Parables are a simple story that teach a lesson. The deeper meanings were often hidden from many listeners but there are truly nuggets of gold to be mined in each and every story:
- Check foundations. Jesus addressed building on a solid foundation. The strength and solidarity of the foundation will determine whether the house will stand when a storm hits. “It is like a person building a house who digs and lays the foundation on solid work” (Luke 6:48, NLT). May we take the time to examine our foundations. Our spiritual ones, that is. Are they built strong and firm on the Word of God? Are they supported well with others who will encourage, affirm, correct, and give wisdom when we come to them? Is prayer girding the rafters?
- Forgiveness –> Gratitude. The woman with the alabaster jar brings the story of forgiven debt. A Pharisee invites Jesus into his home. I saw the Pharisee in a different light than I usually do – he wanted to spend time with Jesus. Not all Pharisees were looking to attack Jesus. This Pharisee was wanting to know more about Jesus, and Jesus was willing to sit down and have dinner with him. Once the woman came and broke her jar, the Pharisee began thinking. He said nothing aloud and yet, Jesus answered his thoughts. Jesus told a story and asked the question, “Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” (Luke 7:42, NLT). And this made me realize again – nothing is hidden from Jesus. He knows us inside and out, and He loves us still. This woman did not let her “identity” (or her label) keep her from coming to Jesus. Neither should we. The more I thought on this, the clearer it became … forgiveness –> gratitude. Thank you Lord for seeing me as I am and still forgiving me on a daily basis. Thank you for the privilege of being able to come to you, freely and without hesitation.
- Riches and Generosity. Jesus tells of a very rich man who had such a large harvest, he didn’t know what to do with it all. Having more than enough, it never occurred to him to give some away. His plan, though on the surface is seemingly a good one, wass to build bigger storehouses. We can read this and easily gloss over it. Jesus warns us to “be on guard against every kind of greed” (Luke 12:15, NLT). We can become greedy with our money, our possessions, our time, and our compassion.
- Ready and Vigilant. In this parable, we find servants waiting for their master’s return. We are told to “keep your lamps burning” (Luke 12:35, NLT) meaning – we are not to ever let them dim or go out. Readiness –> completely prepared for immediate action or use. Vigilance –> keenly able to detect what is going on. (Both definitions from dictionary.com). Only as my lamp is continually burning will I have the ability to be both ready and vigilant. In order to fight the spiritual battle, we need to be able to detect what is going on around us.
- Faithful Servants. In this parable, Jesus reminds us to be responsible. “When someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required” (Luke 12:48b, NLT).
In Luke 12:41, Peter asks Jesus such an important question: “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?”
These parables are for us – those who know and follow Christ.
These parables call us to:
be on guard,
and steward all that we’ve been given to the glory of His Name.