Rev. Roman Kozak, Pastor of Church in the Park, White Rock, BC
Rev. Roman & Pat Kozak
Pastors of Church in the Park
White Rock, BC

Office Telephone: 778-294-4040
Email: info@churchinthepark.ca

DEVOTIONAL CORNER

Each month Pastor Roman Kozak provides Sunday Line & World Ministries supporters with a short devotional. Pastors Roman and Pat Kozak lead the congregatin of Church in the Park in White Rock, BC. The church holds Sunday Services at 10 am at White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Avenue, White Rock, BC. Church in the Park is affiliated with Sunday Line Communications Society. Pastors Roman and Pat serve as Vice President/Treasurer and Director on the Sunday Line & World Ministries Board.

December 2017
"Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Men"
LUKE 2:14

When Jesus came the first time He would often speak in parables. "Why parables?!". . . a question asked of Jesus by his own disciples. (Matthew 13:10).

The definition of a parable is a story that runs alongside of a spiritual truth and principle. Parable comes from the Greek 'para' which means alongside or beside.

The world today consists of two kingdoms which are in conflict with each other; the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. The definition of a kingdom includes a king, a people, and a domain.

The world at present is still under the influence and control of Satan. Drugs, alcohol abuse, greed, power, corruption are all part of Satan's ploy to steal, kill and destroy and it is the lure of the Prince of this age who is the root cause for all the evil that happens in this world.

There appear to be at least 5 reasons why Jesus used parables to describe the Kingdom of God.

First: God, Himself, makes a distinction between the disciples of Jesus and the crowds. The secrets of the kingdom of God previously hidden belong only to Jesus' disciples. "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given." (Matthew 13:11)

The heart of the secret is that the Kingdom of God through Jesus' coming had already entered the world in a hidden fashion . . . working quietly in and through people. The Jews had always believed that when the Kingdom of God came that it would come dramatically, explosively, publicly and abruptly to end the age. Jesus' parables teach that the Kingdom had in fact already come. Matthew 11:12: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

Secondly, the proclamation of the gospel in parables was veiled in order to separate the true disciples of Christ from the others. Those who were not serious disciples would not be given any further revelation and in fact even the so called teachers and scribes would lose whatever little revelation they had.

Thirdly, Jesus spoke in parables as a judicial sentence upon those who refused to understand and had no desire to see. The people were living in a spiritual darkness, and they loved the darkness. "And this is the condemnation: that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)

The Jews were always hearing the word of God, but they never understood it or wanted to understand it. In fact they actually closed their eyes to large parts of its content for fear that if they took a closer look, it would force them to see and repent from their ways.

Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah: "For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them." (Matthew 13:15)

The fourth reason that Jesus spoke in parables is that Jesus came to fulfill scripture. The failure of the people to understand who Jesus was and how the kingdom was dawning was also the fulfillment of prophecy as Jesus cites Psalm 78:2. "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us."

The fifth reason Jesus spoke in parables is that He was preparing His disciples for ministry. It would be after His resurrection that Jesus would commission his disciples to go into all the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

It is false to think that Jesus spoke in parables to make the truth easier to understand. In fact it was precisely the opposite. In His own words He did not want to cast His pearls before pigs (7:6) and because the message was veiled it hardened the hearts of the rebellious while giving enlightenment to His disciples who were beginning to see the truth as to how God's kingdom would invade and destroy the kingdom of Satan.

In the last parable of Jesus recorded in Luke 19, we need to recognize that this parable is completely different from the parable of the talents which is recorded in Matthew 25. In Matthew 25 the unit of money was talents . . . in Luke 19 the currency is minas.

To understand the point that Jesus is making, we need to look at the purpose of this parable and secondly the principles which we find in it.

First of all: Jesus spoke specifically about the kingdom of God which the disciples thought would be established when Jesus reached Jerusalem. Their attitude at that time was: "Let's set up this kingdom and get on with it!" And so Jesus wanted to correct them about their thinking.

We need to understand that when we place our trust in Jesus as our Saviour, we become citizens of His kingdom immediately, and we become His subjects and He becomes our King; but His rule is a spiritual rule in our hearts which is very different from the physical kingdom on earth which Jesus will one day establish. Our entrance into the kingdom of God comes through a spiritual transformation . . . it is a born again experience where our spirit man becomes alive unto God. We are in the Kingdom now . . . seated with Christ while He is waiting for the day to take His rightful seat as king of the whole earth and thus fulfill all the prophecies concerning Messiah's kingdom.

But in order to receive His authority as King, Jesus must first go to a "far country". Rulers of countries under Roman rule frequently would go to the capital city of Rome in order to receive their authority from the office of Caesar. Likewise Jesus must also first go to a far country . . . to heaven, to receive His authority from His heavenly Father.

Although Jesus has already received this authority He must wait and obey His Father's command. We find this command recorded in Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'"

The purpose of the kingdom is and always has been for one person and one people . . . for Jesus and His disciples.

From the time that Jesus ascended into heaven, as recorded in Acts 1, Jesus according to Psalm 110 has been seated. The day is coming when Jesus will hear His Father say: "Son it is time for you to stand up!" Accordingly the apostle Paul in Romans 8:22 writes: "All creation is groaning and is waiting for that day."

This is what our glorious hope is . . . this is the blessed hope of the church: for the soon coming King. That is why we pray, "Lord, thy kingdom come . . . thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Yes, the King is coming and the only question remaining is: "What are we to do until He comes?"

The answer is simple: We are to preach the gospel to every nation about the Good News: that Jesus came and died for our sins, and was raised out of the grave, and is coming again to take His rightful throne as King of all the earth where He will rule and reign in justice and righteousness.

Dearly Beloved of God: The world seems to be in a destructive mode more now than ever before in the history of mankind. History has proven that we are indeed a fallen race and desperately need to be saved from ourselves. For this reason, we thank God, for the Cross of Christ which opened the door for us to be saved from ourselves.

This Christmas season we want to be mindful of the high price that Jesus paid when He first came as a baby in a lowly manger. He disrobed Himself from His glory and took on lowly flesh and became one of us. The first time He came as a lamb for the slaughter, but the next time He is coming as the rightful King of all the earth, and only then can we truly say and truly have "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Men"

On behalf of the entire Sunday Line board and team we want to wish you God's Richest Blessings for the Christmas Season and what it means to every follower of Jesus!!!

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