That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables…(Matthew 13:1-3)

Tim Hollingdale, Support Development Director, FebaTim Hollingdale, Feba's Support Development Director reflects on the inspirational storytelling abilities of Jesus:

Jesus inspires me for a whole host of reasons. One thing I admire is his amazing ability to communicate with a range of audiences: be it friend or foe, one to one, small group or large crowd. Whatever his audience, Jesus used parables, he used stories, because he knew that they would grab people’s attention.

Jesus told parables based on everyday life, his stories would use a subject that was right in front of him – a sower in a field, a shepherd, a fisherman, a thorn bush, or a mustard seed. He took the here and now and used it to reveal eternal truth. Jesus told stories based on his listeners’ world (many of whom couldn’t read) because he knew they would remember them and connect with them.

A parable...The heavenly truth can be better grasped in light of the earthly illustration.

William Barclay, Theologian

William Barclay in his commentary on this passage in Matthew says this: ‘A parable is literally something thrown beside something else: that is to say it is basically a comparison. It is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The heavenly truth can be better grasped in light of the earthly illustration.’

I am fascinated that often Jesus told stories where the meaning was vague so that the listener had to carry on working out what the real message was long after Jesus’ voice had faded away. Jesus knew how to tell stories that encouraged his listeners to stay involved.

Our partners use stories in their work. They know that radio is ideal for telling stories that grab people’s attention, help them remember what was said and involve them as they work out the real message behind the words. Storytelling is a gift that can inform and educate listeners in a compelling, engaging way.  

Your continued support of Feba is vital to the projects and partners bringing life-changing radio across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Please can I ask you to pray for the creativity of our production teams as they make new and inspiring radio programmes. Thank you.

For more information on how your donations are giving the gift of transformational radio see Open Mic and Stories.