“The kingdom of heaven is like ...” These are the words Jesus most frequently used to begin His parables—the stories and metaphors He used to paint pictures in the imagination of His audience of what heaven is like. The purpose of a parable is to challenge and intrigue the listeners to open their eyes and understand just how good God is, what it means to be His people, and what His Kingdom is really like. Each week of this series is going to look at a different parable Jesus told and help us live wisely as His followers today.
Week 1: Parable of the Sower
Week 2: Parable of the Laborers
Week 3: Parable of the Lost Sheep
Week 4: Parable of the Good Samaritan
Week 5: Parable of the Hidden Treasure
In week one, we are going to introduce our students to the parable of the sower. Through this message, we will challenge our students to identify which soil best describes them and how to prepare their hearts. This way they can become the kind of people who are able to receive the wisdom and truth God has for them.
Week two dives into the parable of the laborers. Our students will be confronted with a story that invites them to wrestle with the scandalous nature of God’s grace—a grace that is not at all fair, and that confronts our need to compare.
During week three, our students will learn more about God’s relentless pursuit of them through the parable of the lost sheep. This parable paints a picture of God’s unconditional love and never-ending desire to be reunited with us, His people. We start with a close-up view of a shepherd and some sheep then zoom out to see that this short story actually describes God’s nature through all of history.
For week four, we are looking at one of the most famous parables ever told—the parable of the good samaritan. Our students will learn just how countercultural Jesus’ redefinition of “neighbor” was and learn a few simple steps they can take to start loving their neighbors well today.
Finally, in week five, we wrap up this series with a parable that is short, sweet, and so powerful—the parable of the hidden treasure. After an entire series illustrating how good God is and the uniqueness of His kingdom, it’s time to decide. Do we desire God and relationship with Him more than the things of this world? And if so, what are we willing to give up to pursue the King and His kingdom with integrity?