from Jesus of Nazareth
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Copyright 2016 John Zehring
Think about the learning you remember best. Lecture? Lists? Tables? Facts? Dates? Chronologies? Truths? Sayings? Perhaps our memories are best engaged by stories. We remember the story. Even if told over and over with some details changed here and there, the overall story and its message remains.
Jesus of Nazareth was a story-teller. He was master of the parable. When challenged with a question, sometimes with malicious intent, he answered with a story. His stories made people think for themselves. That is a hallmark of the parable: it is not so much for another to tell you what it means but for you to discover for yourself its meaning to you. Some of Jesus’ parables were so simple that a young child could understand. For example, the Good Samaritan is the one who stops to help other in need. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus said. Others are so difficult that even biblical scholars struggle to suggest an interpretation. Many parables have layers of meanings so that just when you have peeled back one and think you’ve “got it” you continue to peel and discover even more levels of understanding.