In the past few studies on the parables of Jesus, I have been demonstrating that the reasons for Jesus telling the parables are twofold. They are the bookends that identify two classes of hearers of the word of God, namely believers and unbelievers. Yes, unbelievers do listen to the word of God, but only in an effort to strengthen and support what they already believe (Matthew 12:24). This is key to identifying unbelievers who say they believe God’s word. They already think they know the truth, so they use scripture as a tool to strengthen their position (Matthew 7:15-20). Believers, on the other hand, receive the word of God as their truth (Matthew 13:23). Understanding the word, they allow the truth to mold their behavior in life. In other words, believers are changed by the word of God in an effort to establish the reign of God, but unbelievers change the word of God in an effort to establish their own reign in the presence of God. Read the rest of this entry »
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