Friday, August 29, 2014
“Did You Hear the One Jesus Told About…?”
If you had to communicate to the world the love of God, how would you do it? Today, you might use Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, texting, Twitter, or Instagram. In Biblical times, Jesus used no external means of communication. Instead he simply told stories face to face with his listeners. We call those stories parables, and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are chock full of them. What the proverbs were to Solomon and the fables to Aesop, parables were to Jesus.
John Claypool, in his book, Stories Jesus Still Tells, reminds us that there are three distinctive features of the stories Jesus loved to tell.
First, Jesus always used images from everyday life that everyone could understand. Unlike some writers who make allusions that are difficult to follow, Jesus never did that. His stories are the best because they are drawn from everyday life.
Second, the stories Jesus told always had an intriguing plot. It was a masterful way to draw people into the story and served the important purpose of lowering their defenses making them open to some new insight that might break through.
Third, and perhaps the most distinctive characteristic, was the element of surprise. When people thought the story was about someone else, it turned out to be about them! And just when people knew how exactly how the story would end, Jesus gave them the surprise of their lives with a most unexpected ending.
This coming Sunday I begin a new four week sermon series titled, “Stories for September”.
· September 7th – “God’s Guest List” Luke 14: 15-24
· September 14 – “You Are the Treasure” Matthew 13:44-50
· September 21 – “Does God Use Roundup?” Matthew 13: 24-30
· September 28 – “God’s Return Policy” Luke 15: 11- 32
I hope to see you each Sunday. Have I got a story to share with you!