We remember stories so much better than other lessons. Stories have vivid details that catch our imagination and help to ground our memories in reality. This is why parables are so effective as teaching tools. The parables of Jesus are stories that teach. Jesus made his teachings memorable and palatable by putting them in a familiar setting: our real world.
This Sunday’s parable of the sower is a great example of this. We can visualize the different soil upon which the seed falls. We can see it growing in our imagination, and we can make the connection to faith for ourselves. When we hear Jesus explain the parable later to the apostles, we have a sense of already knowing what He is describing; we can intuit the connection. This intuition is the secret of the parables. “Whoever has ears ought to hear,” Jesus says. He might have followed with, “Whoever has common sense ought to figure it out.”
Gods’ commandments are rooted in reality. God’s teachings are available to us in clear language that allows us to apply His principles to our daily life. How blessed we are that we have a God whose teachings make sense! How blessed we are, as Jesus tells us: “because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you.”