27th March 2019

Two Helpful Parables

“Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ And he answered them, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.’”
Matthew 13:10-11 (RSV)

Jesus said that he spoke in parables for the benefit of the disciples. We as disciples of Jesus can learn important lessons from the parables. I was recently thinking about two parables, the parable of the workers in the vineyard, and the parable of the talents, as I considered how many churches, including ours, are finding that their congregations are getting smaller and aging. Most of us are praying for it to be different, and for young families, seekers and wounded souls to join us, to share with us the spiritual growth the Holy Spirit has taught us. When these prayers are answered, the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20 might just be a warning to us. Matthew 20:12 says, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” Many Church members have attended their congregations for thirty, forty, fifty and more years. Any new members could be looked on as not having endured as we have, but personally, I would not like to swap with any newcomer who has had to live in this world in their own strength, and not knowing Grace and the love of God.

I was also saddened to hear of smaller congregations closing down recently, and can understand the discouragement that this causes. But the Master in the parable of the talents (Luke 19:12-26), delayed for a much longer time than was expected, which actually gave his servants more time to perfect the newly acquired skills that enabled them to increase the Master’s wealth and to eradicate mistakes that, at first, probably led to losses, and maybe even deficits. Instead of feeling superior to newcomers to the faith, let’s use our God-given talents to make our congregations places where everyone feels welcome and nurtured in discipleship. Then our Lord will be able to say, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17). May I encourage long-time Christians to still be working in the small spheres He has given us now, ready to be used by Him when His time is right, and grateful to have been entrusted with such a long time working in His service. We cannot begin to imagine the delight on our Lord’s face as He rewards us!

Beloved Father, thank You for choosing us to be the vessels of clay that will enable You to build Your Church into a beautiful Temple before Your soon-coming return. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Merry Matti


About the Author:
Merry Matti attends Nottingham Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Richard White

Email: nottingham@gracecom.church

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?