Jesus was masterful at teaching on the complexities of God, religion and common life. He communicated in a way that opened understanding for children and baffled the doctors of the Law. How often do we hear him after teaching say, “For him who has ears to hear, let him hear?” “For he who has eyes to see, let him see.” He could teach all day and do miracles into the evening and often people were blind and deaf to God’s message.

Maybe the listener’s problem was fixing their gaze elsewhere and tuning their ears to other voices. Unless we are able to see and listen with humility and curiosity, we will miss a great deal of truth. 

Too often, we look and listen with fear and pride. We smugly rely on our previous conclusions. I know that I do that all the time. I want to be right about everything and have an answer. Jesus encountered many people like me.

So how did Jesus communicate without turning everything into complex hypotheses and unending lists of data?

Mark 4:
26-29Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!
 30-32"How can we picture God's kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It's like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it."
 33-34With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.
(The Message)

Right in the middle of this passage, Jesus asks the question. How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use?

This was always on Jesus’ mind. Do we also ask the same questions? How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use?

Jesus told many parables. These earthly stories brought heavenly truth to earthly minds.