The Parables of Jesus

When I was a freshman at Ohio University (many years ago), I took a course on economics. The class was listed as being about one to one-and-a-half hours in length.

The professor (who often taught after having had a few too many alcoholic beverages) would teach about 10-15 minutes, assign the required reading for the next class, and then dismiss the class. When it came time to take a test, he would administer a standardized test from the book and would not even stay in the room during the test.

Unfortunately, I didn’t learn much about economics that quarter. It was obvious to me that he could not have cared less whether or not we understood economics because he would not take the time to explain it. It wasn’t long before he was dismissed from his own class as well as his teaching responsibilities.

Most teachers care about the success of their students. They want their students to learn the material not only because they care about the student, but also because it is a reflection of their teaching skills.

This week, I am beginning a series on the Parables of Jesus. A parable has been described by some as “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” The disciples of Jesus did not understand why Jesus spoke in parables, so Jesus explained to them why He did. Fortunately for the disciples, Jesus explained “everything” to them by later explaining the meaning to them in private. After all, he was their teacher, and He cared about His students. But, interestingly, Jesus didn’t always explain the meaning to the religious leaders. In fact, many of the parables do not have an explanation attached to them. It raises some questions that I will attempt to answer this morning.

– Todd

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