A Moment of Sheer Honesty

SWIWhy parables? No, not why did Jesus speak so often in parables, as my friend Joe will admit, “Everybody knows that,” but why my of-a-sudden interest in them, and further still, why drag you, the faithful reading few, through them with me?

I promised you a moment of honesty; sheer even. I would hope I can produce more than a moment’s worth, but that will suffice for now I reckon.

KGJI have reached an impasse, a place where I no longer pretend that black and white are always constants in the faith of Christianity. This is not to say that there may be none such in the habitat of the transcendent, but in my world, where contradictions can be argued reasonably well by both sides, gray seems more often to take stage.

Since more than three-quarters of Jesus’ recorded words are spoken in parable, and those reflecting often ‘life in the kingdom,’ I want to hear his truth from him personally, and hopefully with a little help from more adept students of the Word than myself.

Enter… some mysterious stories; Enter… the parables.

TP GIWith little effort it is obvious to discern that these stories were misunderstood greatly by the audiences who first heard them. Except when he explained them, even his closest disciples couldn’t grasp their intent.

Two thousand years of history has not given us the ability to lock down their meaning either, at least not if one entertains the thoughts of a wide host of interpreting authors throughout the same time-span.

TSGBy means of a literal approach, spiritualizing, rhetoric, historic, and more, author after author submits meaning after meaning, so that I feel my head is swimming in a pool of mire.

When asked why he spoke so often in parable, Jesus responded that it was to limit the kingdom truths to the kingdom kids, as in some sort of code-language to keep outsiders outside. I wonder, do these masterful tales do the same today?

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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5 Responses to A Moment of Sheer Honesty

  1. Ben Nelson says:

    Love where your going with this. I love a good wander through the parables.

  2. ccragamuffin says:

    I have agonized in a parallel area. An answer from Dietrich Bonhoeffer was both salve to my soul AND goad to my spirit:

    “The other misunderstanding concerning scriptural evidence stems from the same root: one now looks to justify our paths not for the past but for the future. We expect from Scripture such concrete directives that we are released from acting on faith; one wants to see the path before waling on it….Thus, I want to have the scriptural evidence in my pocket as the guarantee for my path…
    But the Bible can never fulfill this kind of request either, because it is not intended to be an insurance policy for our paths, which may become dangerous….”

    I am troubled to realize that I too often want Scripture as an “insurance policy for my path”. Is this soul trouble part of the reason Jesus spoke stories? To mentor us in how to walk by faith not sight? To move forward without all of the answers but trusting Him to be The Answer? I am still agonizing. This reply is no answer, just a heart felt commiseration.

    • mtsweat says:

      The compassion in your “no answer” is greatly appreciated, and Mr. Bonhoeffer’s words are drenched in wisdom as always. Those “concrete directives” are I suppose only available to those who dwell in boxes. hmmm

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