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A Synopsis of Paper 169: Last Teaching at Pella

Jesus and the apostles returned to the camp at Pella, where the assembled crowds had already learned of the resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus preached in Pella, telling the stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. He grouped these three stories together to demonstrate that God knows when we are lost, is diligent in his search for those who are lost, and that when a lost soul returns to God, he is accepted with joy.

Jesus taught that when people seek God, God is likewise seeking them. He said that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents that in ninety-nine who need no repentance. Jesus emphasized that he and God actively search for lost souls and use every resource possible to find those in need of salvation.

One evening Jesus told the parable of the shrewd steward to illustrate to his followers that they should arrange their lives to provide for present joy as well as future enjoyment of the treasures in heaven. He said, "He who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much, while he who is unrighteous in little will also be unrighteous in much. If you have not shown foresight and integrity in the affairs of this world, how can you hope to be faithful and prudent when you are trusted with the stewardship of the true riches of the heavenly kingdom?"

Jesus always had trouble explaining to the apostles that the Father in heaven was not a king. People of Jesus' time were accustomed to kings and emperors, and Jewish lore had long told of the coming of the kingdom of God. For this reason, Jesus referred to the spiritual brotherhood as the kingdom of God, but he never referred to his Father as a king.

Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the priests created these accusations against Jesus:

He is a friend of sinners; he even eats with them.

He blasphemes by saying that God is his father.

He heals disease on the Sabbath and flouts the sacred law of Israel.

He does miracles by the power of devils.

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