Some things are hard to understand — like chemistry, verb conjugations, the blockchain, or why your friend is mad at you. When we face a problem, situation, or idea we’re struggling to understand, it always helps to know someone we trust can explain it to us.

When Jesus was here on earth, he spent a lot of time helping his followers understand some pretty hard-to-understand ideas about God.

One of the ways Jesus often made complicated ideas simpler was by explaining them through stories and metaphors, which we call parables. In this four-week series from the Gospels, we’ll explore four of the parables Jesus told his followers to explain four important truths about God. These parables help us see that In God’s kingdom, He is searching for you, in God’s kingdom, everyone belongs, God’s words invite a response, and that God’s words are a firm foundation.

In God’s Kingdom, He is Searching for You

What do you know about sheep? Not much, huh? That’s ok, because we will cover the basics in week one together. What you do need to know about them, however, is that they need a shepherd. That’s right, on their own they aren’t too bright and rely on someone to constantly provide for them, protect them, and even search after them when they are lost.

Jesus explains this concept in one of his better known parables, The Parable of the Lost Sheep. He shares that by themselves, sheep have a propensity to wander. The Shepherd of the sheep however, is willing to go out and search for even that one sheep that is lost.

In this parable we learn that Jesus is that Shepherd, and we are the lost sheep. And he is willing to search after us. To find us, pick us up, and take us back into the fold, because in God’s Kingdom, He is searching for you.

Week 1: 10/5 & 10/9 – Trevor Miller
Scripture: Matthew 18:10-14 | Luke 15

In God’s Kingdom, Everyone Belongs

You know that feeling when you get treated unfairly? The pounding heart? Tight chest? Warm face? Burning stomach? It’s not a great feeling. Sometimes we really do get treated unfairly! But sometimes, the thing we call “unfair” might actually be something else entirely. 

Jesus once told a story about some people working in a field. At the end of the day these workers all got paid the same amount of money, even though some people didn’t have to work as long as the others. Maybe that doesn’t seem fair at first, but Jesus was trying to make a point with this fictitious story.

The story wasn’t about money at all—it was actually about God’s love and grace and who gets to belong in God’s kingdom. Jesus is saying God’s love isn’t just for the people who got there first or followed all the right rules. God’s love is for everyone—even the people who showed up a little late. That’s not something to be angry about; it’s something to celebrate! Because in God’s kingdom, everyone belongs.

Week 2: 10/12 & 10/16 – Daniel “stallion” Stevanus
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16 | Psalm 145:8-14 | Ephesians 2:8-9; 3:28

God’s Words Invite a Response

Have you ever been in conversation with someone and you just get the feeling that they aren’t truly listening? You could say just about anything and it wouldn’t matter, because your words are obviously going in one ear and out the other. That never feels great. When we’re talking to someone we want a response, not blank stares.  

Jesus once told this story about God’s words being like seeds, and people being like different kinds of soil. Some people are fertile soil where God’s words take root and begin to grow, while other people are more like gravel roads where the seeds never get a chance to grow.

Jesus’ point is that when God speaks, we have an opportunity to do something about what God has said. Will we let those words take root and change us? It’s up to you. But God’s words invite a response.

Week 3: 10/19 & 10/23 – Allie Redmond
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-23 | Psalm 119:105-112 | John 6:60-61, 66

God’s Words are a Firm Foundation

Do you ever feel like you’re on shaky ground? Maybe you’re stressed because of family drama and you feel stuck in the middle. Or you have to move schools and leave your friends behind. Or maybe you and a friend are fighting or drifting apart, and you wish things could go back to how they were before. Living in uncertainty can be exhausting, but we know that we have a God that can withstand any uncertainty. 

In a story Jesus once told, He imagines one person who builds a house on a solid rock and another who builds their house on sand. Then a storm comes and, well, can you guess what happened? The house on the sand collapsed while the other stood strong. So what’s the point of this story? Jesus explains: God’s words are like that solid rock. When you build your life around what God has said you will never crumble—no matter how shaky life gets. Because God’s words are a firm foundation.

Week 4: 10/26 & 10/30 – Daniel “stallion” Stevanus
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16 | Psalm 145:8-14 | Ephesians 2:8-9; 3:28