Parables invite us to see more

Jesus was an unpredictable fellow. I reckon it was sometimes pretty frustrating to be around him.    He did unexpected things, he is elusive, difficult to pin down. He tells stories without explaining them, leaving you with more questions than answers.

Its part of what makes him, for me at least, such an intriguing and engaging figure. Our friend yes but taken seriously this isn’t a cosy, easy friendship, life with Christ is full of surprises.

I think that’s why in each of the Gospel’s in one way or another, they ask the question ‘if you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ In other words make it obvious, keep on message and tell us what we think we need to hear.

But no, that kind of question invites the wrong answer, hence Jesus’ reluctance to engage with it.    Instead as the Gospel reminded us today ‘he did not speak to them except in parables.’ But why?

The reason for me is about the nature of our relationship because we’re invited into a grown up relationship with him. So Jesus is not our master and we his slave at least not in the conventional sense rather he is our friend and companion.

That’s why he sometimes seems elusive because he invites us into a depth of relationship beyond the superficial, invites to say yes to him, not just once but again and again as we go through life sharing our journey with him.

On that journey we meet him in so many ways not least through his parables, we heard one this morning. These are great stories that get beneath the surface of things, they challenge us and lead us to think about things differently. Consequently they might sometimes give us more questions than answers, but exploring those questions is part of what faith is all about.

But isn’t always easy, that’s why we sometimes want to echo those words ‘If you are the Christ tell us plainly.’ The desire for simple answers seems to run deep. Continue reading “Parables invite us to see more”