Why do you speak in parables

Dear CBC Family,

This weekend is the 5th weekend of the month which means that we will not be having kid’s ministry but that everyone will be together in the sanctuary for the service. This happens four times a year so it is a fairly rare occurrence.  What I love about these times is that we do one of the parables.

The parables, of which there are about 40, comprise the last of Jesus’ teachings on earth. They are strategically placed at the end of his ministry and are partially a judgment designed to “hide truth” from certain individuals. (Mk 4:10-13 “And when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parables. And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables”?

So, why did Jesus speak in parables? He quotes Isaiah as His answer. He speaks in parables so people won’t understand. And just to make it even more complicated, He doesn’t want people to understand because if they did, they might turn from sin and be forgiven.

Feeling uncomfortable? This pretty much goes against everything we’ve ever been taught in church, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to water everything down and pull as cheap sales moves as we can to win as many souls to Heaven as possible? And yet here’s Jesus intentionally trying to complicate His lessons so people won’t get it!

But then again, that’s not totally unlike Jesus. After all, this is the one who once preached such a hard message that “many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him” (Jn 6:66). Salesmanship and marketing weren’t really His strong suit. He didn’t try to make things easy so people would follow Him—in fact, He made things exceedingly difficult. He very intentionally pitched a hard gospel because He wanted us to live intentional lives. He’s not just looking for believers, He’s looking for those who will live this Christianity thing out.

Don’t think of the parables as a story even a kid can understand. Think of them as a hidden message about the kingdom of God that can only be understood by a revelation of the Holy Spirit. I am praying that this weekend the Holy Spirit reveals the truth about the kingdom of God for all who are in attendance. “Speak Lord for your servants are listening”!

Blessings,

Pastor Scott