Tuesday, July 28, 2015

So Far, So Good.



This is my third week of hosting the "Jesus Without Religion (Or Politics)" meetup for Non-Christians.

So far it's been really great. We have a couple of guys with us, plus my wife and I, so the group is small, but our sessions have been really wonderful.

We started out with a basic overview of Jesus and his impact on the world and our culture. We also looked at how much "noise" we experience between the historical Jesus back in the First Century and our culture today - over 2,000 years later.

Our hope is to remove all of that other gobbledygook and - as much as possible - see and hear Jesus for who he really is and not who others have told us he is.

Last week we talked about the Gospel and how it's not about saying a prayer so you can go to heaven when you die. I let our non-Christian guests in on our little secret - that even most Christians don't really understand what the Gospel actually is - and then we looked at what Jesus said the Gospel is.

Next, we looked at how the Disciples and even Paul the Apostle, continued to preach the Good News (Gospel) of the Kingdom long after Jesus had left the scene and what an impact it makes when your emphasis is more on the life you live right now and not what happens after you're dead.

This week we'll take a look at the Parables of Jesus - what they were, why Jesus taught in parables, and what they are intended to communicate.

Specifically, we'll take an in-depth look at these Parables during our session together:

*NEW /OLD CLOTH/WINESKINS [MATT. 9:16-17]
*WISE/FOOLISH BUILDERS [LUKE 6:46-49]
*SOWER/SEED/SOILS [MATT. 13:3-8, 18-23]
*MUSTARD SEED/YEAST [MATT. 13:31-33]
*HIDDEN TREASURE [MATT. 13:44-46]
*GOOD SAMARITAN [LUKE 10:30-37]
*PRODIGAL SON [LUKE 15:11-32]

I've also been assigning "Homework" to everyone which is optional of course. It won't be on the Final Exam and it doesn't count towards their grade. [A little joke people].

Our homework has involved:

*Reading the Gospel of Mark from beginning to end in a single sitting [something most everyone can do in less than an hour].

*Watching the film "The Gospel of John" [which is one of the few good films about Jesus that isn't super cheesy and/or grossly innacurate].

*Watching a few video clips on YouTube.

If you're curious, here's a basic list of all of Jesus' Parables divided into categories:

FOUNDATIONAL PARABLES:
 • Parables #1-2-3-4 New cloth, New wine. Lamp on a stand. Wise & foolish builders.
• Parables #5-6 Moneylender forgives unequal debts. Lamp on a stand (2nd time).
• Parables #7-8 Rich man builds bigger barns. Servants must remain watchful.
• Parables #9-10 Wise and foolish servants. Unfruitful fig tree.

KINGDOM PARABLES:
 • Parable #11 Sower of seeds into four types of soil.
• Parable #12 Weeds among good plants. “Kingdom of Heaven”
• Parables #13-15 Growing seed. Mustard seed. Yeast. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
• Parables #16-19 Hidden treasure. Pearl. Fishing net. Owner of a house. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
• Parables #20-21 Lost sheep. The sheep, gate, and shepherd.

BEHAVIOR PARABLES:
 • Parables #22-23 Master and his servant. Unmerciful servant.
• Parables #24-25 Good Samaritan. Friend in need.
• Parables #26-27 Lowest seat at the feast. Invitation to a great banquet.
• Parable #28 Cost of discipleship.

FATHER’S HEART PARABLES:
 • Parables #29-30 Lost sheep (sheep as sinners). Lost coin.
• Parable #31 Lost (prodigal) son.

MORE BEHAVIOR PARABLES:
 • Parable #32 Shrewd manager.
• Parable #33 Rich man and Lazarus.
• Parable #34 Workers in the vineyard, early and late.
• Parables #35-36 Persistent widow and crooked judge. Praying: Pharisee and tax collector.
• Parable #37 King's servants given minas.
• Parables #38-39 Two sons, one obeys, one does not. Wicked tenants.
• Parable #40 Invitation to a wedding banquet.

JUDGEMENT PARABLES:
 • Parables #41-42 Signs from a fig tree. Wise and foolish servants.
• Parables #43-44 Wise and foolish virgins. Servants must remain watchful.
• Parable #45 Three servants given talents.
• Parable #46 Sheep and goats will be separated.

I'll be sure to post more updates as we move along. Next week we're looking closely at "The Sermon On The Mount" together.

Keep us in your prayers!

Thanks,
Keith

1 comment:

Steve Kline said...

This is so awesome Keith. I'm curious what the discussion is like and what the questions are.