Jesus’ Parables 1
Wakeboard Program Summer Study Jesus’ Parables
Have any of you guys ever been shot before? I have, and let me tell you, you never see it coming. It happened on a sunny summer day a few years ago. I was in high school and on a trip with my youth group. There were a hundred of us playing this game on a large playing field. The numbers were precisely fifty on fifty. During one of these games I was the last man standing on my team; there were at least eight left on the opposing team. As I was defending my territory valiantly, BOOM! I had gotten shot right in the back of the leg. Luckily, it was only a paint smear and not a blood smear when I looked down at my leg, but it sure felt like that paintball went straight through my leg.
Now, you may be disappointed to find out at the end of the story that it was only a paintball that I had gotten shot with instead of a real bullet. But, I believe many of us can relate to the time I had in the last few moments of my paintball career. Often, in life we run into times of loneliness, times when we are scared, times when we are outnumbered, and times when we want to give up and just let our enemies win because the battle is exhausting. As we just read in John 10:1-18, we do not have to fight alone. Actually, the good shepherd, resembling Jesus, is the only one designed for real fighting. Often, we feel exhausted because we are trying to do everything on our own. This is not what Jesus wants for us. We are his sheep, who hear his voice, follow him, and flee from following strangers.
How is this possible you may ask? Jesus, who is God, came to earth as fully man and fully God and lived a life of servitude to his enemies, resulting in his enemies (us) being reunited back to God from the time of separation that happened back with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Now, everyone who calls himself or herself a follower of the most high God can be a part of this story. Jesus chose all of you for his glory. Knowing this his followers do not walk alone on this earth. They live life through the times of the good and times of the bad with the ultimate reality of Jesus’ victory on the cross and his resurrection are what points them in the direction of something greater, and something more than this world has to offer. Everyone here can agree that there is what is called suffering in life, we all go through it at different times. But, how would you like to know that Jesus, the good shepherd, has made a place for you, of green pasture. Our job as followers is just to keep hearing his voice in the Bible and following what he tells us to do.
So, are you following the good shepherd? Does he know you by name? Or are you exhausted from trying to do life completely alone, like me on the paintball field in my last moments. Following Christ is not about being a die-hard. We as sheep gather together to support one another because life will bring wolves (troubles) our way, but Christ has made a stone walled sheep pen to keep out the wolves at night. Now, that does not mean that people won’t try to hop into our pen of peace and steal us through lies. But, learning to hear the good shepherd’s voice clearing will keep you from following strangers who only plan to hurt and kill your soul. If this is the first time you are hearing this you have the opportunity to respond to what Jesus has done for you by acknowledging your need for Jesus here and now. Are there anyone that wants to do that? (If yes, everyone pray for them and afterwards pull them into an office and explain to them more about what they have just given their life over too). If not, sum up the Bible study in a prayer.
Jake Tastad JSAW Wakeboard Progam Leader