While Jesus was on the earth He spent a great deal of time teaching His disciples and other people as well. He quite often spoke in parables, using common things as examples. Find the following pictures from "The Living Christ" series :- 37, 82, 70, 75, 76, 77, 19, 107, 113.
Look at picture 37. Matthew 7:13-14
In this picture we see two roads. There are people walking on the central road. They come to a place where there is a division in the road. They must make a decision as to which road to follow. One road is narrow and there may be difficulties on it. Have many people chosen that road? No, only a few have gone on that road. The other road is wide and looks smooth at first. Have many people chosen that road? Yes, but look what has happened to them. They did not see it at the beginning, but later we see them falling into a lake of fire. Look at the people on the narrow road. They are going forward to a place of light. Which road will you choose? What does Jesus mean by giving us this picture? He said there are two ways we can travel in this life. One is the broad road that most of the people of this world follow. This is the road of living for our own pleasure. It may seem to be the easier way because we can do as we like. Also it is the road that many of our friends are taking and we want to go with them. As we can see from the picture, it is the road leading to Hell. If you knew that the end was destruction, would you continue to follow this road? Listen to Jesus. He is pointing out the other road. It is narrow, may have many difficulties, and many of our friends are not following it. But where does it lead? It leads to everlasting life and being with Jesus forever. The decision is yours. Will you go your own way or will you follow what Jesus says? He says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."
Look at picture 82. Luke 18:9-14
Jesus tells this story. Here we see two men praying. One is a Pharisee. He says, "I thank you that I am not like other men. I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of all I get to the poor. The other man is a tax collector. He is despised by other people. In their eyes he is a great sinner. He bows and prays humbly. He says, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Jesus asks the people, "Which of these two men did God hear and forgive?" What would you answer? The first man was religious. He fasts, and he gives money to the poor. Don't you think God would accept him as a righteous man? No, Jesus answered, "The tax collector was accepted by God as righteous rather than the Pharisee." Why? The Pharisee was trusting in his own good works. He was proud and thought he was better than other people. Can his praying, fasting, and giving money save him? No. The tax collector admitted he was a sinner. He asked God to have mercy on him. God forgave him. Our good works cannot save us. We must confess to God that we have sinned and ask Him to forgive us.
Look at picture 70. Luke 12:13-21
Jesus told the story of a rich man. He had such a good crop that he didn't have room to store it all. He said, "I will build bigger barns and store my grain in them. Then I will have good things laid up for myself for many years. I will eat, drink and be merry." But God said to him, "You fool. This night you will die. Then what good will all your wealth be to you?" Why did Jesus tell this story? He said, "Watch out. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. A man's life is not made up of all the things he owns." Are you making money to be the most important thing in your life? Do you spend all your time and energy in thinking about money? Money cannot save us. We need to make knowing God, loving and serving Him the most important thing in our life. This life is short. We do not know when we will die. We must be prepared to meet God.
Look at picture 75. Luke 15:11-13
Jesus told this story. A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, "Give me my share of the inheritance." The father divided his goods between the two sons. The younger son took his share and went off to a far country.
Look at picture 76. Luke 15:14-19
The son spent all his money in wild living. When he didn't have any money left he was homeless and hungry. He became a servant of a rich man. His job was to look after pigs. To the Jews pigs are unclean animals. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food the pigs were eating. Then he was sorry for what he had done. He had left his father where he had all he needed, and now he was starving. He said, "I will go back to my father. I will tell him I am sorry. I will admit my sin. I will say I am no longer worthy to be called a son. I will become a hired servant." He got up and started off for home. What do you think his father will say to him?
Look at picture 77. Luke 15:20-32
The father had been looking for his son. When he saw him coming, he ran to him and kissed him. The son said, "I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Quick; bring the best robe and put it on him. Put the ring of sonship on his finger. Kill the fatted calf and let us have a feast. My son was lost, but now he is found." When we sin and wander away from God, we find we don't have peace nor happiness. What must we do? We need to come back to God and ask His forgiveness. He loves us and will forgive us. He wants us to be His sons. We are not worthy to be called His sons, but when we repent He receives us. How do we become God's children?
Look at picture 19. John 3:1-21
A Pharisee named Nicodemus came to Jesus one night. Jesus said, "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." Nicodemus was surprised. He said, "How can a man when he is old be born again?" Jesus said, "When you were born the first time you were born of the flesh. But you must be born again of the Spirit. Then you will become a child of God." Nicodemus could not understand. Jesus explained by giving the example of the wind. In Hebrew and Greek they use the same word for spirit and wind. Jesus said, "You cannot see the wind but you can feel it. You do not know where it comes from or where it is going, but you see what it does. That is the same as a person born of the Spirit." We cannot actually see a person being born of the Spirit. But we can see by the change in his life that he is born again. Then Jesus said, "God so loved the world that He gave his Son. Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. Whoever does not believe in Him will be condemned." The only way to get eternal life is by receiving Jesus as our personal Saviour. Jesus is the Son whom God sent.
Look at picture 108. Mark 15:25-37
Jesus was lifted up on the cross and died for us. We need to look to Him in faith and we will receive eternal life. When man sinned against God, his spirit died. This is why we are separated from God. This is why our spirits need to be born again. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin. Now it is possible for us to be reunited with God.
Look at picture 113. Luke 24:13-35
On the third day after Jesus died, He rose from the dead. He talked with two men who had been His followers. They were on their way to Emmaus. They did not recognize Jesus. They did not understand why Jesus had died. Jesus explained God's plan from the very beginning. When Adam and Eve (the very first man and woman) sinned, God had already made a plan of salvation. Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning Himself. Jesus taught them clearly how God's plan was fulfilled. When they heard His explanations, and saw His nail-pierced hands, they recognized Him. Then they went and told others that Jesus had risen from the dead and opened the way for all men to be born again and to have everlasting life. As we have seen in all these lessons, Jesus taught people the way of salvation by using many different examples. If you have understood and accepted Him as Saviour, praise Him. If you are still not clear on the way of salvation, pray that He will show you. He is your Teacher through the Holy Spirit.