A friend of mine went to a seminary on the west coast to become a minister, and was thrilled to have studied under a really well known professor.

He’d written books of all kinds, edited magazines, pastored churches, taught classes. One of the best known Christians in the world.

I honestly didn’t know that much about him before my friend started singing his virtues, and he was so thrilled that he’d arranged for the professor to come speak at a local event.

I went, and to be honest, I was so confused. He was obviously smart, but used words I didn’t know, in sentences just full of content. I bought a couple books, and had the same experience. Every sentence was packed with vocabulary words I didn’t quite understand, and I had to unpack them all. It was painstaking work, and my study partner declared they simply wouldn’t be continuing, and wanted to read something more accessible.

The professor was in good company – Jesus taught in much the same way, using deceptively short, but highly cryptic stories with mutliple layers of meaning. These are called parables.

Many people regard Jesus as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, teachers ever. But why, if he was so hard to understand? Was it that insightful that it couldn’t be communicated any other way?

This week we’ll explore one where Jesus speaks about his own teaching style, and how it lands with different kinds of people.

Question: Who was the hardest teacher you ever had? Did the hard work of paying attention pay off?

Meeting with a Group?  Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide

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