Running With Mark 22

Day Twenty-Two – January 19, 2020

Read: Mark 4:1-34 Common English Bible

Visual Liturgy:

A tiny mustard seed is held between the index finger and the thumb. A perfect illustration of Jesus’ teaching in the Bible.


 “With many such parables he continued to give them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34 He spoke to them only in parables, then explained everything to his disciples when he was alone with them.” Mark 4:33-34


Why would Jesus speak to them only in parables?  Why then later explain it only to the disciples?  I often wish that there would have been times recorded in scripture when Jesus “gave the answer” and said what the parable meant.  Parables are stories that invite us into the story and to draw our own conclusions about the meanings. 


In Crazy Book – A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms, the authors say that a Parable is a story with not only a point, but a skewer.


In the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Steve Martin’s character launches (and we mean launches) into some good advice: “When you’re telling these little stories, here’s a good idea: Have a point!  It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”


Because admit it.  We have all been there, listening to a story and wondering, “Why is he telling this?  There is no point!”


A parable is a story designed not to be entertaining or amusing, or to pass on family history. It is a story with a point.  In fact, the biblical parables are often pointed.  You might say that they have lance-like point – a sort of “gotcha” moment in which we realize that the point of the story has, in fact, punctured us.  While there are parables in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, most of the biblical parables occur in the Gospel because Jesus often taught using parables.


sticks for canape and kebab isolated on white background

A key to reading Jesus’ parables is to realize that we are the ones who are being skewered by Jesus’ parables.  He pokes a hole in our illusions about ourselves in order to let the hot air out and the Holy Spirit’s healing breath in.”[1]



Parable of the Soils – what does the soil mean to you?

Parable of the Lamps – what does the lamp mean?

Parables of God’s Kingdom – what does the mustard seed mean?  Why would Jesus choose it?

Who is the best storyteller you have ever known?

How can you use stories to share your faith?



Jesus Be Near to Me – Tommy Walker    


Build Your Kingdom Here – Rend Collective


Prayer Focus:

A parable is like a skewer, poking holes in our illusions about ourselves.

Where are the holes in your life that God would invite you to consider?


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

[1] Jacobson, Rolf A., Karl N. Jacobson, and Hans H. Wiersma. Crazy Book: a Not-so-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2019. pg.212