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Using parables in that day was the fine art of story- telling. To teach in parables was to teach in pictures. Most people think in pictures. Few people are capable of grasping abstract truth, a notable form of teaching in the Western world. Most of us need truth to become concrete before it can be intelligible. We can try to define beauty with many words, but when we point to a person and say, “This person is beautiful,” the abstract becomes clear. Parables do not tell the person a truth as much as help the person discover the truth. A parable tells a person to put on another set of glasses. It suggests that one look at the information from a different perspective. The individual hearing the parable is left to draw his or her own conclusions and to make his or her own deductions. Truth that is told and memorized is quickly forgotten. Truth that is discovered will last a lifetime. The great value of parables does not impose truth on a person; it places a person in a position to realize truth.


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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)