I have been reading through the Gospels and am amazed at the simplicity of Jesus‘ teaching. We have grown so accustomed to outlines and sermonic points that we might have forgotten how to understand what Jesus said. Here are 6 good tips about the Housing Market and Understanding Jesus since there is such a quirky correlation.
1. Context. Context. Context. Much like location in real estate, understanding the social, historical, and cultural context of the parable is most important. For example, in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8), it helps to know that in the first-century widows often experienced significant hardship and oppression.
2. Number of rooms. Anytime you are looking to buy a home, the number of rooms comes up. How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? How many living areas? When reading through the parables of Jesus determine the number of points the parable is intended to teach. This may be linked to the number of main characters in the parable (Blomberg, Interpreting the Parables).
3. Neighborhood. The house might be nice. The number of rooms fit your needs. The cost fits your budget. Driving around the neighborhood can help you decide the reality of this new space. Consider to whom the parable is directed. Is the audience being addressed the disciples, the Jewish leaders, or the crowds? The identity of the audience will help indicate the message that the parable was intended to communicate.
4. Take a second look. If you only look at a house once, you might miss something. It is always a good idea to go back and take a second look. Realize that repetition in parables is for the purpose of stressing a major point.
5. Study the floorplan. Every floorplan has some of the same abbreviations such as, LR, DR, MBR, K, etc. When reading parables identify stock symbolism being employed. For example, God is commonly pictured throughout the Bible (and in parables) as a father, king, judge, shepherd, etc.
6. Listen to the realtor. This person can share vital information without even knowing it. They will describe the home. They might describe the neighborhood and schools though this is becoming more rare. Keep track of all that is said noting the tone and inflection for clues of anxiety or rush. Note the conclusion of the parable. The last person, deed, or saying often conveys the significance of the parable.
The next time you are reading through the Gospel or needing to purchase a home, just remember these 6 tips. Do you have other good tips?