I was once confronted by a ministry who didn’t like the way I taught/shared. He said I “told too many stories” and I needed to “just stick to the Word.” I have to confess that I loved and respected this ministry, and wanted to submit to him, but this “rebuke” both surprised and hurt me. But, because it is always in my heart to get things right, I went before the Lord and asked Him about this statement. This was the result:
January 13, 2000
Concerning the matter that is presently before me:
Jesus, Himself said that He spoke only what the Father told Him to speak. Why then did He not just quote scripture? Why did He tell stories and use parables? Did those things come from the Father too?
- Some parables took the form of a “simile.” (like or as) Example: Matthew 10:16
- Some took the form of a “metaphor.” (implied likeness of some sort) Example: John 10:17
- Some took on the form of a “similitude.” (citing or illustrating a particular spiritual truth by using something common in the everyday world) Example: Matthew 13 33
- Some parables were simply a story. (the form Jesus used the most. He would tell a story about a person or an event in order to teach an important concept or truth.) Example: Luke15: 11-32
“Parable” literally means “a placing alongside of” for the purpose of comparison. A parable is a teaching tool. Jesus would often tell a story from real life (involving, for example, a woman who lost a coin; a shepherd watching over his sheep; or a worker in a vineyard) and use that story to illustrate a spiritual truth.)
Jesus’ teaching involved parables and word pictures; and He even “acted out” parables as in the fig tree experience.
God gave His servants, His messengers and prophets “stories” or “parables” to use in relating their messages:
- Nathan to David – Samuel 12:1
- Peter – the sheet – Matthew
Jesus constantly used these forms in His teachings. Jesus was never in too big a hurry to take the time to make sure those He was speaking to understood. If they didn’t need to know something, He told them plainly that it was not for them to know, or it was not time for them to know. Did any of the disciples ever say, “Jesus, Get to the point!” They questioned Him to find out the meaning of the stories, but they never challenged Him to “be brief.” It was more important to Him, and to them, that they grasp the truth of His teaching. He gave them all the time they needed, and spoke however long it took, to minister the truths God placed on His heart for them. His life’s purpose, not His schedule, took precedence in every situation.
Those who were willing to sit at His feet, for however long it took, were blessed…those who decided their time could be better spent on “more important things” missed the greatest opportunity of their lives… and some are still making the same decision. So very sad. My decision? Take all the time you need Lord, I have nothing to do that is more important than listening to Your “stories!” And I will share them with others, at every opportunity, in any setting, for however long it takes to do so! Selah!