Jesus The Storyteller

“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” ~
Matthew 13:35

We live in an age that loves stories. The bestselling video games are the ones that tell the clearest
story. Movies fill hours of our time. Books pack our shelves. Our yearning for stories goes
beyond a yearning to be entertained. We want to learn something about life without being told
directly.

Jesus brought stories that had layers. As a storyteller myself, I’m awed at the layers Jesus has
in His stories. On the surface they are beautiful examples of poetic prose. In a short vignette of
a verse or two, Jesus packs image after images. A treasure in a field. A mustard seed growing
tall. A farmer sowing seed in his field. A pearl. A man full of sores. Resting in the bosom of
Abraham. Such images He brought!

Then there is the layer of His moral instruction. The story of the Good Samaritan lets us know
the length we need to go to show love to our neighbor.

Then there is the layer of eternal wisdom. To most, it wouldn’t seem like wisdom to sell
everything only to buy a field. Except that field has a treasure no one can see, a treasure no one
would be able to measure. And why would it be so important to answer the King’s invitation to
the wedding banquet? Maybe because we’re part of the bridal procession.

Then there is the layer of spiritual insight. He shows us things hidden since the creation of the
world, things we would never see or comprehend, except that He tells it in what appears to be a
simple story.

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