Teaching in parables
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? … He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
- Mark 4:30, 34
This week we’re going to be looking at one of Jesus’ most famous parables about the kingdom of God: the parable of the mustard seed.
Jesus frequently taught in parables. Easy to remember. Sometimes difficult to understand. But worth taking the time wrestle with.
Conrad Gempf, in his book Jesus Asked, makes the case that Jesus taught in parables in part so that we would wrestle with them and, in the process, have to contend with and interact with him. Many of Jesus’ parables only make sense in the context of his life, ministry, and legacy.
What’s your willingness to wrestle with God as you come into this week?
So much about our life with God is comfortable and peaceful. He affirms us and comforts us in ways that are unimaginably beautiful. He provides for us and calls us his beloved sons and daughters. But he also challenges us.
Jesus challenges all who follow him to take their cues from him. He wants to tell us what the kingdom of God is like. He doesn’t leave us to our preconceptions and assumptions. He gives us new eyes with which to see the world, new feet to move out and follow him, and new hands to love and serve our neighbors.
Take a moment today invite Jesus to challenge and change any preconceptions and assumptions you might have about his kingdom.