Stories Jesus Told, Part I
January 14, 2017
We’ve started a winter series at Reservoir, “Stories Jesus Told.” As I shared in our first talk, the idea is that the most striking thing about Jesus as a teacher is that he mainly taught by telling stories. I reminded us that of the many stories Jesus may have told, his four original biographers passed down 45 to us. And quoting my friend Carl Medearis, I mentioned that these 45 stories that Jesus told are stories we might want to listen to, to know, to tell to other people.
The second thing that might strike us is how odd and at the same time commonplace these stories are. Drawn from everyday working and family and social and situations, they seem to indicate that God doesn’t want to draw us out of our lives to a higher plane but to engage us in our ordinary lives with how we think and relate and manage them. The stories aren’t always clear, but they are ultimately pretty intriguing.
And maybe that’s the point – to intrigue us, to get us asking questions of ourselves and our community and God, to engage with Jesus as a teacher and to see what we learn as we do so.
In that spirit, I’ve taken quite a few liberties and rewritten Jesus’ stories in 140 character or less form. They’re going up daily on twitter, but in digest form, here are a few.
Stories About Something New Happening, and What it Might Be Like
Old and new don’t match when you’re patching clothes or storing wine. New things need new containers. (Mark 2:18-22, Matthew 9:17, Luke 5:33-39)
The teachers in God’s land are like a homeowner who keeps finding new treasures to share alongside old ones. (Matthew 13:52)
Farmer throws seeds everywhere – growth rates vary widely, from nothing to insanely large amounts. Think about that! (Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:1-9)
Light wants to travel and shine. Same with truth. There’s no permanent secret or hiding place – all will be known in time. (Luke 8:16-18)
How seed becomes life is a mystery. Same with God’s land. We’ve just got to spot the life and enjoy it! (Mark 4:26-29)
God’s land is a tiny seed that grows into a plant for food and spice and big bird-nested branches, just so beautiful. (Mark 4:30-32, Matthew 13:31-32, Luke 13:18-19)
Again, follow me on twitter for these every day for a few weeks.