The Parables, Prophecies, and Prayers of Jesus, His Wisdom, Authority and Power in the life of the believer. NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZON: $3.77
The Parables of Jesus
The teaching style of Jesus is unique amongst all the ancient Rabbis of Israel. When Jesus confronted the Pharisees for their elevation of tradition above the true intent of God’s law, they were indignant. When Jesus encouraged these men to use the law of God for mercy and to benefit man, as God intended, the religious leaders of Israel were offended.
Jesus used an effective method of teaching that was predicted in the Psalms as an emblem of the Messiah’s identity. By Parables, Jesus conveyed deep spiritual truths through simple stories which used familiar illustrations, to reveal formerly hidden knowledge about the Kingdom of God and Heaven itself.
Jesus defined the purpose of His parables as a way to reveal spiritual truth to those who have a sincere heart for God. Those who are callous, uncaring, and uninterested in the things of God, the parables serve to conceal these truths.
A Parable is an eternal truth that is hidden in an illustration of something that is well-known and familiar to most people in their everyday life. These commonly understood stories, such as how seeds are planted and grow, hide a truth of infinite value. It was by this method of teaching that Jesus identified Himself as the object of Psalm 78:12: “I will open my mouth in a parable…”
For the casual listener, the Parables that Jesus taught were perceived as simple stories. If, however, the listener continued to ponder and search out the deeper meaning, they could discover a spiritual truth that Jesus had hidden within.
As the parable was spoken, there was a choice to be made—either to ponder the deeper meaning of what was being said or to walk away perplexed and uninterested. For some who have a genuine heart to know who God is, when a parable or illustration is recited, an earnest desire springs up to understand the depth of the story. This teaching style of Jesus was extremely effective at that time, and it is still effective today.
Whenever Jesus spoke, people wanted to listen to Him. Enormous crowds of people would gather together and endure hot afternoons, and hours without food or water. Very often hordes of eager people would stand nearby until Jesus finished speaking, hoping to be healed or helped. Jesus did not teach the people in the manner that the leaders of Israel taught. When Jesus spoke, He quoted no other teacher, He spoke with His own authority—as if He were the law-giver Himself.
The Pharisees would often quote a greater, well respected Rabbi in making certain points of the law. Jesus did not quote any man. In this way, He was indicating that His authority was greater than all of their traditions, or the teaching of the greatest Rabbis.
Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This method of teaching often confounded the people of Israel because of the authority with which Jesus spoke.
Matthew 7:28-29 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
There were two types of teachers of the law in Israel during the time that Jesus taught the people. The Torah teachers, who were only permitted to teach previously accepted interpretations of God’s law—by respected Rabbi’s. The second; the s’mikhah teachers, those who had developed such great knowledge and proficiency in the law of God that they were permitted to teach new interpretations of the law. When the leaders of Israel listened to Jesus teach, His authority and knowledge of the law was unmistakable. As a result of Jesus interpretations of the law, the chief priests and the elders asked Jesus where He received His authority to teach these new expositions of the law.
Matthew 21:23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
All that the leaders of Israel knew about Jesus was that He was the son of the carpenter—Joseph and Mary from Nazareth. In their opinion, Jesus did not have the authority to make such interpretations of the laws of God.
John 6:41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
We should not miss the subtlety of this verse from John 6:41 as their is an implied derision in this statement. “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? It was well known amongst the leaders of Israel that Mary was already pregnant with Jesus when she married Joseph. The Pharisees considered Jesus; the illegitimate son of an adulterous woman. In their minds, God would never give wisdom in the law of God, to a man who came from such a scurrilous background.
In fact, through the Hebrew prophets, God described the Messiah as One who would possess great knowledge in the correct purpose of God’s law. Jesus informs the leaders of Israel that their understanding of the law was not correct. In saying this, He was elevating His authority above all other authority.
The Prophecies of Jesus
According to the Book of Deuteronomy, if any person speaks a word of prophecy in seeking to predict a future event and that event does not come to pass exactly as it was described, that person is a false prophet. The test of a true prophecy from the one true God is whether all the words come to pass precisely as they were predicted—with one-hundred percent accuracy. Even the smallest failure in any part of any prophetic utterance is an indication that the prophecy is false and that the person speaking the words is a false prophet. The people of God are to not listen to any such words or persons who make these predictions.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. 21. And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?”—22. when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Because all of the words that Jesus spoke came to pass exactly as He said they would, He passes the test of a true prophet of God; and His words should be heeded. Many of the predictions that Jesus spoke are extremely detailed and contain multiple parts that require advanced knowledge and extreme precision to carry them to their fulfillment.
Prediction 14: From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the land of Israel will be ruled and overrun by the Gentiles.
“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
As Jesus warned the citizens of Israel that their denial of Him as their Messiah would leave their land desolate, Titus’ siege upon Jerusalem did in fact leave the city in ruins; and allowed for the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” This happened as Jesus said: “Because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Since 70 A.D., Jerusalem has been under Gentile domination for almost 2,000 years. Not until 1967 did the Jews once again regain rulership over Jerusalem. Complete rulership over the entire nation will not happen until the Rapture of the church takes place, introducing the seven-year Tribulation and ending “The times of the Gentiles.” Jesus’ prediction that Jerusalem would be “trampled by the Gentiles” was literally fulfilled, just as He said.
The facts of history do not lie. Every event that Jesus described in detail came to pass exactly as He said they would. All fourteen of the prophecies that Jesus spoke and their literal fulfillment, leave us with sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus is “the Prophet” whom Moses spoke of.
The Prayers of Jesus
As the Messiah, Jesus defined the true meaning and intent of prayer in a way that none of us had know previous to His great example of prayer. It is certain that a large part of Jesus ministry was empowered by His voracious prayer life. When all others were fast asleep, Jesus was on His knees before the Father, interceding for us.
The model for effective prayer is found in the habit and method of Jesus as He demonstrated how, and to whom we should pray.
The true Lord’s prayer
John records the true “Lord’s prayer” in chapter 17 of his gospel and gives us a firsthand view of the intimacy that Jesus had with the Father in His prayers.
Verses 1-2: Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”
When Jesus begins His prayer, as was a common custom of that time, He lifted up His eyes to look up towards God. Jesus says, “The time has come.” The Lord was always considerate of the timing for everything that He said or did, in regards to the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. When Mary asked the Lord to intervene with His power at the wedding in Cana, Jesus told His mother that it was not the appropriate time to reveal His true identity. Jesus would wait until Nissan 10, 32 A.D., the date calculated by Daniel Chapter 9—the prophecy given by the angel Gabriel to Daniel, describing the precise day the Messiah would come to Jerusalem in fulfillment of God’s promise.
When the disciples pressed Jesus to go to Jerusalem and publicly identify Himself to the people as the Messiah, He refused, stating: “The time has not yet come” (John 7:8). When Jesus’ enemies tried to put Him to death, they were unsuccessful because it was not yet the time appointed for Him to die (John 7:30, 8:20).
We can see by Jesus’ prayer life that He was deeply committed to fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies that would confirm Him as the Messiah. The reason that this was so important to the Lord was due to His overwhelming zeal to see the Father glorified. When each prediction that God had made came to pass, being fulfilled by Jesus—the Father was glorified. Jesus considered it the utmost importance to make sure that every word of God’s promises were fulfilled perfectly.
Jesus speaks of “Glory” and “Glorify” in reference to the fulfillment of all God’s word. If we should ever consider prophecy as unimportant, we should study the prayer of Jesus. He makes it clear that doing the will of the Father, by fulfilling all of His prophetic word, was the most important objective that Jesus came to accomplish.
The mark of Jesus ministry was that of teaching. He saw the present condition of man and his suffering and the fact that we are all perishing because of a lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
Jesus came to educate us on what God requires for the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. He also taught us how to have a more abundant and satisfying life right now. Many people feel that to be a Christian is to have all our focus on the afterlife with little consideration for life here and now. Jesus taught us how we can be truly happy—today, and find genuine peace with God, forever.
 Matthew 15:12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
 Psalms 78:2 “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old…”