It’s simple word picture, attached to a message or email, used millions of times a day to convey emotions, thoughts, or ideas. Borrowed from the Japanese word pictograph, literally e for picture or drawing, and moji, letter or character, an emoji is now widely used to express the emotional attitude of the writer, to communicate a message playfully, without using words, to convey information in a brief, yet clear, manner. Word pictures did not, however, begin with developer Shigetaka Kurita, for the two wisest men who ever walked the earth, Solomon, endowed with wisdom from God, and Jesus, God IN the flesh, were both masterful teachers who employed word pictures to convey deep truth.
It is little wonder that people love reading the proverbs of Solomon and the parables of Jesus. But there is a temptation to read those stories as entertainment, but they are so much more. Solomon’s proverbs are a simplified form of a parable. Using the simile like, Solomon paints a picture: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Readers of old would immediately know exactly what he meant: a lack of self-control is like an undefended city with no walls. Add a story to those proverbs and you have a parable, the preferred method of teaching employed by Jesus.
The word parable comes from the Greek word para, or beside, and ballo, meaning to cast or throw, so basically, to cast beside, to place one thing beside another. Jesus had a twofold purpose for His parables, to illuminate the hearts of the spiritually sensitive and to frustrate the minds of the spiritually blind and proud. The same story could be a blessing or a curse, depending on the mind and heart of the one listening.
Jesus takes the common things that the Jewish people would know well and constructs a story to communicate to them something that they do not know. Whether it centers around a rich man with bursting barns, or a poor widow begging for help from a judge; a lonely place where a man is attacked by thieves, or a bend in the road where a man weeps for joy at his returning son, Jesus has a lesson for us. He may use a woman sweeping her floors, a Pharisee and a tax collector praying, or a lost lamb to unveil a truth to open ears and tender hearts. God had veiled the hearts of His people, made their “ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart,” but through the Holy Spirit, we have these stories to convey to us rich spiritual truths.
On this Lord’s day, take this challenge, read through one of the 30 plus parables of Christ today and allow Him to teach you a spiritual lesson.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Lord, thank You for Your creative teaching methods, touching our hearts deeply and growing us spiritually.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2544-62bc030e835a4' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2544&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2544-62bc030e835a4' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2544-62bc030e835a4' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>