Who doesn’t love a good story? A good story is one that grabs you and pulls you in at all twists and turns of the story until the ending. Stories inspire. Stories motivate. We are surrounded by stories, and one thing that is clear is our God is a storytelling God. This can be seen all throughout Scripture. The Bible is fully of stories that are captivating to the heart, and teach us much about God and His people.
In The Storytelling God, Jared Wilson looks at a series of stories in the Bible that are told by Jesus known as the parables. The parables that Jesus tells are simple stories that have a deeper and central teaching and message. Unfortunately, today many pastors use the parables to make illustrations to their points in sermons and often take the meaning of these stories out of context or lessen the message of Jesus’ intention in the story. Wilson says, “When these oft-repeated stories from Jesus strike us as sweet, heartwarming, or inspiring in the sentimental sense rather than the Spiritual sense, we can be sure we’ve misread them” (13). Jesus’ parables are stories with eternal purposes. Jesus spoke through parables in a way that was confusing to those outside the kingdom. This was intentional. The stories that Jesus told contained the mystery of eternal life (33).
Wilson walks through many of Jesus’ parables and helps to see them in the light they are to be understood, not one that is too simplistic or one that is overly searching for more meaning than is there. Much has been written on storytelling and the importance of story, and one cannot skip over the importance of Jesus’ parables in helping the people of God to understand a little bit of the kingdom. The parables are important in helping to shape the lives of Christians, and understanding how they are to do kingdom work here on earth. Take the time to understand the parables, and use Wilson’s The Storytelling God to see how our Father is a storytelling God all through the narrative of Scripture and has used the parables of Jesus specifically to reveal eternal purposes to us then and still today. Grab a copy of the book from Crossway here.
This is an honest review written in exchange of a review copy of The Storytelling God from Crossway publications.