The Power of a Story
by Pastor Jeffrey Smith
“The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them…This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Matthew 13:10-13 NIV
Everyone loves a good story. There’s nothing quite like hearing a great storyteller recount a dramatic or funny event and getting lost in it as you listen. Story telling is also a powerful way to teach truth. Throughout Scripture, Jesus used stories to illustrate profound principles of the Kingdom to His followers. The stories Jesus told are referred to as parables.
A parable is a simple story that teaches a complex moral truth. Jesus could have just as easily lectured his listeners, but instead, He chose to wrap the Kingdom up in stories about houses, farmers, seeds, and family. The parables of Jesus are powerful lessons that spoke to His listeners and still speak to our lives today.
It’s worth noting that Jesus didn’t just speak to the mind. He used story to speak to the heart as well. Following Jesus isn’t just a decision of mental ascent; it’s one that comes from your mind, heart, and spirit. The truths of His Word have to be something we internalize into our lives and emotions.
Jesus told His disciples that the reason He spoke in parables was to teach those who couldn’t understand the truths of the Kingdom. His purpose was to bring revelation and clarity to them. I think that’s still His purpose today. Jesus wants to reveal more truth and clarity in your life and in mine as well.
It’s why we place such an emphasis on reading and studying the Word of God. Even the most simple verse or simple passage, like a parable of Jesus, is packed with such truth. If you’re not digging in to it, you may miss the powerful revelation that God is trying to bring to your life. I can assure you no matter how many times you’ve turned to the Word of God, there’s fresh revelation for you today. Jesus told big truths in simple stories and there’s always more for you to discover.