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Lesson 16

When Jesus started his earthly ministry he broke his message down into two basic components. His two messages were very different in scope and were intended to have different outcomes for those who heard them. When Jesus spoke to large crowds he usually included a story in his message. Some of his parables were easier to understand than others and their intended meanings are still being debated by theologians today. Even his followers had a hard time understanding them and Jesus often explained the deeper meanings to them later in private so they could fully understand. He did this so his disciples would learn secrets about the coming Kingdom of God, while the general public would not have a complete comprehension. Jesus deliberately wanted the crowds to gain only a superficial understanding of his message, while his followers would come to know more. The Bible clearly tells us the only way to have our sins forgiven and receive eternal life is to accept Jesus as our savior. Why would Jesus deliberately shroud his full message to the crowds with stories so they would not understand? Did Jesus want all those who heard him speak to accept him as their savior? By keeping full understanding away from the masses, did Jesus bar them from salvation and eternal life? Did Jesus come to save the world? Was he crucified for only a select few? How and when might all freely come to choose his salvation?

Matthew 13:10-12 Good News Translation
10 Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11 Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has.

Matthew 16:15-20 International Children’s Bible
15 Then Jesus asked them, “And who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. No person taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am. 18 So I tell you, you are Peter. And I will build my church on this rock. The power of death will not be able to defeat my church. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. The things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow. The things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.” 20 Then Jesus warned his followers not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Luke 24:45 Names of God Bible
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

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