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Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Parables Are Windows

I’ve always been small of stature. That means that if a crowd gathers around to see something, I either need to be near the front or I need to pull a Zacchaeus and climb a sycamore tree. But that’s only if I want to see what all the commotion is about.

If I’m at the zoo and I see a crowd of people huddled up and excitedly viewing the monkey exhibit, I figure they must be doing something awesome or horrifyingly disgusting. Because that’s what monkeys do. Monkeys are worth watching. And so, I’ll put in the effort to see.

At the same time, if a group of people are huddled up at the capybara exhibit, I’m probably not going to put in the effort to squirm my way to the front. It’s a capybara. It might be cute in its weirdness but it’s probably not going to put on much of a show.

Parables are windows into the kingdom of God. They open up for us what God is like. They tell us about reality. They paint a picture what life is like both now and in the future for those who dwell with God.

But they are also windows into our own hearts. A parable is a bit like that line forming outside the exhibit. It will expose whether or not I think its a monkey or a capybara exhibit. Parables reveal to us whether or not we want to know the kingdom of God. Do we have the kind of heart that peers into the window.

Why Not Make It Easy?

But we must came back to our core question. Why not make it easy? If you’re the Messiah why not put that on a placard for all to see? Why does it feel like Jesus is playing hide and seek with us?

It’s because we’re broken.

We’ve turned an invitation of delight into a hurdle to overcome. Jesus is shining but our eyes have grown dim. We don’t see as we ought. And so the Lord must work differently with our desires. He speaks in parables not only as a window but also as invitation.

There are people huddled around the exhibit…do you care to see? Will it grab your attention?

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.