Read Mark 4:1–20
Jesus used instructions and parables to bring about the Good News. First, He taught using instructions because the crowd was familiar with the direct manner in which the Old Testament prophets spoke. However, the Jews did not take instructions very well. In fact, they rebelled against the prophets who reminded them of their infidelity against God. Many of the Old Testament prophets suffered and died. Second, Jesus used parables to reach out to the crowd. Parables were stories that used folksy images and situations that the crowd could relate to. Some people enjoyed the story and wanted more. Because the stories were relatable, they would also share them with their family members and friends. Some, upon reflection, realized that God’s truth was weaved into the story.
Due to the pressure of time, bosses tend to give instructions and orders. Why waste time? Get to the point so that things get moving! Also, people who receive instructions tend not to question out of respect, fear, or nonchalance. Why waste time asking, “Why?” and risk being labeled as “rebellious”. When Jesus taught, He took the time to explain the meaning of the parables He told. He wanted His disciples to understand the reason and the truth. Once His disciples understood, they became more inspired to spread the Good News even after their master’s death. Likewise, good leaders do more than just give instructions to their staff members. They also take the time to communicate clearly the rationale of their instructions and give their staff members the opportunity to clarify. Nitin Nohria, the tenth dean of Harvard Business School said, “Communication is the real work of leadership.” — XW
Jesus knew the Jews’ rebellious nature and their rejection of God’s Word. That’s why He had to tell them parables where God’s truth is nestled within a story of daily living. Hence, when the Jews listened to His preaching, only those who were discerning were able to receive God’s message. Parents can use this method of instructing teens. Instead of telling them what to do; which turns them “off”, tell them a story instead. It could be a life experience; a story of a great moral person; an inspirational story, a wise saying; a Bible story or a verse, etc. In telling stories, the heart receives them first and children tend to feel loved because they value the time spent with their parents. Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian philosopher said, “Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.” — XW