“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.” (Mt 13:34)
Jesus spoke to the crowds only in parables. Parables are short stories or illustrations that Jesus drew from nature and life. Jesus most often used parables to describe the kingdom of heaven. In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus spoke a series of seven parables concerning the development of the kingdom of God from its beginning, advancement, and to the final consummation.
Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” (1 Kgs 19:2)
Those words sent Elijah running. When Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him, Elijah was so fearful that he pleaded for the Lord to take away his life. How could it be? Elijah had been so strong in faith—did he not challenge the four-hundred-and-fifty false prophets of Baal and slaughter them all on Mt Carmel?
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 Jn 5:14)
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me.” (Jn 11:41-42) Jesus prayed with deep conviction and confidence. Immediately after this simple prayer, Jesus performed one of his most astonishing miracles by making Lazarus, a man dead for four days, walk out of a tomb alive. In history, great men of God have been prayerful and great signs have followed them. Today, it is important for us to examine ourselves to see whether we have the same confidence to associate ourselves with Jesus and say, “Father, I knew that you always hear me.”
“But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.” (Lk 8:54-55)
A synagogue ruler named Jairus asked Jesus to come and heal his seriously ill daughter. Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter when the woman with an issue of blood had interrupted Him. While Jesus was healing the woman, Jairus’ faith was tested when he heard that his daughter had died. But Jesus turned to him and said, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (v. 50) With a few words, Jesus strengthened Jairus and helped him refocus on faith and hope.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39)
“And a great windstorm arose” (4:37), a storm so threatening that the disciples asked their sleeping Master if He did not care that they perished. Some of life’s storms come upon us suddenly. These storms could be job loss, family illness or death, financial difficulties, accidents, or a pandemic. In the midst of a storm, we are often scared and cry out to God and pray earnestly. If God does not give any apparent response or delays His help, we may wonder does Jesus care? With great fear, the disciples woke Jesus up and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (4:38) In our distress, we sometimes may ask a similar question, “Lord, do You not care my grief and my difficulty? I need Your help now.”