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Parables, Preaching and Toxic Waste

10/13/11 Posted by: Martin Day
the parable of the sower and the seed
I have always thought in metaphor and simile. From a young age it seemed natural to me to translate a concept from one form to another, just to prove I'd grasped it. When the same thing happens to a story the result is a parable. It might be simple and charming, it might even tug at an emotion, but at first glance it appears no more than a story. The power of a parable is in that 'ah-ha' moment, when I realise what the story means in its own parallel universe. So because of the way that my thinking is wired it seemed inevitable that I would be drawn to writing in parables just as I was first attracted to reading them.

Of course there was one man above any other associated with parables. Jesus was the master of the medium. In fact the Bible says that "he did not say anything to them without using a parable"(a). Now here's a curious thing: It seemed that most of the original hearers of these parables did not understand them. Even those closest to Jesus had to come and ask what they meant!(b) What Jesus spoke to that first audience was radical and completely different from anything they had heard. So why would he choose a form of communication that the people didn't understand? The answer is surprising, but obvious - he didn't want them to understand;
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