The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

01/23/2009

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Truth Illustrated


"All these things Jesus spoke to them in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet; 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world'" (Matt.13: 34 & 35).

"Once upon a time, Truth went about the streets as naked as the day he was born. As a result, no-one would let him into their homes. Whenever people caught sight of him, they turned away and fled. One day when Truth was sadly wandering about, he came upon Parable. Now, Parable was dressed in splendid clothes of beautiful colors. And Parable, seeing Truth, said, "Tell me, neighbor, what makes you look so sad?" Truth replied bitterly, "Ah, brother, things are bad. I am old, very old, and no one wants to acknowledge me." Hearing that, Parable said, "People do not run away from you because you are old. I too am old. Very old. But the older I get, the better people like me. I will tell you a secret; everyone likes things disguised and prettied up a bit. Let me lend you some splendid clothes like mine, and you will see that the very people who pushed you aside will invite you into their homes and be glad of your company." Truth took Parable's advice and put on the borrowed clothes. And from that time on, Truth and Parable have gone hand in hand together and everyone loves them. They make a happy pair. (Yiddish Folktales, edited by Beatice Weinreich, trans. by Leonard Wolf, New York; Pantheon Books 1997)

God understood the human need to visualize His magnificant tuths. For this reason, He sent Jesus to live among the sons and daughters of man. And that is why Jesus taught in parables so frequently. Being able to visualize a message makes it more persuasive and plausible. Jesus made abstract truths more visible. Though we can't see God's balance of judgement and mercy, we can see Jesus saving an adultrous woman from stoning. We may not be able to see man's lack of purpose without God, we can visualize lost sheep. To explain faith, Jesus used the tiny mustard seed. Rather than a 5 point sermon on hypocracy, we can see whitewashed tombs filled with dead man's bones.

These "word pictures" pack more "oomf" than thousands of words. We can smell the putrid flesh. In my years of teaching, I always found that an interesting story helped my students to remember the truths I was really getting at. Truths that are sometimes hidden can be vividly brought to life. More about earthly stories with heavenly meanings next time.

Have a wonderful day...Let your light shine for Him.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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