A sting in the tale
We all love stories. Great stories work across culture and time. They don’t simply engage and entertain; they also communicate a significant message and make an impact. Over the next month, we’ll be looking at some of Jesus’ parables, perhaps some of the most famous stories in history.
Jesus used parables to communicate deep truths in simple ways. Parables were sometimes extended similes. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (Luke 13:19), or a net cast in the sea (Matt 13:47). Such parables communicated spiritual truths, using illustrations that his audience were familiar with.
A common feature of these types of parables is that they have a sting in the tail; a message that you were not expecting.
There were other parables that went much deeper. On the surface, they seem harmless and inoffensive. But as you think about them, they get behind your defences. A common feature of these types of parables is that they have a sting in the tail; a message that you were not expecting. They confront your assumptions, challenge your priorities, and target your spiritual complacency.
Whilst the parables that we’ll be looking at might seem very familiar to us (the parables of the good Samaritan, the shrewd manager, the prodigal son, and the persistent widow), we’ll soon rediscover their timeless potency.
More significantly, we’ll be confronted by the man behind these stories and what it looks like to follow him. Normally, our habit is to domesticate Jesus; to make him meek and mild. We want a Jesus who is always comforting and affirming, familiar and safe. However, the Jesus behind these parables doesn’t communicate a comfortable Christianity. He’s an extraordinary king, who rules an extraordinary kingdom, and he calls on his subjects to serve him with their all.
We’re excited that our children’s, youth, and groups ministries can now resume meeting in person. On Sundays over the past month, it’s been such a pleasure seeing familiar faces and meeting new people. After having online church for so long, it’s much better...
I was born in a non-Christian family, but studying in a Christian school gave me the opportunity to learn about God. Nevertheless, God was nothing more than a wish granter to me; I only prayed to Him for good grades before exams. It wasn’t until Form 3 in...
Worldwide, 385 million children live in extreme poverty. Poverty robs children of their basic rights to learn, play, and grow. In its ugliest form, poverty can lead to exploitation, child labour, and even death. At St Andrew’s we think it's unacceptable. That's...