ITEMS OF INTEREST

WHEN JESUS TELLS A STORY , he compels us to look at holy things with new eyes, and he illustrates his stories with references to ordinary things. If he were operating in the 21st century, I doubt that he would need blackboard for complex mathematical formulas, or the arcane jargon of a modern expert—whether economist, computer maven, biochemist, or theologian. Jesus told stories about ordinary things to explain the extraordinary, the inexplicable....

In [Matthew 13:31-33 and 44-49], Jesus is teaching his friends about the kingdom of heaven.... Although kings are now out of fashion, and the mystique of royalty has eroded, they were real figures of absolute power and grandeur in Jesus' time. I doubt that his hearers had any more direct contact with kings than any of us has had. But they understood the vocabulary of kings and kingdoms even though they did not always understand what Jesus was trying to tell them.

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THE OLYMPICS: THEIRS AND OURS
August 4, 2008
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