Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 5, 2019
He told them another parable. Matthew 13:33
Jesus loved to teach in parables. In fact, roughly one third of his teaching was in this format. Time and time again he used these metaphorical stories to communicate great truths about the kingdom of God. Parables are stories that create a worldview that allows us to see something or someone differently than we otherwise would. As such, when we enter into the world of Jesus’ parables, when we place ourselves among the crowd gathered around him, we begin to experience these stories in remarkably different ways. New Testament scholar Ken Bailey puts it this way:
A parable is a house in which the reader/listener is invited to take up residence. (And) If the parable is a house in which the listener/reader is invited to take up residence, then that person is urged by the parable to look on the world through the windows of that residence.
I am continually amazed at Jesus’ ability to speak in such a way that drew people in – those who were for him and against him – not just in intimate, private conversations, but in public, chaotic spaces as well. In my own life, most sidewalk preachers that I’ve seen have had an incredible ability to be loud and boisterous, yet few people if any would stop to hear them out, let alone be drawn in and compelled by the message.
Yet here is Jesus, surrounded so often by tax collectors and sinners on one side, and Pharisees and teachers of the law on the other, two groups that typically want nothing to do with one another, yet for different reasons they are drawn in and want to listen to Jesus. In him they are forced to confront their greatest hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, beliefs and doubts.
In the parables of Jesus we are drawn deeper into the story of God, further into his vision of what is good, beautiful, and true. For some of us, these stories bring incredible hope and consolation. When culture and society has left us feeling unseen or unloved, we find incredible dignity and love. Yet in other ways, like the religious establishment in his own day, we are forced to confront our own prejudices and assumptions. We are invited out of our own narrow vision and into the expansive freedom of Kingdom living, a world in which the neglected are dignified, the shamed are restored, and the lost are found.
“All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable” (Matthew 13:34).
Father, give us eyes to see and ears to hear the true nature of your Kingdom as contained in the parables of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take time today to read the parables of Jesus contained in Matthew 13.
Jesus’ stories create a worldview that allows us to see something or someone differently than we otherwise would. #wisdomhunters #story #Jesus
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