Jesus had a lot to say. He disrupted the religious systems. He spoke out for the oppressed. He got angry. He threw people out of the temple. Stood up for the little guy. Made some crazy claims (well, crazy for folk in that day). Answered questions with questions and wasn’t afraid to leave things open to interpretation. He was a servant, and a leader.
And one of our favourite qualities? He was a world class storyteller.
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to take a look at some of his most famous stories (#ThingsJesusSaid). Jesus used these stories – or parables as they’re often called – to teach people about life and God stuff in a way that was easy to understand and remember.
These stories enabled him to speak about huge areas of truth and wisdom with a super small word count – which is kinda important as us humans tend to have quite short attention spans. No rambling, over complicating the issue or using long words that no one really knows the meaning of. Jesus’ stories were accessible to everyone.
Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7 (you can read the whole thing here) is pretty awesome. So much so that the crowd bursts into applause when he’s finished speaking. About three quarters of the way through this particular speech, Jesus uses a parable to make his point:
“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock.
But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.” Matthew 7:24-25 MSG
We’re all building a life. And the foundations of that life are important. Sometimes it can seem like the truth of the matter gets obscured in a swirl of disagreement and debate. We end up with more questions than we began with. We just want to know what’s true, what’s real – but it can feel like trying to catch smoke.
Here Jesus is clear about the importance of God’s word in our day to day living. And it’s not just about hearing the words, living them out is part and parcel of the whole experience too.
Where is your foundation?
Keep an eye out for #ThingsJesusSaid on Mondays for the next six weeks!