On many occasions Jesus showed us the magnitude of God’s love and plan. But he showed us in story form. We will look at a series of parables – a series of stories - Jesus used in Luke 15 and 16 to trace the power and grandeur of God’s love for all of us.
It is easy to talk about following Jesus but sometimes those around us think we are a little odd. How do we know what to think, do and become to be sure we are truly following Jesus in spite of what is going on around us? What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Good thing for us, Jesus explained it for us!
A few weeks ago we began talking about Jesus speaking the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. This was one of the few parables he actually interpreted for his followers, and in that interpretation he revealed it was a prophecy about the difficult future of Christianity. He spoke of false Christians and an entire age when the true and false would grow together – outwardly indistinguishable from one another - until the "harvest" time. We traced some of the corrupting influences through the long history of the church and began to see how the gospel was treated (and mistreated) along the way. Jesus, after speaking the Wheat and the Tares Parable, spoke two other parables. We believe they further described the corrupted condition of Christianity. So, what do these other parables tell us? Are we in danger of being deceived? Is the gospel even intact here and now in our present world?
Jesus gave many prophecies and you might be surprised to learn that some of them gave his followers then and now a warning about what would happen with this new movement he started. Christianity corrupted! What did Jesus predict and can we see that around us today?