DEEP Studies

The prodigal son parable gets into some deep concepts. Then Jesus tells the parable of the dishonest manager, who gets praised for his shrewdness. Lastly, Jesus applies this parable by explaining that worldly wealth will go away. The lessons aren’t easy, but they’re as valuable as they are difficult.
Jesus uses parables to teach things his listeners don’t want to hear. Forget the status thing. You must count the cost – even hating your father and mother – for following Him. We don’t celebrate the way we should. Like the prodigal son, we chase the wrong things.
Jesus teaches that the kingdom will grow gradually, like a mustard seed, that few will be saved, that the first will be last, and that he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Jesus says a number of frightening things. There will be division – father against son. To whom much is given, much will be required. You’re just as bad as those who were killed by Pilate (or by a falling tower). This is all quite shocking, but the disciples need this wake-up call.

Jesus’s teaching focuses on what’s important and what’s not. Beware of the dangers the Pharisees represent, especially blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The end could come at any moment. Are you prepared? What is your treasure? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus’s warns against complacency and looking for signs. But the Pharisees and lawyers get a stronger heads up. They’re looking for all the wrong things.
Jesus’ teaching now gets complicated. He’s challenging his disciples to understand and follow difficult commands, while still keeping some things secret. Everyone He interacts with gets their mind stretched.
The message of the kingdom of heaven gets more advanced as Jesus challenges His disciples to abandon worldly priorities. Kingdom power advances too when Jesus sends out six dozen followers and gives them more permanent powers than He gave the twelve.
At last, Peter gets it and announces who Jesus is. This is roundly confirmed on the mount of transfiguration. This leads to the next level of revelation – crucifixion. The apostles aren’t going to understand this until after it happens.

People are scared or even offended by Jesus’s power. He keeps who He is a secret, while doing things that, in retrospect, will make it obvious. This is all part of preparing his disciples for what’s coming. Some of the events are actually clever exercises for them.

No one is ready for the concept of incarnation. Jesus shows who he is, and the demons know who he is, but for now, he’s just setting things up for a later realization. It’s all just too fantastic.
Jesus raises a boy from the dead – without even being asked. After he confirms to John who he is and explains who John is, Jesus is anointed by a “sinner woman.” He explains that one who is forgiven much loves much.

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