PARABLES: GROUND RULES
The parables help clarify the ground rules of the kingdom.
If you’ve ever played baseball, you know that certain parks have ground rules, and the umpires and coaches discuss these rules before each game. For example:
At Wrigley Field, a ball that gets lodged in the vines by the fence is an automatic ground-rule double. If the ball lodges in the vines, the fielder can raise his hands in surrender, even if he can see the ball perfectly well, and the batter is limited to a double.
The Metrodome is the place where infielders and outfielders (temporarily) lose balls in the glare of the roof, where batters lose home runs to giant speakers, and where once everybody lost a baseball that just never returned to earth. As you might suspect, all these "quirks" necessitate a number of special ground rules, most of them relating to what happens if a batted ball hits one of the many speakers suspended from the Teflon-coated fiberglass roof.
So in these parables Jesus is laying done the ground rules for the kingdom of heaven.
(Todd Catteau "Kingdom Call" 1/19/2009)