We are surrounded by information. Breaking it down is the challenge.
In Matthew 13 we are faced with the parable within a parable. First, Jesus presents a parable, then he says “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”. Translate that to “get it?”. The disciples ask him “Why do you speak to them in parables?”, and his response is to explain the very parable he just used to the disciples, then saying “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand“. In that, I see an insult to the disciples, something of a “You don’t ‘get it’ either”.
As I was thinking about all of this, it of course occurred to me that I was the one who didn’t get it, particularly while pondering verses 27-30 “27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Am I a tare, allowed to grow in the wheat until harvest time?
Much of this chapter has to do with interpretation, yet there is no clear guidance as to which interpretations are correct. What I gather is that the lesson is, once again, to not judge the interpretations of others, for judgement will come to all eventually. Verses 47-48 “47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away“.
Jesus spoke in parables because, in the words of Jack Nicholson “You can’t handle the truth”. The chapter ends “54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”.
I tend to speak in parables, allegory, analogies. People listen. They make their own conclusions, see their own truth. When I was a technician, I grew a patch of facial hair (the only white hair I have), so that customers would see that I was indeed elderly and not just some kid from nowhere. It is impossible to impart knowledge to an unreceptive audience, but it is also impossible to impart knowledge without sharing a message.
The problem in my case is that I never know if I have been understood, sure, everyone nods their heads and says “yes, I get it”, but do they? I believe the answer may be “It doesn’t matter“. We each do our best, and in the end, perhaps that is our measure. How have we have done compared to the best we are capable of doing.