The Parables of Jesus Part 1

Posted on June 24, 2019

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The Parables of Jesus Part 1

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-5

I’d like for you to see the picture that was in the land at this time. Why would Jesus speak in this manner at this time about the Galileans? You need to remember that when Jesus was born and Herod wanted to kill Him, His parents were told to go to Egypt. On their way back from Egypt, rather than go to Judea, they went to Galilee. Galilee was home for Jesus Christ.

The first miracle that was recorded concerning Jesus was in Cana of Galilee. Imagine that you were one of the guests at that wedding and suddenly, there was no wine to drink. It was going to be embarrassing, then Jesus stepped in and helped out. The leader of the synagogue whose child died and was brought back to life by Jesus, it was still in same region of Galilee. In Luke 7, Jesus brought a widow’s only son back to life, restoring the hope of the hopeless woman.  This miracle took place in the city of Nain, in the region of Galilee. Jesus also fed the five thousand people in the region of Galilee. He also cast out the legion of demons from the madman of Gadereness, in the region of Galilee.  All through that region they knew Jesus as the Eternal God who was always ready to heal, provide and attend to needs.

The people who came to tell Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifice, did this in the region of Galilee. With that piece of information, they meant to ask Jesus where He was when Pilate was killing the Galileans?

We also ask the same question, “Where were You, Lord when this was happening to me?” Indeed as it is with human beings to ask God where He was in times of miseries that was what these people had in mind, telling Jesus about the Galileans. But Jesus also told of those whom the tower of Siloam fell on. Why? This is to show that in the place where God’s presence had been seen and felt, tragedy could strike there. Let’s look at what Jesus was bringing out in His reply.

There is a tendency in us to question God whenever tragedy strikes, but we need to understand that there is a purpose for every tragedy. God is saying, “Don’t question about Me when tragedy strikes, the purpose is for the people to repent.”

When Hurricane Katrina happened, it was not time for all who were in that area to begin to ask “why” but it was time for repentance, because harder things would happen in the future. When I read in the News how the Nigerian weather in months of June and July would be tough, God made me understand that this a time for repentance. It is call to prayer, to repentance and self examination, lest these seasons prevail on us.

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. Luke 13:6-9

The earth is the Lord’s, so God has every right to have an expectation of us.  As His planting, we typify the fig tree in the vineyard and He can chose to cut us down if we don’t produce fruits, after consuming His resources. Do you just go to church enjoy the sweetness of the Holy Spirit but have no fruits in your life or in souls that you have won to show for it? Note that the fruit is in singular form because God expects just one type of fruit of those that are planted by Him, and that is to produce the likeness of God.

God had an expectation right from the time He began to deal with the church in the wilderness.  And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. Exodus 19:3-5

God’s expectation of the church in the wilderness and of the church now, is that we be a nation of priests to him. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet. 2:9)  

He expects us all to be exactly in His image.  The question then to us all in the place of worship is “am I bringing forth fruit?”  In this season, God is saying “I give it one more year!”  He will cut down every tree that does not bring forth.  For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God (Heb. 6:7). The rain of God in terms of His word has fallen on us in this nation, so we are left with no choice, than to reproduce it. It is either you bring forth herbs meet for food that God wants, or you produce thorns which will make him cut you down. Repent, or you will likewise perish!

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Cor. 6:16). What accord do you have with idols? Idols come in different shapes, they are anything that replaces God: your job, aspirations, your family etc. Many of us because we think we were born as nobodies, we want to be ‘somebodies’ by any means. The woman with the issue of blood was a nobody. Looking at the book of Leviticus, she had no right to stay amongst people, no right to be called somebody. When she touched the garment of Jesus and He asked for who touched Him, He called her ‘daughter’ when she identified herself. A nobody had become a daughter.

Jesus is the only one that can turn a ‘nobody’ to somebody, it’s not the amount of your labour. Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:8, “godliness is profitable in all things.”  This implies that the source of profit is godliness. When Peter asked Jesus what would be the fate of them who had left all to follow Christ Jesus answered that they shall gain not only in this world but also in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30). Our financial background is not negotiating away our eternal heritage.  God is calling us to order, and this means we have to sacrifice some things, for a better one.  Paul understood this and said “necessity is put upon me to preach the gospel because there’s a reward for me if I do” (1 Cor. 9:16).  In other words the rewards Paul saw could only be gained in the place of sacrifice. If we don’t understand the place of sacrifice, we will never be able to separate ourselves from idols.

In the early days of Kenneth Haggin in the ministry, it came to a point where he had to sell even the ‘jalopy’ car he was driving.  Then Satan came accusing him that with his car gone, he would not be able to take the gospel everywhere as he had pledged to do.  He had to tell Satan that he and his wife have pledged to God and with or without a car, they would fulfill their pledge. History bears witness that he indeed fulfilled the pledge.

The source of profit is godliness and not worldliness.  The nature of sacrifices and rewards is at the heart of what choices you make – either in conformity with God’s purpose, or contrary to it.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom 12:1-2). We must consciously and daily present ourselves as living sacrifices to God, all our lives, and know how to go about this.

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13:24). We all must strive to enter through the strait gate and to walk through the narrow way, because the strait gate will only be open for a while. The increasing instability and turmoil in the economy and politics will not abate, so if your life is hooked on them, you will follow them when they go down. Decide for Jesus today, don’t just be an acquaintance to Him but make an individual commitment to Him, and break away from easy believing.  Then you will bring forth that fruit of God likeness that He is asking for.

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