Our back-to-school worship series at Northside Church is entitled Story Teller. During August and September, we are exploring eight parables told by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.
Parable comes from the Greek word parabole which means to cast alongside or to place beside. Parables are stories that include comparisons, contrasts, exaggerations, illustrations, analogies, similes, and metaphors.
One classic definition declares: A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus’ parables give human insight into God’s kingdom.These ordinary stories reveal extraordinary truths.
The Gospel parables are also insidious. They seem plain enough. After listening Jesus’ words, the listener concludes: “Oh, well, the moral of the story is .”
Yet it’s not that simple. Parables are multilayered and multidimensional. There are always new depths to plumb. They cast fishhooks into our minds, tugging at our thoughts and catching our imaginations. We wake up in the middle of the night, exclaiming: “OH, THAT’S what Jesus meant!”
However, there is a richness to Christ’s parables that cannot be plumbed. We read the same story years later and discover new and unexpected truths.
Parables are also dangerous. They slip past our defenses and through the backdoor of our minds, inviting us to change and challenging us to act.
So we’re invited on Sundays to sit at the feet of the Master Storyteller and ask: “Jesus, will you tell us a story?”