One of the presentations I have given centers on the importance of story-telling to teach truths. Jesus rarely “preached” as we think of sermons today. Instead, he reached people’s hearts by telling them stories. And while those stories had deeper meanings, he left it to the listener to find that meaning.
He didn’t end his parables by explaining what they meant or by giving his audience specific rules to live by. Instead, he said, those with eyes will see; those with ears will hear. He understood we are all at different places along our spiritual journey, and we will take from his stories exactly what we are ready to take.
Below, I’ll share one of my favorite contemporary parables.
A young woman, in her desire to serve God, trains at a missionary school, learning how to take Jesus to the poor people of her country.
Finally, after years of training, she is ready to be sent out as a missionary. She joins the landless people, walking with them in their march for justice, laughing with them when they are joyful, crying with them in times of sadness.
“I was trained to take Jesus to the people, to share Jesus with them, to be Jesus to them,” she said. “But that’s not how it worked. Jesus was already there. I found Jesus among them. These people were Jesus to me.”