The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
“…and he told them many things in parables…” — Matthew 13:3
What is a parable? Why did Jesus teach with parables? Does the method of his teaching tell us anything about the message he preached?
For the next few weeks, we will be considering some of the teaching of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 13, in parabolic form. As we prepare ourselves to be hearers of the Word, I wanted to share a helpful quote from NT scholar John Dominic Crossan on the nature of the parable:
“Parables give God room. The parables of Jesus are not historical allegories telling us how God acts with mankind; neither are they moral example stories telling us how to act before God and towards one another. They are stories which shatter the deep structure of our accepted world and thereby render clear and evident to us the relativity of story itself. They remove our defenses and make us vulnerable to God. It is only in such experiences that God can touch us, and only in such moments does the kingdom of God arrive.” — taken from The Dark Interval: Towards a Theology of Story pages 99–100