November 03, 2019 AM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1929
#4 in series
Speaking in Parables
When I was in college, a professor told me that a parable is a “heavenly truth wrapped in earthly language.” The word parable refers to a Greek word which means a symbol, type, figure, or illustration. These stories from the lips of our Savior were a mystery to many, but the Lord had a purpose for speaking in parables. Parables have been depicted in art and stained glass, and their truths have been communicated for thousands of years across all cultures because they are easy to identify with. In the last message, we talked about the parable of the Good Samaritan and learned what it means to be a good neighbor.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
I. THE DANGER OF BEING UNPREPARED
While the Scriptures clearly teach prophecy, there’s danger in being obsessed with it:
1) People who want to set dates
2) Answering questions no one is asking
3) The primary reason to study it is to be prepared and share the gospel with a world headed toward judgment
“Our responsibility is to be ready for Christ's return. It is God's responsibility to work out the time and the details of that coming.” – Jimmy Draper
II. THE PARABLE
Technically this is not a parable, although Peter says that in verse 41. It’s a grouping of parabolic allusions – three fragments of parables.
1) First Story: A landowner returned from a wedding feast in the middle of the night. He found the door locked to keep the house secure and his servants waiting for him.
2) Second Story: A home was broken into. If the owner had known the thief was coming, he'd have stayed awake and alert.
3) Third Story: A steward was left in charge while his master was away. He didn't do what he was supposed to do.
In the Gospels, there's a note of urgency in the ministry of Jesus, especially with the disciples.
III. THE PRINCIPLES TO APPLY
A) Be Ready Every Day
B) To Be Ready Removes Fear and Anxiety
“To be dressed in readiness literally means to gird up the loins for action. The servants at the time of Christ would be careful to tuck their long flowing robes into their belts to make it easier to do manual labor. (Exodus 12:11 – Israel was to eat the Passover dressed in readiness, prepared to move out, because they were leaving Egypt and headed for the Promised land. There was no time to casually approach the evening, they were to focus on the future). They would tend to the wicks of the lamps and replenish the oil so the lamps wouldn't burn out. (Leviticus 24:1-4 – The oil in the lamp which represented the Spirit of God, was to burn continuously).”
“Anxiety is a spiritual virus that drains and inhibits us. It can look like watchfulness, but when we are anxious we are merely thinking about ourselves. Anxiety narrows our perceptions to puny concerns. . . . We worry because we are overly concerned about the things of this life, forgetting about the kingdom of God.” – John Hanneman
C) My Readiness Is Revealed in My Willing Obedience
D) Being Ready Brings a Blessing that Will Not Come Any Other Way