Jesus used true to life stories of human life or processes of nature to teach divine truths by comparing some event to the truth He wanted to impart. We call these stories parables (literally – to throw alongside), where one true thing is placed beside another for the purpose of comparison in conveying the truth. Yet, even though many hearing the parable might be familiar with the stories or events used, they either did not or could not understand. Why? Jesus explains in Matt.13:13-17. It wasn’t because the truth wasn’t plain enough; it was simply because some didn’t want to believe it. They didn’t want to understand and accept the truth taught so they just closed their eyes and stopped their ears and pretended not to see and hear the truth. I am certain Jesus could have forced them to believe His teachings, but He chose not to do so. He let them make the choice. The same is also true in other areas. Jesus COULD do anything He wanted to do, but there are some things He DID NOT CHOOSE TO DO.
Jesus DID NOT save Himself from the cross even though He could have done so under His own power Jn.10:17-18. He could have even called for 12 legions of angels (a legion – 6000 X 12 – 72,000) to rescue Him Matt.26:53. Yes, He could have done it, but He didn’t. He chose not to do it because He had come to do His Father’s will Matt.26:39, 44. The Father had sent Him to die for lost mankind Jn.12:27-29; Heb.10:5-10. So, He was willing to die to fulfill God’s plan Matt.1:21; Lk.19:10; Jn.3:16.
Another thing Jesus DID NOT do was please everybody. In Matt.11:16-20 He pointed out something that is true of every generation, even today. People are like little children who can’t make up their minds what they want to do. They quickly shift from one thing to another. He then showed that there was no pleasing some people and illustrated with their reaction to Him and John the Baptist. He said “John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” He knew He could not please everyone because of their prejudicial attitudes and dispositions. To force men to accept Him would take away their free will (right to choose) so He didn’t even try. His purpose was to please God, not man Jn.8:29; Matt.3:17; 17:5. Paul knew this and stated his purpose was the same as that of His Lord’s, to please God Gal.1:10; 1.Thes.2:4. But, Jesus will please anyone who wants to please God. These are the ones Jesus will save. If Jesus couldn’t please everyone, neither can we. When the truth is preached or taught with love, simplicity and boldness some will be pleased to hear and obey, others won’t, but the truth must still be spoken regardless 2.Tim.4:2-4.
Jesus DID NOT teach everyone successfully. Many times He failed. Why? Because some just refused to listen Matt.13:15; Jn.8:43-47; 10:24-26. Some wouldn’t listen because of what He taught Jn.6:60-66. To them the truth was too hard to accept, so they turned away from Him. They would rather believe a lie than the truth 2.Thes.2:10-12. But this didn’t stop Him from teaching the truth just because they wouldn’t accept it. He did not consider Himself a failure because His teaching fell on deaf ears. If Jesus couldn’t succeed in teaching everyone successfully, why should we feel bad when we try to teach someone and the person won’t listen? Some have tried to teach someone and failed, so they say, “What’s the use? No one wants to learn so they quit trying to teach anyone. We need to remember our purpose is to teach the truth, and let the person being taught make the decision of accepting or rejecting it.
Jesus DID NOT exempt man from taking personal responsibility for his actions. Even though the actions of the Jews, and even the apostle Judas, fulfilled scripture, by rejecting Him as being the Messiah (Christ), this did not excuse them from being personally accountable for what they did Matt.27:22, 25; Jn.12:48. Yes, God foreknew they would do this, but it was still their choice (their free will) to do as they did. They were not forced to act that way, but they allowed Satan to corrupt their minds to do their evil deeds 2.Cor.2:4; Jn.3:19-20. In the same way, all men are held accountable to God for the choices they make. Jas.1:12-15 teaches us that “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown brings forth death.” All will stand before God and give account of his own deeds, not that of another. “Each one…according to what he has done, whether good or bad” 2.Cor.5:10; Rom.14:10-12.
Jesus DID NOT save everyone while He was here on earth, and He does not save everyone since. He would have liked to have done so since He died for all. But most refused to accept Him as their Savior and Lord. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on His name” Jn.1:11-12. God’s plan of salvation from sin is conditional. It is offered to all but only those willing to accept His terms can be saved Rev.22:16-17; k.16:16; Acts 2:36-38, 41.
Jesus DOES NOT promise to keep all who come to Him from perishing. He will only keep those who are willing to abide (remain) in Him Jn.10:28-29; 17:12, Mk.14:50. Nowhere does Jesus teach “once saved, always saved.” He doesn’t force man to obey Him. He invites, but man must choose to accept the invitation Matt.11:28-30; Heb.5:9; Rom.6:16-18, Once man has chosen to obey the first steps, “to believe and be baptized” into Christ Mk.16:16; Gal.3:27, he must then determine to continue to follow Christ to the end of his life 1.Jn.1:7; Col.1:23. Notice the “if” in the passages. “If we walk…”, “If we continue…” The final salvation is conditioned on one choosing to stay the course and not look back Lk.9:62. Jesus makes available all the things necessary for His disciples to finish their lives as His disciples 1.Pet.5:10, but man must determine to remain faithful to the end, and not quit 2.Pet.1:5-11; Rev.2:10; 2.Tim.4:6-8.