Riddles are an excellent example as a way to see things differently. Jesus used riddles in his parables to teach others and open minds to seeing the world differently. Riddles can be seen in different ways throughout the world today and inspire people to take a new perspective in hoping to Finding God.
They can be found in movies, books, poems and other works or art. Metaphors cause different ways of thinking as well, as it is up to the individual to draw comparisons between two things and figure out how they are similar. Jesus used parables to teach lessons that required a distinct approach to figuring out the message. Riddles are more present than people think, and can serve as a way to teach and learn.
My Love for Riddles
Riddles were a great way to kill time, whether it be as a study break or on a long car ride. My friends and I loved to do riddles and used them as way to outsmart each other trick each other. We did them all over the country as seen below.
Riddles date back as far as 3100 B.C. The first was found near Sumer region in Mesopotamia, located near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, similarly where modern day Iraq and Kuwait are located. Sumerians were known to be the creators of the worlds oldest known writing system, cuneiform. Sumer culture valued education as a necessity for civilization. The Sumerians are credited with the creation of the first riddle, which is listed below, that showed the cultures dedication to education.
Greek and Roman cultures used riddles as a way to continue the festivities at social gatherings. After participants had eaten and drank, riddles were used to keep entertaining guests. Even today, riddles are used for the amusement of others.
Riddles in Movies!
Riddles serve as a great tool to develop the plot while also keeping the audience engaged. Puzzles and riddles may serve as the basis of some movies. Today, Riddles have not ceased to exist in the entertainment business. Currently, popular culture is filled with movies and literature that use riddles and puzzles to create a story. . Riddles serve as a great tool to develop the plot while also keeping the audience engaged. Riddles draw interest from the crowds today just as they did during Greek ceremonies. Everyone wants to be the first one to figure out the riddle. Many movies today have used riddles as a major part of the plot. For example, in the movie, National Treasure, historian and treasure hunter Benjamin Gates embarks on a treasure where he is required to decipher a number of codes and find solutions to many puzzles. Each solution he finds leads to him the next clue of the treasure hunt. The clues keep the audience guessing as to where Ben Gates will go next in pursuit of the treasure. Riddles may not play a major role in movies, but they can certainly apply some suspense to the plot line. In the movie Die Hard with Vengeance, the two main characters must out smart a terrorist who is wreaking havoc on New York City. In order to save the city, the two heroes are required to answer a series of riddles, in a certain amount of time, to stay one step ahead of the villain. These movies, and those listed below, show riddles continue to keep people entertained and force the characters to think in a different way.
Riddles in Literature!
Poems and books are great literature examples of how riddles come in the form of metaphors. Most poets set out to imply a certain message in their poems, but it is up to the reader to figure out what the poet is trying to say.The metaphor requires people to draw comparisons and think outside the box. Metaphors are just another example of riddles that get people interested in how to interpret what the author is trying to say. All of the writers below have used metaphors as means of sending a message. Maya Angelou uses a comparison between a free bird and a caged bird to highlight the everlasting racism against African American citizens. The caged bird has had its wings clipped and feet tied. These both serve as symbols of oppression (Corfman 2016).Langston Hughes uses a staircase as a metaphor for life in his poem, “Mother to Son.” The poet uses a number of symbols, such as stains and cracks, to show the difficulties the mother had to go through. These poems show how metaphors, like riddles, cause people to think about how things may seem different than they appear.
Samson's Riddle- Samson celebrates his wedding with a riddle that he poses to the philistines at the reception. The riddle is listed below. Later in the bible, the same message comes up again, which brings out a common theme. Samson describes something as sweet as honey in his riddle. And later, in the book of Pslam, the word of the Lord is described as sweet. A connection was drawn between Samson's riddle and another verse in the bible. This creativity and open-mindedness, is what riddles strive to create. Riddles and metaphors cause the mind to draw connections and think in different ways to figure out their true meaning or solution (Tatimu 2003).
Judges 14:14- "Out of the eater, something to eat, out of the strong, something sweet." Samson was forced to wrestle with a lion, and after proving victorious, he noticed a bee hive in the lion stomach. This is where Samson got the idea for his riddle.
Judges 14:18- "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?"
Psalm-119:103- "How sweet are your words to my tase, sweeter than honey to my mouth."This verse shows the reoccurring theme of the word of the Lord described as sweet, which comes from the honey of the bee in Samson's riddle.
Crossan on Riddles
The only way the disciples could pick up on Jesus’ message, was through further teaching from Jesus. To understand Jesus’ “metaphor,” full acceptance of Jesus was required. Recognizing Jesus as the ultimate teacher relates back to the interpretation of dreams in the bible. The only way to discover the meaning of the dreams to was to recognize God as the Almighty and the only one who can give the meaning of the dreams. This relates back to the interpretation of the dreams. The only way the king and Pharaoh could fully understand their dreams was to accept Jesus.
Crossan states that example parables are, "Moral Models for future implications and applications," (Crossan 30). By understanding these example parables, the individual now has wisdom when it pertains what is moral and what is immoral. Crossan brings up the parable of the blind man and lazy man when confronted by the king for stealing fruit. Both blame each other for stealing the fruit, and the king chooses to punish both. "It is quite clear, that in this parable, what the human ruler did is a metaphorical, microcosmic, and illustrative example of what the divine ruler will do," (Crossan 31). This is yet another example of metaphors are present in the bible and how it causes the individual to think a in a different way to uncover the hidden message.
Crossan argues that they are ways that Jesus’ challenges citizens to act in certain situations. In the Good Samaritan parable, a traveler is left for dead after he has been beaten and stripped of his clothes. People pass him by, on the side of the road, and no decides to help the man until a Samaritan does so. The challenge parables are another method of teaching for Jesus. These parables push followers of Jesus to think and act differently from others, just like riddles. The main point of these parables is that they are hidden messages but become clear to those who follow Jesus Christ.
Riddles can train the mind to see things differently which is just how Jesus would teach the disciples to understand his parables. Understanding the parables was a way to be accepted into the Kingdom of God. Once the messages was understood, the disciples could than spread Jesus’ teachings and share the good news. In The Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus, the authors focus on how meaning becomes different in the eyes of God. Something so simple can have much more meaning, and that’s what Jesus sets out to do in his parables. The authors write, “The Kingdom of God may be defined as a community of knowledge, that a group of people who were able to answer and apply Jesus’ ambiguous statements,” (Holeman & Porter 3,371). When Jesus first told the parables, it did not make sense to most people, but after helping people and opening their eyes to hidden messages, it helped to create credibility for him as a teacher and for riddles an impactful method of teaching.