The Jesus Method

Posted: February 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

The greatest creative minister of all time is Jesus. Jesus painted the most vivid amazing word pictures that were designed with a two fold purpose. One of those purposes was to block their meaning from the hard hearted people who opposed him at every turn. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that it was an incident with the Pharisees that moved Jesus into the parables, to begin with.

It was after Jesus cast a demon out of a man possessed that the Pharisees made the accusation, “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24) It was right after this falling out, that Jesus, did the vast majority of His public teaching in the form of parables. Jesus opens Matthew 13 with the Parable of the Sower and when His disciples asked Him why He taught in this way, Jesus said,

Matthew 13:11 … “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

At least one writer has gone so far as to say that the parables were a form of judgment on the hard hearted and Matthew 13:34 informs us that Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.

The other side of this is for the open-hearted. For them these stories, set in familiar surroundings and contexts to their daily life opened their eyes to complicated truths, expressed in simple ways. I call this The Jesus Method. The idea is simple. We share the unchanging message of the Gospel in ways people can understand. These stories are simple and yet intriguing. They show us the truth. The parable as an art form is still available to creatives today as a matter of fact I would argue that preachers would be well served sharpening their parable telling skills. Please do not misunderstand me here. I am not saying that storytelling is a substitute for the preaching of the Word, rather it is a window into God’s truth, helping people to see.

After all we don’t just preach for the sake of hearing ourselves talk. We preach with the purpose of being understood, and more than that, these messages are supposed to help people take them to heart and apply their truths to their lives. Jesus knew the importance of what He was saying better than anyone ever did or ever will, and He used this method. Yes it confounded the Pharisees, but for those seeking truth, the parables illuminated it for all to see.

The Gospel is unchanging, but how we communicate it matters. May we learn from the greatest creative minister of all time and may we learn from His technique and put it into practice.

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