So, a couple weeks ago, I noticed something really cool, while reading the Bible.
And yes, I’ve read this passage many times. And I’ve probably even noticed and pondered the whole idea before. But it never really jumped out at me like this. It was very inspiring.
I was sitting in church, reading along to the sermon text, on my phone. Only the pastor was reading from the KJV and I was looking at the Message Bible. This is how it translates, Matthew 13:11-14.
He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it.”
Did you see it? Did you see it?!
Somehow, replacing the word “parable” with the word “story” just got me all kinds of excited…
Because of course, I’m a storyteller too. Just like Jesus!
Come on, you know that’s an awesome thing.
But the thing that I really loved about this?
Jesus, explaining why He tells people stories. Not just to entertain, obviously (though he appears to thoroughly enjoy a well told yarn, just as much as the rest of us). But he points out to them the power of Storytelling.
To paraphrase, he’s basically saying, “I can preach at people till I’m blue in the face, and it goes in one ear and out the other. But tell, a story and seeds of truth will be planted that, if not now, someday will bloom and they shall understand.”
That’s what it sounds like to me, anyway.
This whole thing about Jesus being a Storyteller reminds me of J.R.R Tolkien. Tolkien talked constantly of something he called “sub-creation.” Which is, that humans have the inborn desire to make and create things, because they were made in the image of God. And he is the Greatest of Creators. He loves to make things (Universes out of nothing, saints out of sinners, and cool stuff like that). And so of course, we feel the same desire to create.
So if you are a creator of any sort, if you are a storyteller of any kind….
Don’t try to hide it. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t feel like, “There’s got to be something more important I should be doing.”
I think its pretty obvious that what we are doing for this world is pretty important. Or else, the Greatest Creator and Storyteller of all wouldn’t have given us the desire to create too.
And on that note, I’m think I’ll go create something today!