Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Peterson: the parable bomb

Wednesday, July 10, 2024
    Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
    —Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV)
    Jesus’ favorite speech form, the parable, was subversive. Parables sound absolutely ordinary: casual stories about soil and seeds, meals and coins and sheep, bandits and victims, farmers and merchants. And they are wholly secular: of his forty or so parables recorded in the Gospels, only one has its setting in church, and only a couple mention the name God. As people heard Jesus tell these stories, they saw at once that they weren’t about God, so there was nothing in them threatening their own sovereignty. They relaxed their defenses. They walked away perplexed, wondering what they meant, the stories lodged in their imagination. And then, like a time bomb, they would explode in their unprotected hearts. An abyss opened up at their very feet. He was talking about God; they had been invaded!
    ... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1993, p. 32 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 13:3-11; Ps. 25:8-9; Matt. 7:28-29; 11:25-26; Mark 4:1,11-12; Luke 4:15; 8:10; 20:21; 1 Cor. 2:14-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your wisdom surpasses all.
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