Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Matthew 13 : 36 – 39
This is the second time we see Jesus tell the crowds a parable and then later explain what he meant to his disciples. And you can start to see why Jesus preferred to speak in Parables. He was trying to teach about complex and controversial topics: Good and Evil, the end of the world, Divine judgement. These aren’t easy things to engage people in. So instead he told stories, accessible to even an uneducated peasant as his original audiences largely were, that allowed ordinary people to engage with these difficult topics.
We all of us rely on stories to understand the world. They simplify complex issues and help us to understand our place in the bigger picture. But sometimes we need to be like the disciples and start to look into those stories in more detail. Sometimes that means trading an easy to grasp story for a much more difficult reality, but when we do we can start to understand the world more deeply and with greater clarity.
Prayer: Lord of all, thank you for the stories that have guided me through life, that taught me right from wrong, that helped me find my place in the world and that grew my faith. But I pray you give me the wisdom and insight to look closely at those stories and to understand the truths that lie beneath them.
Action: Try and remember a story that has meant a lot to you, maybe from when you were young or a more recent one. What did that story teach you, and what lessons might lie beneath the surface?