The Way DAY 36 - Jesus and Parables

DAY 36 - Jesus and Parables

Luke 8:1-5

Jesus is back on the road, going town to town in Galilee. As a big crowd gathers, Jesus starts up a story - a parable. Parables are little comparison stories: “Life is like a box of chocolates…dating is like fishing…the kingdom of God is like…”

Jesus tells one of his greatest hits: the parable of the sower. “A farmer scattered seed, some fell in good spots, some in bad spots. Some grew nothing, some grew a lot! Open your ears and listen, everybody!”

Why does Jesus teach with parables? He tells us why by quoting (in Luke 8:10) an odd little line from Isaiah 6. It sounds like he’s saying, “I want to confuse some people.” 

But that can’t be what it means for several reasons. First, that interpretation makes the parable pointless, as we’re about to see. Second, it contradicts the whole point of Jesus’ ministry. He’s here to reveal God. If he wants to hide God, why show up at all? Third and last of all, it misunderstands parables. 

Parables are analogy stories that invite active listeing. Life IS like a box of chocolates, but life is also way more complicated than that! Parables challenge you to puzzle out how life is, and is not, like a box of chocolates. Parables invite active listening. You have to choose to understand more or choose not to. And some people won’t think and go deeper. Jesus’ point is, “Some hear me but they don’t REALLY hear me.” Parables draw us in to be active learners.

What do you think Jesus meant by using parables to teach? Why do you think he didn't just speak plainly?

Lord, thank you for being my teacher. Help me to understand what you teach and how you teach. Amen.

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