Read: Matthew 13
Jesus loved to teach using parables, short stories that invite us to step back and learn from seemingly everyday experiences. We learn a lot through this kind of lesson because it’s more like teaching someone to fish than simply supplying a fish dinner when asked. The funny thing I’ve found is how the application of the simple narrative changes over time. I wish I had kept journals from my youth to compare with thoughts today, but I am completely certain these parables are much more vividly colored today than they were 20 years ago.
- Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
- Parable of the Weeds — And Explanation: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
- Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast: Matthew 13:31-35
- Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl: Matthew 13:44-46
- Parable of the Net: Matthew 13:47-52
I should probably write a post on each of the above, it seems somewhat trite to gloss over the lessons embodied in each. Or perhaps you should read them yourself and hear what God is speaking to you this morning.
Matthew 13:10-17 provides Jesus’ explanation for the use of parables. I pray we are those who can read and learn, see and hear, that our hearts would be transformed by His words. Amen!
Matthew chooses to end this chapter with an observation: a prophet is not honored in his own town. People that saw Jesus growing up, walking with Joseph and Mary to the market, looking like a simple child, and doing normal everyday tasks had a hard time accepting Him for who He was. Something we have to expect in our own lives. I think of this like stained glass windows.
Parable of the Stained Glass Window
Consider the beauty of a stained glass window. The patterns of broken glass, careful selection of lead borders, and the choice of colors provide a wonderful depiction of the image portrayed. It’s especially wonderful when the sun hits the window and filtered light fills the room with a rainbow of colors.
We appreciate a stained glass window because, well, the glass is not clear. The glass is in fragments, held together with gray, rather ugly, lead. Yet somehow, when it is put together properly it becomes a work of art, something we put in a place of honor and gaze upon with wonder.
We are each a stained glass window. Each of us has broken pieces of our lives in the past, all held together by lead. Jesus takes our brokenness, our sin, our mistakes and creates an image much more beautiful than we could ever imagine. The Spirit is the lead, not seen, not the focal point of the window, but without which the window would never hold together.
While there is some desire to be a clear pane of glass once again, I rather think the beauty found in a stained glass window creates a tapestry that reveals a work of art my more authentically.
Thank you Lord for stained glass windows. May I always remember you are the ultimate artist that pieces together the oddly broken shapes of my life and give You the honor and glory You deserve.