Sunday, June 21, 2009

He speaks of . . .

· Mustard seeds, flour, yeast, a vineyard, a vine, branches, fish, wine, bread, lilies, grass, pearls, grapes, thorns, figs, thistle, a reed, good trees, bad trees, good fruit, bad fruit, weeds, wheat, grain, mint, dill, cumin, rue, herbs, fig tree, leaves, a bramble bush, crops, grain, grass, pods, and a mulberry tree.

He speaks of:

· A camel, sheep, a lamb(s), a goat(s), a young goat (or kid), a bird building a nest, fatted calves, worms, snakes, a brood of vipers, sparrows, swine, pigs, dogs, a wolf, ravenous wolves, a fox, foxes, soaring birds, serpents, doves, ox, oxen, a gnat, vultures, a scorpion(s), a raven, a moth, a donkey, a colt, a hen, a hen’s brood, a hen’s wings, and an egg.

He speaks of:

· A shepherd, a woman who lost coin, a woman baking, a king going to war, a king settling accounts with slaves, a man building a tower, a man building a house, a man enlarging his barn, a man tilling, a sower sowing seeds, wedding guests, the bride, the bridegroom, bridesmaids, laborers, a landowner, thieves, robbers, bandits, merchants, neighbors, friends, reapers, a corpse, drunkards, a creditor, debtors, an innkeeper, a judge, a manager, a master, an officer, a gardener, a host, a guest, infants, a child, children, a wife, a father, a son(s), a mother, a daughter, brothers, relatives, daughters-in-law, mothers-in-law, a widow, the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, citizens, hired hands, prostitutes, rogues, adulterers, tax collectors, debtors, a nobleman, tenants, an accuser, a magistrate, a gatekeeper, a hired hand, and a vinegrower.

He speaks of:

· Weather, water, rain, floods, the sea, a river, soil, the earth, the world, a desert, fire, flames, scorching heat, sulfur, wind, sky, clouds, moon, stars, the sun, light, light rays, lightning, darkness, a mountain, a chasm, stones, a log, a splinter, foxes’ holes, and salt.

He speaks of:

· A sewing needle, a patch of unshrunk cloth, clothing, a robe(s), linen, an apron, cloaks, purses, a belt, sandals, wineskins, nets, a jar, property, a bed, a table, a lampstand, cups and plates, a door, closed doors, a key(s), a lamp(s), oil, a bushel, rooftops, housetops, a cellar, a garden, manure, a manure pile, tombs, a grave, unmarked graves, sackcloth and ashes, a field(s), a yoke, a sheepfold, a watchtower, a winepress, a millstone, a flute, a ring(s), bandages, an inn, marketplaces, royal palaces, a castle, a throne, a prison, armor, a sword, plunder, goods, a storehouse, possessions, alms, a case, the law, penny, pennies, treasure, money, wages, income, a cornerstone, a gate(s), streets, and a city.

He speaks of:

· Eyes, blindness, ears, the mouth, your neck, a hand, a finger, a foot, sores, a tongue, and hair.

He speaks of:

· A banquet, a wedding banquet, a luncheon, a dinner, a famine, music, and dancing.

And he speaks of:

· Birth pangs, thirst, and hunger.

I think it's kind of cool that so far as we know he never used the words theology, Christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, soteriology, ontology, teleology, and eschatology!

Instead, we get more than 350 references to everyday things. He taught with common sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and terms. Rather than boring us with bland theological speech, Jesus talks with people in a language spiked with Spirit.

Pictures work better than abstractions. Narrative works better than dogmatics. Everyday things became in Jesus' teaching symbols of the greatest truths. Everyday experience became the language of heaven.

[This article is published with a cool layout in Plain Truth Magazine: HE SPEAKS OF . . .]

For more on Jesus' parables see my blogs The Absurd Parable of the Unforgiving SlaveThe God Who GamblesParable of the Vine and BranchesThe Crooked ManagerThe Friend at MidnightHeaven Is Like a Crazy FarmerHe Speaks Of . . .Salted With FireTalking Sheep and GoatsIs Your Eye Evil?Two Prodigals and Their Strange FatherThe Lazarus Parable Is Not About the Afterlife,and Jesus Used Parables Like a Sieve.

MY NEWS: My kids and most of my best friends are in Mississippi, but I'm moving tomorrow to California. I'm not a poet, but these two lines express how I feel today:

I live in a place I've never seen;
Don't know the address, but it knows me.