Monday, June 29, 2015
Heck Of A Question
In his commentaries, N. T. Wright wonders, “Doesn’t Jesus want everybody to get the message? Yes and no. What he is saying is such dynamite that it can’t be said straightforwardly, out in the street.” It is not that Jesus speaks in parables because he doesn’t want people to understand. He speaks in parables because they refuse to understand. Through parables, Jesus can communicate with the people who are ready to listen, and no one else will understand enough to cause immediate trouble.I weep, almost daily, for those that refuse to hear. It hurts to see people that have so much right there at their fingertips and they simply refuse to grasp it.
But there is a flip side to this discussion of parables - and that is that Christ's ministry was not, I repeat NOT, entirely inclusive. Not everyone made it to the party. There were insiders and outsiders. Parables were a part of the sorting process. It seems like we do not sort in the church anymore. With the exception of the Jewish officialdom, Jesus did not spend a lot of time denouncing outsiders, He used subtle means like parables to sort and to reinforce the differentiation. We don't even do subtle stuff anymore - "All are welcome," "Come as you are." Maybe, but you only get to come so far as you are - even in Christ's ministry.
We cannot let the inmates run the asylum. Such is responsible for many of the ills that face the church these days.