Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Matthew 13:13 -- On Parables and Running from Reality

"Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."
Matthew 13:13


This idea of being able to see, but not seeing, and being able to hear but not hearing, is a consistent theme in the scriptures, and I think also in our lives.  I don't know about you, but I can remember times in my life, many of them, when it was very clear what was happening, or that something bad, dangerous, uncomfortable, or embarrassing was *about* to happen, and yet I specifically chose not to pay attention, or chose not to deal with it, just pretending that I didn't know or didn't feel or didn't understand.  I hope that isn't just me... that the tendency is part of the human condition.  Not that I am glad we are like that, but it does seem like a good reason for the Lord to use parables with us, so that instead of offering a blunt meaning, and shying away or ignoring it, we have to think about it.  And once we understand, we can't say that we didn't know or think about it. :)  Kind of works around our gut irresponsibility instinct.

Parables also insulate the truth from the already-insulated.  If we don't want to face it, God allows us to easily choose that.  We can just walk away in ignorance and not think about it.  And sometimes, that *is* what we choose.  But it also makes some of the truth more palatable when we are working on coming out of our safety shells and attempting to deal.  Just like all fiction helps us learn and face truths without having to literally face them, God's fiction, in parables, helps us to clearly think about and see truths without the uber-harshness of reality, and the examples of our own personal sin.  Today, let's be thankful that God knows how to teach us, even when we want to run away from reality.  Let's read, and think, and learn, and come unto him.

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