and to them he never used to speak except in parables; but in private to his own disciples he explained everything.
everything is parabolic a yellowed lecture is a parable even if no examples are used a police command is a parable even when shouted after shooting a parent’s ruling is a parable even when excessively applied nothing is explainable a missed antecedent is explainable but no less baffling in the moment a creed is explainable but no less outdated until updated a case law is explainable but no less inapplicable next time
The previous verse (4:33) and this one belong together to present a Semitic parallelism. They reinforce one another while each expands the other.
There are two levels of teaching—the lively presentation of evocational context and the excavational exploration tied to living with a changed mind and heart.
Verse 33 finds a good message in finding the mundane as source of rapture. Creation is never left behind for some heaven that can only be hyperbolic. It is a grounding from which deeper vision grows. All those punishment-oriented “Left Behind” novels got it 180° wrong. It is always Paradise-in-Creation where we find ourselves beloved and beloving.
This verse ties us to this grounding through the work of refining nuggets of insight into a usable form that goes on to touch all the rest of our life. This transformation takes a great amount of intention (energy/time) and diligence (matter/space) which represents both a satisfied moment and a well-lived life.
Apply story and reflection, rinse, repeat (more of the tale and further reflection), practice, hear a story prequel, follow a rabbit-trail, allow the story to echo in a fallen-into cave, rinse, practice, begin telling a story, hear it repeated, pause, hear a story sequel, practice, smile, stumble across one link between stories, sleep, dream, awake to play, play your part in a larger play, the story of a life with wild beasts and angels hovering ‘round, seeds and soils, Holy Cow and Brother Coyote, storms and retreats, fables and dissertations, yes, . . . .