Don’t you love it when your pastor gives a real life illustration in his sermon and you can grasp the truth in a new and meaningful way? Chances are that you will remember both the story and the idea far longer than you would have without that word picture. Experts tell us that the human brain more readily retains key information and concepts if they are presented in story form because the listener can quite easily connect the ideas to themselves and their own life.
As the crowds gathered to listen to Jesus, He often used very simple and clear illustrations, so that they could begin to understand what He was telling them about Himself, about His Father, and about His mission. He was a master teacher and communicator, but the concepts which He presented were radically new and different. He wanted them to begin to grasp that there was so much more to life than their physical needs. He wanted them to understand what God was offering to them. He wanted them to listen and to learn and to believe. He wanted them to accept, by faith, that He truly was their Messiah – the liberating King, who could satisfy the longings of their heart and meet the needs of their most inner being. In ways that they could only begin to conceptualize, He offered to them a permanent solution to their spiritual hunger and thirst.
Don’t you find it quite amazing that centuries later the word picture that Jesus gave to the crowds is still so meaningful to us today? It doesn’t matter where you live or what your status in life may be, you can hear the words that Jesus spoke and translate them into an offer that still is available and true and it is still radical and counter-cultural. Some rejected it then and still do today. Some still ponder, question it and debate its meaning and veracity. Finally there are those who have found that their inner hunger and thirst are fully satisfied in the person of Jesus. How about you?