Christianity 201

April 18, 2022

“A Certain Man”

There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard… – Matthew 21:33

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. – Matthew 25:14 NASB

A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other fifty. – Luke 7:41 NET

A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers. Luke 10:30 YLT

A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard – Luke 13:6 KJV

A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests – Luke 14:16 AMP

There was a rich man who received an accusation that his manager was squandering his possessions – Luke 16:1 HCSB

A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. – Luke 19:12 NASB

Although I didn’t stick with the KJV in this list, it often uses the phrase “A certain man;” as an indicator that Jesus is about to tell a story. A fictional story. Many commentators have said that when he says, “a certain man;” he might as well be saying “Once upon a time…” To our ears that indicates a fable. To those listening to a rabbi teach, the purpose might not be entertainment, or even to describe a moral principle, but rather to teach a spiritual lesson, to relate it to the number one theme in Jesus’ ministry, what the Kingdom of God is like.

Also, the use of “a certain man” doesn’t necessarily indicate a parable, and John uses it differently as do the Old Testament writers.

All this is introduction for today’s return to the devotional blog Get Along With God. They use different writers, and the one we’re reading today is John Enslow. Click the header which follows to read where we sourced it.

Parables – God With Us

All the parables of the Bible are God’s attempting to connect our earthly experience to His heavenly reality. I love when God connects our tangible experience with something deeply spiritual and heavenly. For example, His speaking to His agrarian culture about grapevines, fields, wine, oil, vineyard relating it all to His Heavenly Kingdom. When He used their earthly experience to reveal His heavenly reality, they saw in the Spirit so much clearer. They knew what they knew, and He met them in their experience to communicate something beyond their earthly understanding.

Christ wasn’t simply speaking about elusive Kingdom concepts, He was making things more tangible and real for their hearts by share Kingdom realities through earthly experiences. These parables just solidified it in their life, heart and spirits. Parables are intended to connect our awareness by plugging it into heaven’s reality. It is simply genius!

Being a Child – God With US

I am so grateful He knows us like this on such a deep level. That He doesn’t speak beyond our ability to make a connection to His meaning. While the mind of the flesh sees it as foolishness, the receptive childlike heart can grasp deep meaning from simple examples. And in actuality, it is only as we enter in with a childlike heart, that will we see meaning beyond the ordinary.

Imagine, our God is able to connect our hearts, our living, our experiences with His Kingdom. Who else could take something that is mere dirt and reveal something extremely eternal.

The parables of God are a further expression of God With US—Emmanuel! God wants to be with us in our lives to bring us beyond our lives into His Heavenly Reality. Remarkably He does this by coming into our experience and awareness and then surpassing it with His own. He so wants us with Him and comes to be with us.

Parables Today

Our lives are a continual opportunity to receive His parable reality. Jesus will uses our living expressions to communicate His deep truths. The Gospel is deeply tangible and totally relevant to my now moments. He will speak into my living experience just as I know it. This is who He is, God with me – God with US!

So as we live our lives in Him, let’s let Him be God with US. Let’s look for Him to connect our individual experience with His unique design. Le’s listen to hear His voice as He wants to reveal Himself deeply to us. He is so willing to be God with us as He reveals Himself to us.


Second Helping: By the same author, check out I am the Dwelling of God – A Living Tabernacle.


Old Testament Parables: If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, you know there is often intense discussion as to whether all of the narratives in the Old Testament are describing real events. And just because Jesus quotes the story, doesn’t mean the story happened. (If I’m speaking to a group of people and say, “It’s just like what happened to Jack with his beanstock;” that doesn’t mean I believe in magic beans.)

The two narratives most often discussed in this context are Job and Jonah. What do you think? Do you read these as literal events which happened as described? And as hard it is to gauge reaction this last question with everyone, does it really matter if they are parables?

 

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