I shared last week that I was having some trouble with the parables of the Kingdom in Matthew. Every day when I got to the New Testament part of my daily reading I’d have a hesitation as if I’d failed somehow by not grasping what Jesus meant. It came to a head this morning when I was reading Paul talk about opening people’s eyes. I stopped and thought and spoke to Jesus – I should say spoke with because He answered.
My point to Him was that if He is the living Word why was I having difficulty understanding what He taught. His reply was because I was coming at it from the wrong angle. Little children. It was as if that light suddenly went on in my head with a palm to forehead d’oh moment.
Jesus didn’t use complicated language – He spoke clearly and simply, He told us to come as little children. So when I look at the parable of the treasure hidden in a field and think: am I the treasure, the field, the man? Why am I burying it again? He sighs and wonders why I can’t be that child and think ‘wow this treasure must be really special if someone buried it and I get to search for it, find it, dig it up. I’m going to go look for this treasure.’ Or ‘wow what a huge net that would be, must’ve been hard to pull it to the shore and sort out the fish. What a shame for the bad fish and the fishermen after all their hard work. I wonder if I’m a bad fish or a good fish… I want to be a good fish.’
Jesus talked from what people could see, I know I’ve said this before but the penny didn’t drop here – He wasn’t trying to trick us or confuse us. He didn’t call just the wise or educated but He is the Way for everyone. I think my difficulty is I don’t see fishermen, I don’t see people sowing seed, I don’t see people buying pearls in the market, I don’t see my mum baking bread every day and so those pictures aren’t as immediate for me. But there must be a timeless truth in them and instead of digging down with tools and sweat maybe I should crouch down and get a child’s eye-view. I’m not sure how that will work but it certainly removed the sense of ‘I’m failing cos I just don’t get it’ so I am going to work it out – maybe by trying to see the picture instead of examining the words.
Maybe it will also help with this:
Jesus: 20 Because you have so little faith. I tell you this: if you had even a faint spark of faith, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and because of your faith, the mountain would move. If you had just a sliver of faith, you would find nothing impossible.
A child would believe that. A child believes what the person she loves tells her. A child has open-eyed wonder and believes her daddy can do anything.
This child wants that same faith in her Daddy.