Stories. We all use stories to make a point. Stories are a more interesting way to get a message across to people. A way to help others understand a concept that may be a little hard for others to grasp. Stories keep audiences engaged. Everyone loves a good story. Well, most everyone.
“Why do you that? You speak in these crazy metaphors that make no sense.”
They make sense to those actually asking me questions to learn something. To learn the truth.
See, the one asking that question ended up working for a modern-day Judas. He was never going to understand the metaphor. He wasn’t looking for the right answer. He was digging in the dirt.
I do use metaphors, or “stories,” when I speak. I do this a lot. Sometimes it is simply because I am a writer and a deep thinker, so my mind naturally thinks in the abstract. However, it is to often get the listener to also think about things differently…and to gauge whether they are really actually listening. And to determine what they are actually seeking.
Someone else did this, too.
Jesus. And no…I’m not Jesus. I’m called to be like him. But he spoke in parables, and he had a point in using them.
Later when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures may be fulfilled: When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven. Mark 4:10-12
Yes. He spoke in parables to determine who was seeking truth. And who was just “faking it.” Who was going to understand him, and who simply could not. Who was a Peter, and who was a Judas. Who was a friend, and who was a betrayer. Who was gonna sit a while and reflect, ask questions, seek to understand, communicate through this “crazy metaphor;” or who was gonna decide it was to much and run back to where the silver was. All those things, but he also used them to determine who was ready to learn a bit more, and who needed a little more time. A little more nurturing.
Now back to the “crazy metaphor” it was about a plant. Which if you knew the entire story… it really did have a lot to do with the question. If one was really seeking the truth.
“It’s like that plant over there. It’s dying now. But before, it was over here. And it was only withered a little bit. And the soil was just a little dry. All someone had to do was water it. Keep it over here in its original environment, and give it some more water. But someone decided it needed to be over there in that windowsill, in the bright sun. That’s not a bright sun plant. It’s in the wrong environment. And now it’s dying. Study your environment some more. Some of your plants aren’t in good soil.”
Truth seekers. They will move the plant back to the good soil.
Fakers. Won’t get that they needed to change the soil they were in. Or just give the plant a bit more water.
That was the purpose of the metaphor.
That was the purpose of the parables of Jesus. And we saw so many did not understand his words. So many saw him as crazy. Simply didn’t listen. Turned away from him. Or worse-persecuted him.
But others did understand.
Jesus used many stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them. Mark 4:33-34
Want to distinguish yourself between the seeker and the faker? The one who understands, and the one who runs away? Ask the questions. Ask about the stories. Ask about the Bible. Have someone you trust, and who knows Jesus, explain it to you. That is how you will see and learn; hear and understand; turn and be forgiven.
That is the purpose of the stories for those who seek Him.