Mark 4: 13-20: Who can understand a parable? I imagine that if you told the parable of the Sower, to one who lives in a city and has never seen a farm; they might be OK, whatever. However, if we told it in terms they can understand then perhaps they will mature in Christ. Wait a second, you aren’t supposed to change the word of God.
That is how you do it. First you read the scripture and then you explain it in the language of the listener. When we do this, we are increasing our audience, our sphere of influence for Christ.
Say my audience was a group of inter-city youths. I would have to find out what is important to them. And it would depend on a few things such as:
- Are they targets for gangs or gang recruitment?
- Are they interested in education?
- Are they interested in the military?
- Do they expected to be trapped in the intercity?
- Are they part of the culture that believes going to jail is a right of passage?
I am sure there are many more comparisons and we have to understand that some may fall into more than one category. Giving us more ways to reach them. We figure out how to explain the message in their language. This is not changing God’s word. Think of it this way, do you feel that the NIV has changed the Word? If we could all understand the Old KJV, then other translations wouldn’t be necessarry. Since we all come from different backgrounds different examples of parables are required.
My favorite is most likely to be shared with women who like to bake.
To make bread, you need flour, yeast, milk or water, and salt.
If you don’t mix in the yeast well enough then your bread rises unevenly, it may still be eaten but no one is going to like the heavy part.
If you don’t put in enough yeast, then your dough doesn’t rise it is useless.
If you put in too much yeast, then it becomes too airy and the outside bakes before the inside.
If you put in the right amount of your ingredients, and knead the yeast into the dough without over kneading then you get wonderful bread and everyone wants it.
Explanation: Every wants bread sometimes the baker doesn’t make good bread- the seed that is sowed in shallow or thorny soil and they lose interest in the baker.
Some times the baker forgets the yeast and it is flat and tough (and your audience is not predominately Jewish) this is the seed that lands in the hard ground.
But the baker that mixes everything just right, ingredients, kneading; this is the seed is in the fertile soil. Everyone wants it. (it being the message of God) See when we bake our bread just right, everyone wants it, our profits multiple. The word about us is spread. Translation to Christianity, the Good news that Jesus is our savior is spread. The good baker (person that spreads the Good news about Jesus) knows how to knead enough yeast just right. The person that fruitfully spreads the Word of God; listens to the Holy Spirit, so they are more effective.
When we tell the word of God to fit the audience, then our efforts are multiplied. More people hear and understand; more people are duplicating the efforts and sharing the word of God. Multiplication
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”