I have a question for you. Did Jesus ever use jargon?

Why does Jesus use parables so much? Isn’t it quicker and easier just to do a miracle?

When we read the bible accounts we hear Jesus talk many times in parables. As a child in Luke 2:41 we see the account of Jesus as a boy of twelve speaking and talking about theology. Cleary Jesus knew the scriptures understood theology from a young age. So why would He choose to use parables to make His point, when He could have so clearly quoted scripture and communicated His message with theology and teaching?

What was the significance of speaking to the people of His day in stories?

I believe its simply this, stories capture the imagination. They get us to think and ask more questions. They leave an impact and are memorable. They also appeal to our emotions and research tells us we never forget how someone makes us feel, even if we forget what they say.  Many of the parables of Jesus like the prodigal son, would have evoked huge emotions from the listener because they challenged the perspective of the day.

I am sure that you have heard many times the words in Mathew 28:16-20.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In this reading we have the words of the resurrected Christ giving His disciples instructions to spread the good news of His teachings to all the nations of the world. Jesus emphasises ministry, missionary work, evangelism and baptism.

As an response to the great commission the Philo Trust has been rigorous in its pursuit of making the gospel know in this country and beyond with a focus on evangelism, teaching and training. For the past thirty years J.John has been hugely effective as a speaker in creatively communicating the deep truths of Jesus’ message. His role has led him to speak, teach and equip churches in every area of evangelism. He has published many books and articles and Philo Trust have moved to publishing our own literature and training courses. Some of which you might know like the teaching on the Ten Commandments called “Just 10,” and “Breaking News,” which teaches personal evangelism.

J.John has seen many changes in how the UK church and abroad communicates the Christian faith. One of his challenges has been the realisation that he can only be in one place at one time. How can we change this limiting factor and have a greater impact upon those we have not reached so far?

One thing that has come upon us which has significantly changed the way we all communicate is the Internet.

The internet has given us the ability to speak through e-mail, video and media in a way that we have never been able to before.

Today we can can have a video clip and can place it on the internet and within seconds we have a world wide audience. The speed of communication and the accessibility of the Internet has been a game changer.

The rules for communication have changed and are changing as I write this article.

As a response to this Philo Trust has become more flexible and tech savvy in how we use technology and media. We are moving into new areas to try to reach the least, the last and the lost.

We realise that the people of today want to be communicated to with the devices of today.

With that in mind we have embraced Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in our communication. We have become partners with company’s like UCB media and are producing TV shows and radio series. One of which is Facing the Cannon which has been hugely successful. Some of these go live via the internet to a global audience.

We see a real hunger in individuals to grow and learn in how they personally communicate their faith. It seems the people of today feel unequipped to communicate the tenants of their faith in a contemporary way without being seen as inappropriate or out of touch. Our hope is that we can help equip the church now and in the future to be more creative in how they communicate and reach out to the lost. To dare to try to break out of the box that we operate in and try to connect with those who Jesus commanded us to connect with. Jesus was the most creative communicator that ever lived. When He could have done miracles and signs and wonders He chose to tell stories and appeal to the  imagination of the hearer. It seems that in our imagination we catch a vision for what could be if the shackles of that which bind us were released. It appears Jesus used the imagination intentionally more than any other outlet for communicating faith. Should that not also be our goal, to appeal to the imagination of those we are trying to communicate with?

We hope to work and partner with you to help and equip you to do this. The vision is that all the church rise up and become more effective in communicating faith and using some of the amazing tools we have at our disposal today to appeal to our local communities and congregations.

Tim Saiet