Best-selling author and professor, Leonard Sweet, teaches that a story is EPIC: experiential; participatory; image-rich; and connective. In essence, a story engages the heart.
Jesus taught in parables, so regardless of one’s heart condition, He would have the opportunity to germinate the seed that was sown (see Matthew 13:10-17). A Rabbi would share his most secretive teachings only with those who grew closest to him. Thus, the parables represented a teaching method for all four heart conditions Jesus described in His Parable of the Sower: hard, shallow, thorny, or soft. Jesus preached: “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:15). Otherwise, better translated, perhaps, meant that each of the heart conditions could turn to Christ who would heal, or forgive, them (cf. Mark 4:12).
If life’s experiences have left you with an unfruitful heart, whether hard, shallow, or thorny, in Christ you can receive a soft, fruitful one. Each day during the next week, pray: