Little stories. Illustrations. Vignettes. All intended to crack the door to just a little more understanding.
Jesus offered a lot of these kinds of openings. He still does. Look to see what kind of new light might brighten your understanding just now.
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
Have you ever played the game “telephone”? You know, the one where you and some friends sit in a circle, and a secret phrase is passed through until the last person screams it out? Usually, the secret starts as a real sentence, and by the end it is a complete nonsense phrase.
This image of “telephone” helps me to understand the parables that Jesus spoke. I imagine Jesus at the start of the game, reciting his parable to the disciples. By the end of it, they are confused as to what the real meaning is. The disciples needed Jesus to explain in order to understand his metaphors to them. Today’s passage says that Jesus explained everything in private to his disciples. You have the ability to be able to interpret Jesus’ parables for yourself. You are able to pray for Jesus’ guidance in understanding scripture and what it means for your life. By praying for this guidance from God, you will be able to hear what God intends for you to hear through scripture, instead of ending up with a jumbled mess of words. Take time to meditate on scripture, and understand what God is trying to teach you.
God, today I pray for your guidance when reading the Bible. Help me to understand what you are saying to me through scripture, and how I can apply it to my daily life. Thank you for the gift of your word, and the direction it can give me in my life. Amen.
Go now with your eyes watching,
Watching for the unfolding of God's words,
Words that give light,
Words that bring understanding
To even the most simpleminded.
Inspired by Psalm 119:130