A parable compares something familiar with something intangible. Some of Jesus' parables compare farming with spiritual growth. Many of His parables teach the meaning of the kingdom of heaven. Parables require effort from us. We must have "ears to hear."
Matthew 11-12, Luke 11: “I Will Give You Rest” (March 13-19)
Christ's burden is light. When we focus on the heart of the gospel, we treat others with mercy and avoid overburdening them. We serve others without giving up on them. We recognize signs without demanding them. And we prioritize reality over appearances.
Matthew 9–10; Mark 5; Luke 9: “These Twelve Jesus Sent Forth” (March 6-12)
1. Apostles are messengers sent from Christ. The way we receive them reflects the way we would receive Him. 2. We are healed and saved by His grace as we exercise faith in Him. 3. Believing does not require naïveté. It requires a positive focus and hope.
Matthew 8; Mark 2-4; Luke 7: “Thy Faith Hath Saved Thee” (February 27-March 5)
Jesus healed many people during His earthly ministry to demonstrate that He can heal us all. He saw sinners as people to be healed, not to be condemned. Just as He calmed the storm, we need to learn to be still and trust Him.
Matthew 6-7: ““He Taught Them as One Having Authority” (February 20-26)
The second part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6) focuses on prioritizing heavenly rewards. The third part (Matthew 7) provides guidelines for judging wisely. Jesus also provided an example of a good prayer, called the Lord's Prayer.
Matthew 5; Luke 6: “Blessed Are Ye” (February 13-19)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that apparent signs of weakness can actually be sources of strength. He urges us to light the world. He also shows us how to internalize the law rather than merely comply with it.
John 2-4: “Ye Must Be Born Again” (February 6-12)
Some of Jesus' most profound teachings had an audience of one. He taught Nicodemus that we must be born again and that His coming demonstrated God's love. He taught the Samaritan woman that He provides living water and that we must worship with our heart.
Matthew 4; Luke 4-5: “The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me” (January 30-February 5)
We can overcome temptation by following the Savior's example: studying the word of God, fasting, and spending time alone. We can follow His example of service by contributing to the health and freedom—physical, emotional, and spiritual—of others.
Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” (January 23-29)
Three reasons why baptism was an appropriate way for the Savior to begin His ministry: 1. Baptism is an inherently humble and submissive action. 2. Baptism is a public declaration of belief. 3. Baptism by immersion symbolizes our total commitment to God.
John 1: “We Have Found the Messiah” (January 16-22)
Four messages from John 1: 1. Jesus created the world. 2. Jesus is the light of the world. 3. He is full of grace, and He helps us grow "grace for grace." 4. He is the Lamb of God.