With the Kingdom Parables, Jesus teaches many lessons to the human race about how to live our life on earth so that we can live in the eternal life. Just to name a few, the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) is a story of mercy, the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) is a story of compassion, the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18) is a story of forgiveness and the story of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25) tells of God’s final judgement on the human race with a certain eternal finality. All the Parables (and there are many) teach rich, viable truths to men and women and children of every race, tribe, and nation so that when sowed by hearts seeking the leadership and presence of Christ, a bountiful reaping of a generous reward becomes reality as promised. The Parable of the Vine and the Branches (John 15) may have been the last spoken Parable by Jesus just hours before his death. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
Israel finally reached Jordan’s shore by eating the bread of life, drinking the water of life, and applying the blood of lambs to the covenant in yearly fashion to cover their sins in the desert. None of the original 2.4 million former Egyptian slaves, however, crossed this river into the Promised Land of Canaan except Joshua and Caleb. All of the others had died in the desert because of unbelief but produced a new generation of strong, believing, and consecrated people trained for battle. Through the cloud by day and fire by night, the desert-born offspring of the Egyptian slaves trusted and abided in the provision of the God of their fathers and the “land flowing with milk and honey” became their reality as promised.
Jesus said in John 6.53—“…unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.” Jesus is the world’s vine of provision. To be connected to this vine and receive life as a branch, we all must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. There is no life without him; there is no hope without him. Joy and sorrow flowed mingled together on that fateful day 2000 years ago. Joy and sorrow met as flesh and blood was given in love for you and me to enter the reality of Heaven, as promised. May we eat of that flesh and drink of that blood and look forward to the “land that flows with milk and honey”. Sj—3/15