessings of God’s truth.
When Religious People Make Horrible Neighbors
Luke 10:25-37 – In The Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus challenged the stereotypes of religious people. Those who are people of the Kingdom show compassion to others.
Rejecting God’s Son
Matthew 21:33-46 – In The Parable of the Tenants, Jesus foreshadowed how the world would reject Him rather than receive Him. As we look at His sacrifice, how will we respond to the cross?
The Irony of Religious Resentment
Luke 15:11-32 – In The Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus showed the grave mishandling of the religious community to those whose lives were being changed. We cannot confuse our relationship with the Father as something we deserve.
The Danger of Entitlement
Luke 17:7-10 – Jesus taught that those who serve God should not become entitled. Even if we do all God commands of us, we are still unworthy servants who should still be amazed to belong to Him.
Be Ready When It’s Time to Go
Matthew 25:1-13 – In The Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus warned disciples to prepare for His return. While we know neither the day nor the hour, we can guarantee that He will come again to gather those who belong to Him.
Seize the Opportunities God Gives You
Matthew 25:14-30 – In The Parable of the Talents, Jesus taught us to be faithful to steward whatever God has entrusted to us. It’s not about what you have but what you do with what you’ve been given.
Leaving Jesus Destitute
Matthew 25:31-46 – In The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus taught that whatever we do for others, or refuse to do, directly correlates to our relationship with Him. By refusing to meet the needs of others, many of us have left Jesus destitute.
Luke 18:9-14 – In The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus contrasted one who thought he was righteous and another who knew he was not. If we believe our works to be righteous, we reveal our hearts to be unrighteous.
You Can’t Take It With You
Luke 12:13-21 – In The Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus taught how unreliable our possessions could be to forming and completing our lives. Live for something that outlives you.
Seeking the Worst Seat
Luke 14:7-11 – In The Parable of the Wedding Feast, Jesus encouraged His followers to avoid pursuing places of privilege. Exaltation is not attained by proving greatness but by relentlessly prioritizing humility.
The Unwelcomed Are Welcome Here
Luke 14:12-24 – In The Parable of the Great Banquet, Jesus taught to welcome those who are typically unwelcome. Those who think they deserve God’s presence rarely experience it.
Too Forgiven to Be Unforgiving
Matthew 18:21-35 – In The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Jesus answered how many times we should forgive another person who has wronged us. If you realize how much you have been forgiven for in your life, it should not be a stretch to forgive others as well.
God Doesn’t Owe Us Anything
Matthew 20:1-16 – In The Parable of Laborers in the Vineyard, Jesus confronted an entitled religious mentality that thought those who had been around longer deserved more. We must never move past the reality that God doesn’t owe us anything.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.