ACloser Look devotionals are intended to encourage the reader to take a closer look at individual scripture passages rather than attempt to read a defined number of Bible chapters each day. Included in this series is a number of devotions on the parables of Jesus. The parables of Jesus were stories similar to metaphors intended to illustrate spiritual lessons. They were used to guide those who believed in Christ into deeper truths of the kingdom of God. Jesus stated that the skeptics would not understand the intended messages. "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand" (Luke 8:10). Several of the parables in this text are kingdom of heaven parables. The author finds these parables extra special as they give insight into the importance of how men should live just as Jesus taught men to pray-"thy kingdom come"-as man lives in the presence of God's kingdom and in the presence of His dear Son Jesus Christ. Emmanuel-God with us.