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More Parables of Jesus (Part 2)

Like newborn babies, 

thirst for the pure milk of the word

 so that by it you may grow in your salvation. 

Surely you have tasted that the Lord is good! 1 Peter 2:2,3 

Parables regarding prayer

Then he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.” Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:5-10

In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’ Luke 18:2-8

Regarding the Holy Spirit

Which of you fathers, if you son asks or a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he ask for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ Luke 11:11-13

Parable regarding trusting in riches rather than God

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself,  ‘What shall I do,  I have no place  to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”           Luke 12:16-21

Parable regarding humility

When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your you seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honoured in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who exalts himself will be exalted. Luke 14:8-11

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. he would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.        Luke 18:10-14

Parable regarding evangelism

(evangelism means to proclaim the good news)

Jesus replied: ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’  “Sir,” the servant said, “what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.” Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’  Luke 14:16-24

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15:4-7

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:8-10

Parable regarding repentance and grace

Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his Father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. he longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of you hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son on mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. Bust we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’  Luke 15:11-32

Parable of unjust servant

Jesus told his disciples: ‘There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg- I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. The manager told him, ‘Take you bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’ Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.  Luke 16:1-13

The Story of Rich man and Lazaras

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us. He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ Luke 16:19-31

Parable regarding being faithful servants

He said, ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work’, he said, ‘until I come back.’ But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’  He was make king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, you mina has earned ten more.’ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did no sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing , even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.’  Luke 19:12-27

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The Kingdom of Heaven

Like newborn babies,

thirst for the pure milk of the word

 so that by it you may grow in your salvation.

Surely you have tasted that the Lord is good! 1 Peter 2:2,3

Jesus’ teaching on – The kingdom of Heaven

Jesus was declaring the establishment of a kingdom, not in a national or a civil sense, but as a spiritual kingdom. 

We read of the end result in Revelation 11:15‘..The kingdoms of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’

It can be quite a mind boggling concept to grasp. Perhaps that is why Jesus taught about it so much in the form of parables, to illustrate in a multi faceted way the principles and concepts underlying the establishment of this kingdom.

Kingdom parables

 The seed principle

Things in the Kingdom of God start off small, but end up big.

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard see, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.’  Matt 13:31-32

A ‘spiritual’ tree (metephorically) grows in the life of a repentant believer – (Jesus also said ‘the kingdom of God is within you’ Luke 17:1) The growth of this tree depends on the condition of the soil (or in other words the heart).

As a christian you can expect there to be spiritual growth, of a spiritual Kingdom within you. You must however care for this ‘spiritual plant’, ‘watering it’  with the word of God, letting the light of God’s word shine on it and getting rid of the weeds (sin, wrong thought patterns)

When we are born again, it is by the seed of the word.

‘For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God’ 1 Peter 1:23

We know that seeds reproduce after their own kind. (ie an apple seed will always produce and apple tree) If Jesus is the Word, then if the Word is planted in our hearts we will grow to become like Christ.

What does it mean to be born again?  Jesus spoke of this once in a conversation with a religous leader.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked, ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ 

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8

Like the origins of wind to a first century mind, there is an  element of mystery in the whole concept of being born again.

Like the below verse states ‘though he does not know how. ‘

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29

Rather than trying to formularise being born again, or making it a claim of ours that we are ‘born again Christians’, we are far better off focusing on hearing and obeying the teachings of Jesus and putting our faith in him. The born again part will be a natural ‘albeit mysterious’ part of our faith.

Kingdom principle – The kingdom will  permeate throughout the whole earth bringing change. 

He told them still another parable: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33

The yeast is worked into the dough. We could see this as Christians bringing the kingdom of God through their lives, into the world until it is spread all the way through. There will be change and transformation (like the rising of the dough  when making bread). This story puts it clear in our minds that our purpose is to bring the kingdom of God to the world, and that there will be tangible change when we do. When we are at work, or school, or playing sport, or where-ever we are – if we are living for Christ, and for his kingdom, then we will be bringing a change to the environment through our influence.

Jesus also used another picture in teaching this principle.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. Matthew 5:13

In the days of Jesus, salt was also used in the preservation of foods. The salt penetrated the food to the point where it stopped the food from decaying. We are to be influencing the world, (which is a world tainted by sin and in a state of decay -wars, terrorism, poverty, sickness) and stopping the decay.

Kingdom principle – citizenship in the kingdom will cost us all that we have – but it is worth it.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a  field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46

When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we are surrendering all we are and have to him and for his Kingdom. While this may seem an impossibly hard thing for someone who has not seen the value of the treasure of Jesus, those who have seen a revelation of Jesus and his kingdom will be willing to give  up all for his sake.

Kingdom Principle- Forgiveness – a condition of recieving the Grace of God. 

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked , ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. THe servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.’ Matthew 18:21-35

Kingdom principle – God’s goodness and grace is  not based on  the works we do.

It may not seem fair that an evil man who repents and puts his faith in Christ the day before he dies is granted eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  There may be many ‘good’ people who see themselves as more deserving of eternal life, than the evil man.

Jesus’s death on the cross was a sacrifice for all the sins of mankind. Even the most wicked of men can be forgiven by God, when then humble themselves, repent from their sins and put their faith in Jesus.

This is why Christains say ‘Salvation is not based on our works, but by the grace of God ‘

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. he told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh he went out and found still others standing around. he asked them, ‘why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing? ‘ “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. He said to them ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘Friend I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20:1-16

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

The Parables of Jesus – A necessary foundation

Like newborn babies,

thirst for the pure milk of the word

 so that by it you may grow in your salvation.

Surely you have tasted that the Lord is good! 1 Peter 2:2,3

A large portion of what is recorded of the spoken words of Jesus is his use of parables (stories) to teach and illustrate points. Because of the sheer volume of parables Jesus taught, we need to recognise that they are foundational in the forming of our conceptual understanding of the principles he taught.

Parable of the sower  

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said; ‘Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.’ Then Jesus said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. he told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on teh outside everything is said in parables so that ,

“they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”

Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word ; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown. ‘ Mark 4:1-20

From this parable we can see that Jesus was teaching that not everyone who hears or even embraces his words goes on to be fruitful.

The devil (otherwise known as Satan), will do all he can to hinder your growth to become a fruitful Christian.

It is also important to know that the Christian life will not be easy. Persecution will arise for your faith as well as many distractions in this life that willl try and take you away from your faith.

This parable highlights the reality of true and false conversion. Some people may be calling themselves a Christian today, and have heard the word, but the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in have caused them to become unfruitful.

Jesus later warns in another parable about unfruitful Christians  :  ‘And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:30

When Luke retells this parable of the sower sowing seeds, he relates the good ground to having a good heart. The only way the heart can be good is through repentance. This highlights the importance of the previous lesson, not just as a once off but as a lifetime practice.

Parables of true and false conversion  

One of the major themes that comes through the parables (stories)  that Jesus taught is the idea of true and false conversion.

Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “An enemy did this,” he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds,  you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ Matthew 13:24-30

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.’ Matthew 13:36-43

Here we can see that out of the Kingdom of God (which includes what we would call the church today) there is and will be people that are an offence to God – False converts. They are in God’s Kingdom, like weeds amongst the wheat.  We can take this to mean there might be whole congregations that are ‘a part of the Kingdom of God’ but are actually an offense to God. This could also mean that sitting side by side in a church, there may be genuine Christians sitting alongside the ‘weeds’ or the ‘unfruitful’. The time for doing the weeding is not now, and it is not up to us. It is important however to realise and understand this warning from Jesus, and to make sure we are growing in righteousness rather than lawlessness.

Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:47-50

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my diner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off – one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend’, he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen.’ Matthew 22:1-14

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