As I was reading through Matthew in The Message I was delighted to hear that Jesus' rationale for story-telling is spot-on with mine. (I love that the Almighty agrees with me on this).
The disciples came up and asked, "Why do you tell stories?"I read to my kids in order to give them a building block for the knowledge yet to come. If I read Plantzilla by Jerdine Nolen to my 7 year old before we study plants, his interest is peaked because it's a very cool story. We can then talk about cilia on leaves and he'll understand where the name Plantzilla came from (plant + cilia). He'll also be prepared for his Creeping Charlie to get out of control one day because he knows some plants will just do that.
He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everyone has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it."
Likewise, if I put spiritual lessons into story form they can grasp the story simply for what it is while they are young. When their hearts and minds are ready to take in the deeper truths of the story, it will make so much more sense.
Jesus: creating readiness in a homeschool near you.