Jesus is out and about again this morning preaching in parables – this time Mark’s version of the sower and the seed (MK 4:1-20). I wonder if it was a whole crowd of blank looks staring back at him and then later the questions from “the Twelve” that frustrated him enough to have him ask, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?”
It all must have been so clear to Jesus and he probably thought that the agricultural metaphor he was using would be easily understood. Aren’t we like that sometimes? We use examples from our experience that we think are self-explanatory, expecting that our hearers will understand what we’re talking about but we might as well be speaking a foreign language if their experience is different from ours. I find it comforting to think that even the disciples were mystified by the parables. Even more am I happy to see the compassion of Jesus this morning who didn’t walk away saying something like, “Oh, never mind! What was I thinking using a figure of speech that I thought would make it easier for you! Why do I even try?” Rather, I’ll wager he took a deep breath to fill his lungs with compassion and then explained the whole scenario to them.
I will try to remember this lesson, forgiving myself for frustration when I am not understood and trying to find the right words when trying to help others understand me, reminding myself always to “just breathe!”