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The Parables of Jesus

The Parables of Jesus

 
Welcome to church today! We hope you discover the joys of being part of a family where Jesus’ love can be seen by words and actions.

This week we join the crowds following Jesus and his disciples as he begins teaching in the streets and villages – much to the disgust of the synagogue teachers of the Law.

Jesus uses parables or short stories to help illustrate and convey the deeper meanings of his message. A parable compares something familiar (eg crops and soil) to something unfamiliar (eg the truth of God’s Kingdom). Parables use everyday examples to help us understand hidden spiritual truth.

Parables compel listeners to discover truth while at the same time concealing the truth from those too lazy or stubborn to see it. Originally parables were delivered orally – they were spoken to an audience that was largely illiterate. We must be careful not to read too much into parables, giving them unintended meaning. Each parable has a central theme unless otherwise specified by Jesus.

Agricultural images were familiar to the rural first-century listeners, so Jesus tells the Parables of the Four Soils hoping his meaning will become clear, even carefully explaining to be certain.

The four soils represent the different ways people respond to God’s message. This might refer to different kinds of people, but may also refer to different seasons of our lives, or even being selective in how we receive God’s message. Do we welcome the truth in some areas yet resist it in others? Our challenge is to become fertile soil for God’s truth in every area of our Christian life. Likewise as modern sowers, we should spread the seed of God’s message without losing heart when it fails to bear fruit.

11And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’ [Mark 4: 11-12]