Denise Day Spencer

August 23, 2008

Children’s object lesson: Why parables?

Filed under: Children's sermons — denisedayspencer @ 1:37 pm

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:10-15
OBJECT: A flashlight

Today we’re beginning a study of Jesus’ parables. What is a parable? It’s a story told to give us a picture of an idea. Jesus told a lot of parables. It was his favorite way to teach.

Let’s start by asking why Jesus told parables. Well, for one thing, everybody loves a good story. But there’s more to it than that, as Jesus himself tells us in Matthew 13:13. When the disciples asked him why he taught using parables, Jesus said, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” He meant that the people could see him, but they didn’t see — as in understand — what he was talking about. They heard him, but they weren’t really paying attention.

Jesus taught in parables because he knew his stories would either show the people the truth or hide it from them.

It’s a lot like a flashlight. I’ve got one right here. You’ve probably all used a flashlight before. It lights the way where you shine the light. That’s why you use a flashlight, right? But what you may have not noticed is that it makes everything outside the beam of light — the things still in the darkness — even harder to see. The light makes the darkness seem even darker.

You see, Jesus knew there were some people who didn’t want to believe in him and would never believe, no matter what he did. They would listen to his parables and think, “Oh, he’s just telling stories” and walk away. But other people would listen and say, “Wait a minute. What does this story mean?” And someday they would understand not only the parables, but who Jesus really was. They would know that the very Son of God was the One who had been teaching them.

As we study Jesus’ parables, I pray that we will be like the people who listened and understood and believed.



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