I have the privilege of leading a group of high schoolers in pursuing Christ at my church. I enjoy getting the opportunity to teach them about our God.
The past few weeks we've been studying the parables of Jesus. I explained that parables are stories using earthly language to explain a heavenly truth. Parables were, in part, a way that Jesus used what His listeners understood to help explain what they couldn't fully understand.
Have you ever seen a father bend down to the level of his child to explain something? I find it cute and touching to see a father go through the effort of explaining something in the way his child can understand.
"Daddy, what do you do at work?" a little girl asks her father who is a banker.
"Well," he starts as he gets down on one knee to look her in the eye. He knows she won't understand his business if he starts using banker terms. So, he begins to think of how he can explain it in a way she'll understand.
"Well, you know how you have a piggy bank with your tooth-fairy money in it?"
"Yes, Daddy" she replies.
"The bank is kind of like a big piggy bank. We help keep people's money safe and help them save some of it for later when they need it. We also give some people money to borrow so they can use it, then they give it back when they're done."
"Okay, thanks" she says quickly and then skips away with her little pigtails bouncing.
It's a silly little analogy, but I love it. See, the dad loves his daughter and wants to help her learn about what he does. He can't start spouting off about the FDIC, asset-backed securities or legacy loans. His daughter would be confused. So, he put it in terms she could understand.
Our Heavenly Father loves us and shows us His love in a similar way. The parables are, in part, God getting on His knee and telling us what He does, who He is and what we should do. He takes earthly language and uses it to explain heavenly realities.
Open up the book of Matthew and pick a parable. Read that parable and picture Jesus on His knee, like a father, explaining something to you today.