READ LUKE 13
Down through the ages the world has been filled with stories. Sitting around an open fire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying some fresh, country air, seems to be as good a place as any to start one. My husband happens to be a great story teller. His stories appeal to all ages, mainly because they have an element truth to them, but he has managed to embellish them over the years, so that they have actually become much like his art. They’vs been mingled and mottled with colorful phrases and with every telling I discover something new. I’m not sure if he does that for my benefit, or his, or for the benefit of his audience.
Jesus was the ultimate story teller. His use of parables is sprinkled through the Gospels. Each one has a practical application, much like our sermons of today. Still can you imagine what it was like, sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His majestic voice, using the most excellent words and images to portray His examples of common every day events with a heavenly meaning? The people got the meaning, because He was talking on their level about things that they knew about.
Jesus story telling skills stirred their imaginations, got them to think outside the structural box and to learn about His kingdom. Parables have been an effective way of communicating for centuries and like the fables of ancient days, they come with some kind of valuable life lessons and a moral.
In Luke 13 we read some of these important stories. Each came as a result of news that came to Him about Pilate’s recent massacre of Galileans. The people asked Jesus if these martyrs were worse sinners because of the suffering they endured. Jesus takes this time to talk about repentance. He warned those questioners and in effect us, that unless we repent of our sins, we will perish because of them.
The parables assisted in making His point. In the story of the barren fig tree, we see the patience of the gardener as he asks the owner of the vineyard for time to care for the tree and give it the necessary nourishment to be fruitful. God’s patience is immeasurable. He doesn’t give up on us and waits for us to come to Him with repentant hearts.
In response to what the kingdom of heaven is, Jesus referred to a miniscule mustard seed that when planted in good soil it grows into a giant tree for birds to nest in. The leaven is also used as an example as one measure will multiply the size. This is heaven. A place of extreme bounty.
The parables may not apply to our occupations today, but they are certainly applicable to our lives. We can glean something new each time we read and study them. God is pretty amazing that way. His Word is full of wonderful tales of men, women and children who overcame difficult obstacles. These ordinary folks were led to do extraordinary things, but unlike the elaborate epics we contrive, they were changed by the love of God in their lives.
He can change the world if he wants to . He did, when He sent His Son to suffer for our iniquities. The Bible is directly from the mouth of God. He inspired the words into the pens of men and they are the best stories ever, because they are truth.