“And He spoke many things to them in parables.” Matthew 13:3a
Have you ever wondered what the mission of the church is? There seems to be no end to the number of books written and conferences given on the subject of the mission of the church. Every sort of program and principle that you can imagine has been studied or scrutinized. Yet with all the study and concern about the mission of the church, it seems more than any other time in history we lack understanding of what the mission of the church truly is.
Well, in Matthew 13 we find some foundational truths for understanding the mission of the church during what we would call the “church age”. In this prophetic and very powerful chapter, Jesus describes the character of the era between His first coming and His second coming. How does He choose do this? By speaking to us in parables.
The Greek word “parabole” is a compound word made up of a form of the verb “hallo” (to throw, lay, or place) and the prefix “para” (meaning alongside of). The idea is to place two things next to each other for the purpose of comparison. For example, a spiritual or moral truth can be more clearly expressed by placing it next to a physical example that could be more easily understood. We know this was a common form of Jewish teaching because the word “parable” is found 45 times in the Greek version of the Old Testament.
I am very excited to begin “The Parables of Jesus” (Matthew 13:1-17) this Wednesday night because they will greatly help us clear up confusion about the mission of the church. There is no doubt we are closer today to the second coming of Jesus than they were back in Jesus’ day, so we will find these parables extremely relevant and essential for our understanding as we set out to evangelize.
God bless you all and hope to see you this Wednesday night at 6:30pm at the Portillo’s home!