How are we to live? Jesus tells us in a very practical way.




A look at the examples contained in more kingdom parables.








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25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)

This is one of the best known of the parables of Jesus. We get the general message very easily. We are to 'agape love', that is to care for as would of yourself, 'our neighbour', which is everyone, particularly the poor, the unlovely, even those we don't like.

This is a recurring theme of Jesus.


Matthew 5:43-8



Being confirmed by Paul. 


Galatians 5:14



While this is well understood, although maybe not always as well lived by us, it is interesting to consider, as an aside, the 3 potential helpers here.

The first two, the priest and the Levite, were members of the God appointed priestly class. It was an indication of how far the religious hierarchy had moved away from God's Law over the 1500 years from Moses to Jesus. In these, the days of the Law, the religious people had become extra legalistic! It is a classic example of why the Law could not work, for man was never able to keep the letter, let alone the spirit, of it. Even the Levites, the descendants of those who had been loyal to God at the time of the building of the golden calf at Mount Sinai. Classic proof that the Law would not work in reconciling mankind to God, for no-one could or can keep all of it all the time.



The third person involved was a Samaritan. The Jews and the Samaritans were bitter enemies. The Jews saw the Samaritans as a mongrel race of remnants from the 10 tribes of Israel mixed with other peoples of the area. They had retained a bastardized form of Judaism which they would abandon when expedient. The Jews thought themselves far superior. Listen to the antipathy of John when Jesus was rejected by the Samaritans. 


Luke 9:52-6



Through this illustration Jesus was showing the Jews, and us, that living under the Law did not bring about righteousness. It was an indication that the old religious order was about to change to a system of individual decision to enter the kingdom and attain righteousness, irrespective of race.  


Matthew 6:33



Paul explained this change in the religious order well. 


Philippians 3:3-11



May we be careful not to fall back into the old religious practices of the priests and Levites. Instead, give all the praise and thanks to Jesus, that because of His sacrifice on the cross, we are able, through belief in what He has done for us, enter the glorious kingdom of God. 





“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:1-18)



One morning, I was lying in bed listening to the radio. There was a programme on about teaching religion in schools.

Setting a benchmark, 55% of New Zealanders considered themselves Christian (most are nominal though), 30% atheist or agnostic, with 15% following other religions.

In essence, the conclusion was that it was acceptable to teach 'religious moral values' without teaching any particular 'religion'. One universal God etc., etc. The one world church movement is growing, and sadly, is supported by many 'Christians'.

The Christians, and others, had either not read, misunderstood, or rejected this parable. For Jesus was warning here about this 'politically correct', worldly conclusion.

According to Jesus, there is only one way, one gate, to enter the kingdom of God. Either Jesus is lying, which means we shouldn't believe anything He says, or He is speaking the truth, informing us of an unequivocal fact, one which we ignore at our peril.

He reiterates this truth in Matthew.


Matthew 7:13-14



The choices are the broad gate of inclusion and destruction, or the narrow gate of life, now and for eternity.

This choice is mine. This choice is yours. Which gate will you choose?



The parable continues to say that there are two groups of sheep that will be combined into one flock, in the kingdom 


John 10:16



The two lots of sheep that are to join together are the Jews who choose to follow Jesus, along with the gentiles, whom the Jews of the time, and many still today, would not consider could ever be acceptable to God, without first becoming Jews.

Peter, the Jew, had to learn this lesson through the vision he received from the Lord about all animals now being clean to eat.


Acts 11:15-18



I look forward to the day when we will all, Jewish and gentile followers of Jesus will be gathered into the one flock with one shepherd.

Thank you Lord.




..... with more life lessons from the kingdom parables of Jesus. 




It is so easy to slip into 'religion', whether that be of the Old Testament, as illustrated through the Pharisees, or the new age 'all inclusive, one world church', version.

Religion is man made, for human gratification while the kingdom is based on the principles of God as taught by Jesus in the kingdom parables.

May we tell the difference.


Hezekiah's Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah's Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period. Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

2 Kings 20:20 "As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city..."

2 Chron. 32:30 "It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David."

Why is the tunnel S-shaped?

R. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a "pathetically helpless piece of engineering."

Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock.

Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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