April 8

Text: Matthew 13:2, 3

And great multitudes gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole multitude was standing on the beach.   And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; . . .” (NASB)

A teacher once said, “Even profound thoughts should be expressed in simple, understandable words.”  The objective of teaching others is challenging and deepening understanding.  The objective of teaching should NOT be to impress the learners with the teacher’s knowledge.  Generally speaking, the less noticeable the teacher’s ego is, the more focused the student becomes on understanding the thought.

Jesus was an incredible teacher!  Though he could match wits with the most educated minds he encountered (consider Luke 2:46, 47), he was quite understandable to those with little opportunity.  That is no small feat for any teacher!  The ability to communicate with all is quite an accomplishment!

One reason for Jesus being an effective communicator was his ability to use parables.  Though he did not invent parables as a communication device, he used them effectively.  To us, we likely increase our understanding of Jesus’ use of parables if we see parables as effective illustrations.

Parables provided insight and understanding on sensitive subjects.  To those who wished to find reasons for criticizing Jesus, parables were religiously insignificant stories.  To such people parables were a frustrating evasion—why did Jesus not take a stand on scriptures, as did all good Jewish teachers?

To those who sought understanding, Jesus’ parables were a source of insight.  They were challenging commentary on dangerous subjects—a source of insight instead of a demand for mindless conformity.

According to Jesus, God is the God of behavior based on insight, not based on demanded conformity.

Suggestion for reflection: Why do some religious people prefer conformity over insight?  (Read Luke 16:9-15.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell