One of the most powerful ways of introducing new ideas or concepts to the minds of others is to situate them within a story. Why this is so, I do not know. There seems to be a power associated with storytelling that is not there when we try to explain things through purely logical means. Maybe this tells us something about the human psych and the way that we think and learn things. Whatever is the case, Jesus chose to teach His disciples using parables on many occasions.

One thing that a story, in this case a parable does for us, is to situate the concept we are trying to teach someone within a situation that is familiar to our experience. This means that we are immediately able to relate to the story, and in relating to the story, hopefully pick up the message it contains.

Whenever Jesus tells a parable it is always a teaching about an aspect of the Kingdom of God. In giving an explanation for the parable of the sower Jesus likes the work of a farmer to the dynamic of the Kingdom of God. The focal point for us ought to be the role of the seeds in the parable because in one way or another they can be seen to represent us.

Seeds cannot grow of themselves. They need water, nutrients, the right temperature and then sun in order to germinate and grow. It is the same with our faith. We cannot make it grow ourselves. The grace of God is vital to its growth. Similarly we need other people around us to encourage us and to teach us the ways of faith, just as the seed needs the farmer to keep the weeds away and to fertilise it on a regular basis.

The immediate meaning of a parable may not be apparent to us, however, if we take the time and effort to look a little deeper, we will be sure to find a message that can help us grow in the love and service of God and our neighbour.

Do I seriously study the Scriptures when I read them? Perhaps I am missing some of the things I can learn from them if I am not studying the Scriptures regularly. Perhaps I should set more time aside to read and study God’s word.

Lord Jesus, you taught the people in parables and the parables still retain their meaning today. Thank you for the many ways in which you teach me how to follow you.