Summary: Teaching can be boring, teaching can be tiring, or teaching can be interesting and exciting. Our Lord never bored people in His teaching. Some were converted, some angered, but no one was bored or uninterested.

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A. There are many literary forms used in the Bible.

1. There is poetry

2. Proverbs

3. Legal documents

4. Dramatic narratives

5. Hymns

6. Sermons

7. Theological treatise

8. Personal letters

9. And apocalyptic visions

10. And sprinkled into all of these forms are figures of speech and word pictures that highlight what is being said

a. The form that a writer or speaker chooses to use in order to communicate his or her message indicates it’s meaning or how it should be treated or interpreted

11. For example, Jesus could have given us a 1-hour lecture on who my neighbor is

a. He could have bored us to death for hours on how to treat someone in need

b. But instead of writing or presenting a theological thesis on this, Jesus simply told the story of the Good Samaritan

c. It wasn’t a lecture they needed; it was a story that had the potential of softening their hard-hearts

(1) Jesus was the master storyteller

(2) Jesus used stories or parables to connect with his listeners

12. Some of the parables were true stories taken from daily life

a. They are told as fact in the present tense

b. We understand seed growing

(1) Yeast at work in dough

(2) Children playing

(3) Sheep grazing

(4) And we all know what it’s like to lose something

(a) Jesus told true stories about these things

(5) Some of the parables were story parables

(a) These stories, which may or may not have actually happened (being real history is not important

(b) These stories are meant to convey a significant truth

i) Jesus made up some of these stories and used them as illustrations

ii) Then there are example stories. They give us examples to either follow or avoid

iii) They focus on the character and conduct of the individual.

c. While these stories teach us many good and wholesome things (as we will learn together), the parables do two other things that are easily overlooked

(1) First, the stories of Jesus indicate that He was fully acquainted with human life in its many experiences

(2) He was knowledgeable in farming, sowing seeds, and reaping a harvest

(3) Not only was he familiar with the workaday world of the farmer, the fisherman, the builder, and the merchant

(a) But also he moved with equal ease among the managers of estates

(b) The ministers of finance at a royal court

(c) The judge in a court of law

(d) The Pharisees

(e) And the tax collectors

(4) His stories portray the lives of men, women, and children, the poor and rich, the outcast and the exalted

(5) He knew about work and wages, about weddings and festive occasions as well as funerals and sickness

(6) See, Jesus used illustrations the common people understood

(a) They were familiar truths He used in order to teach an unfamiliar or unrealized lesson

13. Second, Jesus’ stories reveal His heart

a. They tell His autobiography and the autobiography of God

b. Do you want to know how God feels about people being a good neighbor, read the story of the Good Samaritan

c. Do you want to know how God feels when someone who is lost finally finds home again? Read the story of the Prodigal Son

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