Brian D. McLaren on Parables

Why did Jesus speak in parables? Why was he subtle, indirect, and secretive? Because his message wasn’t merely aimed at conveying information. It sought to precipitate something more important: the spiritual transformation of the hearers. The form of a parable helps to shape a heart that is willing to enter an ongoing, interactive, persistent relationship of trust in the teacher. It beckons the hearer to explore new territory. It helps form a heart that is humble enough to ask questions. In other words, a parable renders its hearers not as experts, not as know-it-alls, not as scholars … but as children.

from The Secret Message of Jesus (W Publishing Group, 2006), 46.

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