Why did Jesus teach in parables?
QuestionAnswer It has been claimed that aparable is a narrative with an earthy setting but a heavenly message. The Lord Jesus regularly used parables to illustrate profound, divine truths, and he did so repeatedly throughout his ministry. Storytelling like this is easy to recall, the characters are memorable, and the symbolism is replete with depth of meaning. In Judaism, parables were a frequent method of imparting knowledge. Before a certain point in His career, Jesus had used a number of vivid metaphors using everyday objects that were recognizable to everyone (salt, bread, sheep, and so on), and the meaning of these analogies was quite obvious when taken in the context of His teaching.
The question is why Jesus would allow the vast majority of people to be perplexed by the meaning of His parables.
Before He began to explain this tale, He separated His followers from the rest of the audience.
In other words, to those who have, more will be given to them, and they will have an abundance; but to those who do not possess, even what they possess will be taken away from them.
When it comes to them, the prophesy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which states that “You will hear with dull ears and will not comprehend; You will see with dull eyes and will no longer see; For the hearts of this people have become dull.” In order to prevent them from being able to see with their eyes and hear with their ears, they have closed their eyelids, lest they be able to comprehend with their hearts and turn, therefore allowing me to cure them.
- The blessings of God are upon your eyes because they see, and upon your ears because they hear.
- (Matthew 13:10-17).
- Those who had consistently rejected His message, on the other hand, were forced to wonder what He was trying to say since they were spiritually blind.
- The disciples had been given the gift of spiritual discernment, which enabled them to see clearly what was going on in the spirit world.
- Believers today, who have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth, may say the same thing about their past (John 16:13).
- Our Lord Jesus realized that the truth is not always pleasant to hear, especially in the beginning.
- So why did He choose to talk in parables in the first place?
- While Our Lord’s parables are short in words, they are densely packed with truth—and His parables, which are rich in imagery, are not easily forgotten.
However, for individuals with dull hearts and ears that are slow to hear, the parable can serve as both a tool of judgment and a tool of charity. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) What was the purpose of Jesus teaching via parables?
Subscribe to the
QuestionAnswer It has been argued that aparable is a narrative having an earthly setting but a spiritual significance. In order to illustrate profound, heavenly truths, the Lord Jesus regularly utilized parables to communicate with his followers. It is easy to recall stories like this because they include strong people who are surrounded by symbolic imagery that is rich in significance. When it came to teaching in Judaism, parables were quite popular. Before a certain point in His ministry, Jesus had used a number of visual metaphors involving everyday objects that were recognizable to everyone (salt, bread, sheep, and so on), and the meaning of these analogies was quite obvious when taken in context with the rest of His message.
- Question: Why would Jesus allow the majority of people to be perplexed about the significance of His parables?
- He separated His followers from the rest of the throng before beginning to explain the story.
- It was then that Jesus spoke out “It has been granted to you the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it has not been revealed to others in the same manner.
- Consequently, I use parables to communicate with them since they cannot see or hear because they are deaf or hard of hearing.
When it comes to them, the prophesy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which states that “You will hear with dull ears and will not comprehend; you will see with dull eyes and will no longer discern; because the hearts of this people have become dull.” The reason for their deafening silence is because they do not want to see with their eyes and hear with their ears; they do not want to comprehend with their hearts and turn, so that I can cure them.’ The blessings of God are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, for they hear.
- For really, I say to you, many prophets and virtuous men want to see what you see but were unable to do so, and many righteous men wished to hear what you hear but were unable to hear it ” (Matthew 13:10-17).
- People who had rejected His message on several occasions, on the other hand, were left to wonder what He was trying to say since they were spiritually blind.
- The gift of spiritual discernment had been given to the disciples, and as a result, things of the spirit were made evident to them as a result of their talent.
- Believers today, who have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth, may say the same thing about their experiences (John 16:13).
- We believe that our Lord Jesus recognized that truth is not always pleasant to hear.
- So why did He choose to communicate through parables in the first place, you might wonder.
- While Our Lord’s parables are short in words, they are densely packed with truth—and His parables, which are rich in imagery, are difficult to forget.
To people with dull hearts and sluggish hearing, the parable, on the other hand, serves as a tool of both judgment and mercy at the same time. to:Jesus Christ: Do You Have Any Questions? Jesus taught through parables for a reason.
Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
The use of parables was one of the strategies that Jesus used to communicate His message to the people. A parable is essentially a narrative with an earthy setting and a heavenly message. When Jesus began speaking parables to the crowds, His followers immediately inquired as to why He was doing so. “Why do You talk to them in parables?” they inquired. (See Matthew 13:10 for further information.) Jesus Responds in a Surprisingly Direct Manner The answer given by Jesus to the question was rather instructive.
- Furthermore, the prophesy of Isaiah, which states that “you will hear but will not comprehend, and you will see but will not discern, since the heart of this people has become dull,” is fulfilled in them.
- The fact why Jesus spoke through parables was due to the people’s reluctance to accept the kingdom message that He brought them.
- Not because God was keeping the truth from them, but rather because they were unwilling to hear it.
- God has provided the people with every opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Despite the fact that Jesus presented the required qualifications as the Messiah, they did not believe Him.
- It was only those who trusted in Jesus as the Messiah who would be able to comprehend the parables.
They Must Be Acknowledged on a Spiritual Level The Apostle Paul would later reaffirm this truth: “But we proclaim the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden knowledge which God designed before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Because, apart from the spirit of the man that is within him, who knows what a man understands about himself?
- Even likewise, no one other than the Holy Spirit has access to the things of God.
- The majority of people were uninterested in the truth.
- The vast majority of people in Jesus’ day were uninterested in God’s truth, as was the case today.
- SummaryJesus spoke through parables, which were earthy stories with a divine purpose.
He did this so that his disciples would be able to comprehend his teachings and that unbelievers would be unable to understand them. Others who are interested in knowing the reality of his message will be able to comprehend it, while those who are not interested will stay in the dark about it.
Why Did Jesus Teach in Parables? Jesus’ Surprising Answer
David W. Jones contributed to this article. What was the purpose of Jesus teaching via parables? We must first grasp what parables are in order to be able to respond to this issue. The Gospels contain a total of 39 different parables of Jesus. Each of these stories has a different length, ranging from the Parable of the Old Garment, which is only one verse long (see Luke 5:36), to the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which is about twenty-one verses long (see Luke 15:11–32). Others exist in each of the Synoptic Gospels, whilst other parables are exclusive to one Gospel story and cannot be found in any other.
- The term “parable” literally translates as “to come beside” in the Greek language.
- Parables are not fables because they transmit more than just a moral truth; and since they concentrate on more than just words and phrases, parables are not metaphors, similes, or word images because they focus on more than just words and phrases.
- At first look, parables may appear to modern readers to be vivid illustrations of Jesus’ teachings that serve to clarify them.
- What about Jesus’ use of parables, on the other hand, do you think is correct?
Why Did Jesus Teach in Parables?
Note how, immediately following the telling of the Parable of the Soils, which is recorded in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (see Matt. 13:3–23; Mark 4:2–32; Luke 8:4–15), and before He explained its meaning, Jesus was questioned by His disciples, “Why do You speak to the crowds in parables?” (Matt. 13:3–23; Mark 4:2–32; Luke 8:4–15). (Matt. 13:10; Luke 13:10) The exact reason why the apostles asked this question is not specified; nevertheless, it is possible that the disciples were concerned that the people would not grasp Jesus’ teachings if they did not ask this question (cf.
- In any case, Christ’s response to the disciples’ query concerning His use of parables is both startling and enlightening, regardless of the reason for their questioning.
- For the avoidance of confusion or misinterpretation, Jesus pointed out that the veiling of spiritual truths from the unbelieving people is in fact a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophesy found in Isa.
- 6:9 and the following statement: “And Jesus said to them, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it has been given in parables, that “Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand”‘ (Luke 8:10; cf.
- However, this raises the question of why Jesus would purposely conceal truth from those who do not believe in him.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11–12), which we might highlight as a response to this.
Rom. 3:20; 10:17), whereas rejection always results in misunderstanding and hardness of heart (cf. Rom. 3:20). (cf. Ps. 81:12; Rom. 1:24). This concept is conveyed throughout the whole book of Scripture.
Jesus’ Parables and Self-Evaluation
We can take comfort in the fact that, even if certain parables of Christ in the Gospel narratives can be difficult to comprehend, the Holy Spirit, who indwells all of God’s people, will “guide. into all truth” us when we read them (John 16:13) because God’s Word, which includes parables, is the unalterable truth (cf. John 17:17). In any case, if the parables of Christ do not make sense to us, and especially if their meaning escapes the understanding of the people to whom we are ministering, we should consider Jesus’ teaching on the purpose of parables.
Jones is a Professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Seminary, where he also serves as the Associate Dean of Theological Studies and Director of the Theological Masters Program.
He writes on the Bible on his website, redeemedmind.com.
Never miss an episode, article, or study.
Subscribe to the CFC newsletter right away!
Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
Jesus used parables extensively during His career, and they were an important part of His teaching approach. Jesus presented the message of the Gospel via parables, which were brief tales that were frequently difficult to understand. A representation of the tale of the sower and the story of the Good Samaritan, which are two of Jesus’ most well-known parables, may be seen in the Basilica’s art. Today, we welcome you to learn more about these parables and the significance that they have for us as followers of Christ by reading this article.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
The story of the Good Samaritan, which is well-known to everyone, emphasizes the fundamental lesson of loving one’s neighbor. When Jesus was speaking one day, a scholar approached Him and inquired as to what he needed to do in order to earn eternal life. As a response, Jesus inquired as to what had been stated in the law. “You must love the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, with all of your being, with all of your might, and with all of your mind, and you must love your neighbor as yourself,” the scholar responded.
Despite the fact that a priest and a Levite were in the vicinity, they did not give aid.
The paragraph finishes with the following question: “‘Which of these three, in your judgment, was a neighbor to the thieves’ victim?” His response was, ‘The one who showed him kindness.’ When Jesus told him to go and do the same, he obeyed.
– Luke 10:36-37 (NASB) It is shown in the Lower Sacristy that Jesus is preaching by the sea, as reported in Mark 4, and that it is on this occasion that he delivers the parable of sower.
Jews and Samaritans
This verse is notable since, at the time, Samaritans and Jews were sworn enemies and did not normally mix with one another in social situations. The Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews because they considered they were inferior due of their differing religious traditions and their intermarrying with people from other nations. When the Samaritan woman at the well says to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman,'” we get an illustration of this type of action in John 4. ‘How are you going to ask me for a drink?’ For Jews do not socialize with Samaritans, and vice versa.” Nonetheless, in Jesus’ parable, it is the Samaritan, not the religious authorities, who comes to the aid of the man in need and helps him.
Christ Enables Us to Love Our Neighbor
As the Samaritan was ready to go out of his way to aid someone who may or may not have done the same for him, so too are we expected to show Christ’s love to people in need in our immediate surroundings. In addition to serving those who are simple or convenient to serve, we are expected to love and serve those who are opposed to us as well as those who are close to us in faith. In this context, Jesus tells the parable to convey to the scholar that his notion of loving one’s neighbor was insufficient to the task at hand.
It is only by the power of Christ in us that we are able to love our adversaries in such a spectacular manner.
The Parable of the Sower
The parable of the sower, which is recorded in all of the gospels save John, was recounted by Jesus while He was preaching to large crowds from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus recounted a sower who sowed seed in several locations: on a walkway, where it was eaten by birds; on rocks, where it was unable to grow roots; amid thorns, where it was choked and destroyed; and lastly, on fertile soil, where it was able to prosper. The Botticino pulpit of the Great Upper Church contains a representation of this narrative.
The Meaning of the Parable
This story serves as a visual representation of the many attitudes with which individuals accept the Word of God. The seed on the path represents those who hear but do not accept what they have heard. That which is found on the rocks represents individuals who accept the Gospel but abandon it when faced with adversity. Three types of seeds fall among thorns: those who receive the Gospel but are then distracted from pursuing it by the desires of this world; and those who receive the Gospel but are distracted from pursuing it by the desires of this world.
Because the accounts of the seeds that did not grow are not representative of Christians who are struggling in their walk, but rather of those who have rejected the Lord, we should not be discouraged by them.
The verse might be seen as an exhortation to be steady in our faith so that we may develop and produce fruit.
Jesus Explains His Use of Parables
In this verse, Jesus also provides an explanation for why he chooses to communicate via parables. When the disciples questioned Jesus about why He spoke in parables, Jesus responded, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but it has not been granted to them.” He went on to say, “Because they have not been granted knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” Anyone who has will have more given to him, and he will get richer; anyone who does not have will have even what he now has taken away.
As a result, I talk to them in parables, since ‘they look but do not see, they hear but do not hear, and they listen but do not listen or comprehend.’ They are the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy.
— Matthew 13:11-14, and Matthew 16:11-16 It is through Jesus’ answer that we can see how God provides insight to people who are in Christ.
Paul put it: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God; it is not earned, so that no one may take credit for it.” The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9: Through the use of parables, Jesus provides understanding to people who are seeking Him – exposing truth to those who are ready to listen and critically evaluate what He has to say about themselves and their lives.
On the other hand, those who have hardened their hearts against Him have the truth kept concealed from them.
Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 13:10-17 – New International Version
New International Version (New International Version) (NIV) 10His disciples approached him and inquired, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” they questioned. 11He said, “Because the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven A)”>(A)has been given to you, B)”>(B)but not to others.” He explained why. Twelvefold, those who have will be given more, and they will have a plenty of food. Whoever does not have will have everything taken away from them, including what they have. C) a formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formal “It is for this reason that I speak to them in parables: “Even though they see, they do not see; they even though they hear, they do not hear or understand.” D)”>(D) 14In them, the condition E) is met “>(E)the prophesy of Isaiah: ‘You will always hear, but you will never comprehend; you will always see, but you will never perceive.’ This is because the people’s hearts have grown calloused; they can barely hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
They may instead see with their eyes, hear with their ears, comprehend with their hearts, and turn, in which case I would cure them.
Because, honestly, I tell you, many prophets and good people wished to see what you see H)”>(H)but were unable to do so, and to hear what you hear but were unable to do so as well.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 byBiblica, Inc.®Used with permission.
New International Version (NIV) All rights are retained around the world. The New International Version (NIV) Reverse Interlinear Bible provides translations from English to Hebrew and from English to Greek. Zondervan has copyright protection till the year 2019.
Bible Gateway Recommends
NATHAN W. BINGHAM (NATHAN W. BINGHAM): Doctor Sinclair Ferguson, one of our teaching fellows, and I are here on the Ligonier campus today to discuss our work. Dr. Ferguson, what was the purpose of Jesus speaking in parables? DR. SINCLAIR FERGUSON: Thank you for your time. Nathan, you’ve posed an excellent question. Let me start with a bad thought. He didn’t utilize parables because He preferred to illustrate his points using images. You know, students frequently tell their professors, “You should use more examples, like Jesus,” which is true.
- And He truly mentions this in relation with parables in Matthew 13 and verse 10 of the Bible.
- “Why are you speaking in parables?” they inquire.
- And Jesus responds to the query by stating the following.
- It was he who said, “Not because people require drawings.” Illustrations are required by people, and this is a vital issue.
- “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it has not been given to them,” Jesus said in response.
- As a result, I communicate to them in parables, because they are unable to see and hear, and consequently, they are unable to comprehend.” So, to use an analogy, consider the following: You deliver a joke to get people’s attention.
- They just do not get the significance of the situation.
And what Jesus is doing is determining whether or not people understand what he is saying.
The tale of the Pharisee and the tax collector—it should come as no surprise to us that the tax collector was found to be legitimate in his actions.
Consequently, the parables genuinely reveal our true spiritual situation, perhaps much more so for us today than ever before.
If I’m not astonished by how the kingdom works and how God’s grace works, that truly says something about who I am and what I believe.
So I understand, but I don’t really understand.
As a result, parables are more than just examples. Indeed, they serve as spiritual litmus tests, and it is for this reason that we must be really astonished by them, prompting us to ask, “What is it about God’s love in this passage that has surprised me so much?”
Ask Ligonier Chat Service
You may also get real-time answers to your biblical and theological concerns by chatting with someone on our Ask Ligonier website. Your inquiries will be answered by well-trained team members located on different continents and in different time zones. Monday through Saturday, our crew is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Why did Jesus use parables?
Q: I’ve heard that Jesus told parables in order to confound his listeners. Please provide an explanation. Answer: The Bible provides insight into Jesus’ use of parables, but the goal of the parables was more than just to confuse people. First and foremost, we must examine the Scriptures to better understand why Jesus chose parables to communicate his ideas. Following that, we might consider the applicability of the values or teachings to our everyday religious practices. “A parable,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a brief fictional narrative that conveys a moral attitude or a religious idea.” It is a straightforward tale that conveys the idea with the use of a scene, a few people, and a few acts.
- According to Psalm 78:2-4, “I will open my lips with a parable; I will speak dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and which our predecessors have taught us,” parabolic writing was featured in various books of the Old Testament.
- Nathan relates a story to King David.
- However, whereas the rich man had many flocks, the poor guy had nothing, save for one little lamb that grew up alongside him and his children.
- “When the traveler arrived at the rich man’s house, the rich man took the poor man’s lamb and cooked it for the traveler.” Nathan discloses to the King, much to his amazement, that the rich man is none other than David, who murdered Uriah, took his wife, and sinned against God.
- This story highlights the shortcomings of human nature while also providing insight into God’s method of life.
Why Did Jesus Teach in Parables?
When compared to His prior teaching at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ use of parables may appear to be out of character. With precise instructions, He taught His disciples how to live and about the Kingdom of God, and through His miracles, He demonstrated the Kingdom in a physical way to the rest of the world. But then, when the multitudes gather to hear Him, He jumps into a boat and begins to teach in parables, telling stories about spreading seeds and collecting wheat, among other things (Matthew 13).
- To put it another way, the parables are intended to split the audience.
- The parables themselves are straightforward stories based on real-life occurrences that many in the audience would be familiar with.
- All of those assembled there were undoubtedly aware of the portions of the stories that were relevant to their everyday lives.
- His miracles had attracted a large number of people, and some may have been taken aback by His earlier teaching.
- Those who are devoted to the Kingdom of God will seek and gain additional insight.
Those who are not dedicated, or who are simply listening because of the first thrill, would dismiss the instruction as incomprehensible and turn away. The following is an adaptation of Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book III, Chapter XXIII).
Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
Jesus was a master of parables, as demonstrated by his teachings. Jesus utilized parables frequently and effectively in his teaching, and he did so to great advantage. Parables were an effective method of teaching, and Jesus was skilled at delivering them. There were, however, a number of additional reasons for Jesus’ employment of parables in addition to this.
1To Give His Enemies No Ground
The opponents of Jesus were continually on the lookout for whatever he could say that they might use against him (Luke 11:53-54). Jesus was making things extremely difficult for them by speaking in parables. He couldn’t possibly get imprisoned for narrating a collection of stale tales! The parables were meant to be evocative rather than controversial. By framing his teaching in parables, Jesus was able to communicate some concepts to true-hearted people in a way that was far more effective than just stating them in plain English.
It was a wise tactic on Jesus’ part to use parables in situations when it would have been harmful to speak simply in public.
Unmistakably, in the tale, Jesus represents himself as God, who has the authority to open and close the gates of Heaven (Revelation 3:7).
2To Enlighten the True Hearted
A number of times when large crowds gathered to hear him speak, Jesus took advantage of the situation. Those with honest and open hearts, as well as those who were hungry and thirsty for righteousness, may be enlightened via the use of parables, according to Jesus (Matthew 5:6). The word heart is derived from the word hear, which is a coincidence. Hearing God’s word, understanding it, and desiring to learn more about the kingdom of Heaven and God’s will are all characteristics of a healthy heart.
The parable of the sower explains how the seed of God’s word develops and bears fruit in the hearts of those who love him and serve him.
There are certain people who tune their ears to the word of God and are able to discern the truth.
3To Make People Think
Jesus was well aware that not everyone would comprehend or give full consideration to his parables. While some individuals consciously tune their hearts and ears to God’s word, others purposefully block God’s voice from reaching their ears and hearts. Others, on the other hand, do not tune in or block off their ears; Jesus used parables to admonish such people.
Considering the tale of the two roads prompts individuals to consider where their spirits are headed and to make the option to “enter via the small gate”instead of being swept along with the rest of the mob along the broad road to disaster (Matthew 7:13-14).
4To Divide Into Two
Following the recounting of the parable of the sower (as previously recounted), Jesus was confronted by his disciples with the question that serves as the subject of this lecture. They inquired as to why you were speaking to them in parables. (See Matthew 13:10 for further information.) According to Isaiah, persons who have eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear are referred to as “the blind leading the blind” (Matthew 13:11-17,Isaiah 6:8-10). When Jesus spoke the parables, he was applying pressure to his listeners, urging them to either open their spiritual eyes and ears and be enlightened, or to close their spiritual eyes and ears even more tightly and face condemnation.
Those that use them go from the grey zone into the plainly black or white zone.
This is what the parable of the sheep and the goats is trying to convey (Matthew 25:31-46).
5To Fulfil Prophecy
Finally, we note that Jesus’ ministry was directed by the prophetic scriptures, which provided him with insight and the authority to talk in parables. This brings us to the conclusion of this lesson. Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and he was never without a parable in his speech, so that the prophecy of the prophet, who said, ‘I will open my mouth in parables, and I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world,’ would be fulfilled: “I will open my mouth in parables, and I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.” Jesus said in Matthew 13:34-35, and in Psalms 78:1-4, According to the prophecy of old, the Christ will teach in parables, prompting him to declare, “I will open my lips in parables.” Jesus was also teaching a message that had been decided “from the creation of the world,” making public the message that had been veiled in secrecy for many centuries (Romans 16:25-27).
As a result, Jesus used parables to communicate since the scriptures instructed him to do so, and “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
To begin, correct this misquote: “Let the one who has a nose for smelling do so.” 2. What effect did Jesus’ parables have on his opponents, and how? 3. How did the parables effect those who were sincere in their hearts? Fourth, what effect did the parables have on those who were not thinking deeply enough about God? 5. How did parables effect those who were caught in a spiritual limbo, unable to decide between two opposing viewpoints? Take a Look at These Interesting Lessons. Defining the Paradigm— Several technical or unusual terminology in the Bible are explored and discussed in detail on simplybible.com, and they are included in our glossary.
Click on the title above, next to the arrow, to be sent to a page dedicated to the term “parable,” which includes a link back to this page.
It might be a scratchable itch that goes away with a little scratching.
However, the itch I’d want to talk about is one that is spiritual in nature.
These, on the other hand, are metaphors for the itchings of the soul. Tap the title above, next to the arrow, to be sent to that lesson’s page, which will include a link back here. link to a pdf Printing without permission is prohibited.
Why Did Jesus Teach in Parables?
People were taken aback by Jesus’ method of teaching. It was engrossing and easy to read and understand. He taught through the use of short allegorical stories known as parables. In fact, Mark informs us that when Jesus taught, “He never said anything to them without first telling them a parable” (Mark 4:34a, New International Version). It was for this reason that people were taken aback by His teaching. The manner in which He communicated was open to everybody, yet it retained an air of power that first-century Jews had never encountered.
1. Parables were easy to understand
Much of the conversation about spirituality is centered on abstract notions and ideas. As a result, some individuals shun them because they believe they are unrealistic and useless. Jesus desired to bypass the professors of the law and deliver His message directly to the people, which meant He needed to speak in a way that would be understandable to those who heard Him. Jesus was able to communicate religious truths in a way that was immediately relatable to those who heard Him speak in parables.
After hearing a tale, people become more interested in the discussion that follows.
In order to do so, people must engage the identical parts of their brain as they would if they were actually experiencing the tale.
Engaging the imagination of the audience allowed Jesus’ teaching to truly resonate with the audience.
2. Parables are easy to remember
It wasn’t enough for Jesus’ statements to be easily comprehended; they also needed to be easily remembered. A narrative provides the listener with a hook to cling onto as well as a simple technique of communicating the same lesson to others in the same situation. Our brains like to process information in a pattern-based manner. Through the prism of our previous experiences and knowledge, we make sense of new information and decisions. It was through the use of parables that ordinary people could make connections between abstract spiritual notions and patterns that were relevant to them.
It was easy for people to relate to Jesus’ parables because they had a familiar story-like cadence: This made it easier for Christ’s listeners to recall and impart these same truths to others in a straightforward manner.
3. Parables reveal the hearts of the listeners
Sometimes individuals place a high value on notions that are difficult to comprehend and comprehend fully. It gives them the impression that they are intelligent and significant. Many of the Pharisees fit this description. People like this are dismissive of concepts that are too easily understandable. But this is because, rather than seeking the truth, these leaders desired to be the exclusive proprietors and administrators of esoteric beliefs, rather than seeking the truth. Given that Jesus’ parables were easily understandable by everyone, the Pharisees were inclined to reject them as stupid and insignificant.
Jesus communicated the fundamentals of the kingdom in a way that even a toddler could understand them.
When the disciples inquire as to why Jesus speaks in parables, Jesus responds by stating that this is the case.
Whoever possesses will be given much more, and they will have an excess of resources.
Whoever does not have will have everything taken away from them, including what they have. It’s for this reason that I talk to them in parables: ‘They see, but they don’t see; they hear, but they do not hear, and they do not comprehend.'” (Matthew 13:11–13, New International Version)
The enduring importance of parables
According to Jesus’ instructions in the Great Commission, they should go forth and make further disciples. “Teaching them to observe all that I have ordered you” was a component of that obligation (Matthew 28:20a, NIV). The fact that Jesus’ teachings were so simply grasped and remembered made it feasible to carry out this instruction. And why Jesus’ teachings are so simple to understand and communicate today! Do you have a favorite fable that you like to tell? Leave us a comment and tell us which one is your favorite, as well as why you like it.
Q. Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
Greetings, Sir … When I read this passage (Matthew 13:10-15), I am perplexed as to why Jesus, at least in this particular instance, chose to speak to the people at all. What part of him doesn’t explicitly state that any faith they may have had will be snatched away from them anyway? He does not appear to be an exception. So what is the point of addressing them? … You will very certainly receive a large number of emails.each day, so please understand if I do not receive a response to my email.
I am, respectfully, yours truly, *****
Greetings, **** Thank you for submitting your inquiry. It’s a really fantastic one. Please understand that our reluctance to respond to you right away does not imply that we are uninterested in you or your inquiry, as you may have assumed. It is just a result of the large number of emails we get and the limited number of employees. In addition, I make an effort to give some consideration to the subject before responding. After we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s go on to the subject of our Lord’s use of parables in Matthew 13 and Mark 4.
- The miracles that our Lord accomplished, many of which occurred while He was teaching, served to bolster the authority of His teaching.
- The initial tactic used by the religious authorities who opposed Jesus was to attempt to demonstrate that there was no miracle, as we see in the example of the man born blind in John chapter 9, which we will discuss later.
- Being that our Lord Jesus’ miracles were performed under the guidance of and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22; 4:14, 15), claiming that Jesus’ miracles were carried out by the devil amounted to blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the source of our Lord’s power.
- When it comes to blasphemy, all other types can be pardoned, but those directed against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven.
- (John 3:1-10ff.).
- Isaiah 6:9-10 said that Jesus would speak in parables in order for His opponents to hear but not comprehend what He was saying.
- The objective of Jesus’ parables varied depending on who was listening to them.
- Aside from the opponents of Jesus and His tight circle of followers, there were others who were present.
- Take note of those who were covert believers, such as Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38), as well as other individuals (see John 7:13, 31; 8:31; 10:42; 12:42).
- Because of this, Jesus began teaching in parables very early in His ministry, in order to disguise the truth from His opponents, to arouse interest and belief in others, and to train His disciples both publicly and privately, very early in His ministry.
Rather, it was intended to send a message to His foes, who had now comprehended the significance of His later parables, while keeping His disciples in the dark about what was to come: 45 He spoke in parables, and when the top priests and Pharisees heard Him speak, they realized that He was referring about them.
- 1 Jesus talked to them in parables once again, this time stating.
- It was this that prompted His foes to arrange His assassination, even if it was at a moment and in a way that they did not choose.
- 5 But they were adamant that it not be done during the festival, should a riot break out among the attendees (Matthew 26:3-5).
- (Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:15).
- (Have you forgotten what Peter accomplished with that sword?
- Regarding your assertion that “whatever little faith they may have had would be taken away from them,” I would want to make one further point.
- and 17:20, Jesus does not mention that their faith (big or small – and recall what he says about tiny faith in His parable in Matthew 13:31ff.
- My interpretation is that what truth has been exposed to them will be taken away by the authorities.
The truth was now being kept hidden from those who refused to accept the information they had previously been given in the past. It would be as if they had never heard of it or had no knowledge of it at all. Blessings, Bob Deffinbaugh is an American politician and businessman.
Please explain: Why did Jesus use parables to teach?
It is possible to express complicated topics in a more understandable manner using Aesop’s fables, a good sermon example, or an analogy. In a similar vein, Jesus employed parables (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 15) to explain facts in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. However, what exactly is a parable? Perhaps you learnt that a parable is a narrative that takes place on earth but has a spiritual purpose. That well-known, straightforward definition will lead us to explore more in-depth reasons for Jesus’ use of parables in his teaching.
Parables are worldly stories, in the sense that they make use of daily scenes from people’s lives. They are easily relatable to their target audiences. Perhaps someone in the crowd has lost a sheep or has constructed a home. Things from everyday life, such as baking bread or traveling, were not only relatable, but also easily understood by the audience members. As a result, the audience is more engaged since they are actively participating in the narrative as they listen. They are, in a sense, characters in the parable.
To give an example, in the parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:28-32) both sons say one thing yet conduct something very different.
Yes, without a doubt!
I would think that many of us may recall a number of parables from our childhood. What is the reason behind this? Because parables are earthy, realistic stories, they are more remembered than other types of storytelling. In a parable, there is also a hook, which is a memorable event that draws the reader’s interest. “The kingdom of heaven is like.” says the narrator. The Bible says (Matthew 22:2). Jesus is ready to speak about the afterlife (heaven). You think I’m in? You’re wrong! This hook not only makes the tale memorable for you, but it also makes it simpler for you to repeat the story to others later on in the day.
In every story there is an introduction, a challenge or issue, and an ending.
“No, I am your father,” says the narrator. One of the major revelations from The Empire Strikes Back is the fact that the Emperor is a woman. A well-executed plot twist or surprise enhances the overall impact of any film or media production. Consider the parables for a moment. Plot twists and shocks are also common, and they usually serve to emphasize our Lord’s unexpected grace. Do you remember the surprises? The father physically welcomes the prodigal son back into the family with wide arms, while the older brother is dissatisfied with the decision (Luke 15:11-32).
The landowner kindly provides the same salary to laborers who worked one hour as well as to those “who have endured the load of the job and the heat of the day,” as described by the landlord (Matthew 20:12). Surprising? Yes!
Parables also have a spiritual significance. Jesus was able to communicate these heavenly meanings in a way that was approachable, memorable, and unexpected to his audience because he used earthly stories that were relatable, memorable, and startling. Perhaps another way to think about heavenly significance is as follows: a valued fact. That which Jesus handed down from heaven for us to comprehend and utilize is referred to as “faith.” There is something in the narrative that may be applied to our religion and daily lives.
Just take a look at the final verse in the parable of the wedding banquet: “Many are invited, but just a few are selected” (Matthew 22:14).
Since the time that Jesus originally taught his parables, there have been several new discoveries in agriculture and travel as well. Computers and the internet have fundamentally altered our way of life. However, Jesus’ parables continue to be relevant because they have a timeless quality to them. That ageless quality lends itself to anything you want to do with the tales in the present day. You can still get knowledge from them. These same stories can be revisited several times, revealing additional divine truths and the layers of meaning that have been incorporated into them each time.
What has changed since the last time you and the parable met?
“Can you tell me what this fable has to teach me this time?” Because everyone is unique, the lessons contained in each story will strike you in a distinctive way.
A reflection of God’s heart
Have you noticed how many various reasons there are for employing parables? Are there any others? Yes! At Jesus’ day, parables were commonplace. In Matthew 13:10-13, Jesus provided another another explanation for his use of parables. But, for the time being, let us consider one more reason to be grateful for parables. According to Paul in Romans 11:34, “Who has understood the thoughts of the Lord?” These parables assist us in understanding not just God’s thoughts, but also God’s heart as well.
The picture isn’t always flawless and correct, just like an analogy, a sermon illustration, or one of Aesop’s tales, for example.
One day, though, we will see him for who he truly is; we will be able to speak with him face to face.
I can’t imagine the wealth of God’s intelligence and understanding unless I think about it! (See Romans 11:33.) Souksamay Phetsanghane is the author of this piece. Number 10 of Volume 107 of the journal Date of publication: October 2020
Currently, Souksamay Phetsanghane is a lecturer at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin, and a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ixonia, Wisconsin. Souksamay Phetsanghane’s most recent posts are shown below (see all)
The Concise Lexicon of Christian Beliefs and Practices Teachings, worship, ceremonies, sermons, and vocabulary are all part of the Christian faith. The mystery of the kingdom of God has been revealed to you; nevertheless, those who are outside the kingdom receive everything in parables. —Mark 4:11 New International Version (In the words of Jesus) What was the purpose of Jesus teaching via parables? Observing religious shows on television, I’ve seen that most Christian professors like being appreciated for being honest and forthright with their students.
- They use vivid imagery to illustrate what they believe to be the problems of our society as a whole.
- The shock value of blunt words might sometimes be enough to penetrate through to a person’s inner essence and reveal their secrets.
- As a result, it is a double-edged blade that individuals do not always handle well.
- Normally, we are used to hearing people say things as they are, but the whole point of a parable is to say things as they aren’t.
- Eventually, you could come to the conclusion that Jesus purposefully mislead his audience.
- There were a variety of causes behind this:
- It was the predominant method of instruction at the time. In the same way that it is trendy now to tell it like it is, religious leaders in those days usually taught via the use of parable. A plethora of rabbinical literature from that time period have survived to the present day, and they all point to the fact that parables were the way to go at the time. Parables were anticipated to be used by religious leaders, and they were. Those professors who were better storytellers gained a greater following
- Parables make difficult concepts simpler to retain and apply to real-life situations In the parable of the lost son, the son finds himself in a dreadful circumstance, yet he realizes that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeking to reconcile with his father in his current state. Although the fable had a happy conclusion, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation and recall this parable, you may understand that even if the reconciliation does not work out, you are not any worse off. As a result, by recalling the fable, you may be able to attempt a reconciliation that you would not have attempted otherwise
- Parables are more enduring than simply stating it how it is. Social issues emerge and go in a cyclical fashion. The way things are turns becomes the way things were. Historically based sermons that address historical societal issues are out of date now. In contrast to parables, telling it as it is focuses on how fundamental concepts are applied to specific situations. If the context changes, telling it like it was becomes obsolete, but the story continues to be relevant. The parables of Jesus are still relevant to everyday life, even after 2,000 years with technical, social, and political advances that were beyond the imagination of anybody at the time of their creation. Since Jesus spoke, people in Europe, Africa, and Asia have become aware of the existence of four extra continents, which are listed below. His parables, on the other hand, continue to exist. On the other hand, a sermon that told it like it was about the hippie movement or miniskirts not too many decades ago would more likely move the congregation to nostalgia than to repentance
- Parables allow you to make statements that would otherwise land you in hot water
- And parables allow you to make statements that would otherwise land you in hot water. Because political commentary was considered risky in old England, newspapers wrote plain rhymes instead. A political satire in every sense of the word, nursery songs like Humpty Dumpty and Little Jack Horner included. Politics and social criticism have traditionally been expressed through parables and rhymes, particularly in cultures in which such topics are not permitted to be spoken in plain terms due to custom or the law. Many of Jesus’ parables infuriated the Pharisees because they taught ideas that were contrary to their beliefs, yet did it in a subtle and indirect manner. Aside from His unambiguous teaching that He is the Son of God, Jesus’ sole other teaching got him into trouble: parables have a time-release effect, meaning they plant seeds that will bloom later. Parables were used by Jesus to teach the public so that they would be remembered, discussed, and attempted to decipher what they meant
- As a result, the parables went far beyond their initial audience and were widely known across the world. Jesus purposefully kept the meaning of the parables from the general audience in order to prepare the disciples for successful evangelism later in life. He recounted the parables to the disciples and instructed them to wait until the appropriate time had passed before shouting from the rooftops what they had heard in confidence. Following the Resurrection and the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the disciples went forth and accomplished just that. As a result, the people, who were already familiar with Jesus’ parables, listened intently to the explanations, and 3,000 new believers were added to the church on the first day of Christian evangelism.
Even in this day and age of saying it like it is, I would venture to say that the parables of Jesus are the subject of more sermons and commentaries than any other section of Scripture.
Whoops! A problem
A reader forwarded me this passage from the Bible: “The reason I talk to them in parables is that they do not see what they see, and they do not listen to what they hear nor do they comprehend what they hear.” With them, the prophesy of Isaiah is truly fulfilled, which states: “You will indeed listen, but you will never comprehend, and you will indeed see, but you will never discern.” They have closed their eyes because their hearts have become dull and their ears have become hard of hearing, and they have done so so that they would not look with their eyes, nor hear and comprehend with their ears, nor turn—and I will cure them.
—Matthew 13:13–15, New Revised Standard Version Instantaneously, we encounter an issue.
Although it is unlikely that people will repent and be saved if they do not understand the parables, there is a potential that they will.
This doesn’t appear to make any sense at this point.
The distinction between the two sides is difficult to see, and just when we believe we know who is who, we find out that we don’t.
However, for the sake of this debate, we must speak about those two groups of people without regard to who is who among them. Although not everyone uses the phrases saved and unsavedfor this reason, I’ll use them because they’re concise and easy to remember.
- Who is meant to be able to comprehend the parables? Jesus added, “Toyouit has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” but “tothemitit has not been given,” referring to the disciples. Some people believe that Jesus is implying that only the saved can comprehend the parables, and that those who are not saved are not even expected to comprehend them. However, there is a problem with this interpretation: a person who is not saved can choose to become a Christian. They would comprehend the parables at that time, despite the fact that Jesus did not intend for them to do so. I’m starting to feel dizzy just thinking about it. If we stick to the text, it appears that He is solely speaking to the disciples. It would appear that you are referring to the disciples and they (or the people) are referring to everyone else, because at this moment, according to our understanding, no one other than the disciples has been rescued. Because we weren’t with the disciples, it’s likely that we couldn’t comprehend what they were saying—which makes me question if there’s anything in the Bible that no one can understand. After all, Jesus didn’t come into the world to judge it, but rather to rescue it. (See also John 12:47) God does not want anybody to be lost, according to 2 Peter 3:9, yet this scripture appears to indicate that Jesus wants a large number of people to be lost. Put another way, if John claims that Jesus means to rescue the world, but Jesus claims that He only desires to save Liechtenstein, then John is mistaken about Jesus’ intentions. Scripture appears to be at odds with itself in our understanding
- Jesus instructed his followers to travel into all the world and proclaim the gospel. If Jesus didn’t want anybody other than the disciples to comprehend the parables, it was to keep people from being saved from Hell. The disciples would be unable to utilize the parables as teaching material as a result, but it would make no difference because no converts would be gained as a result of their efforts. God’s Word does not return to Him void. Consider the following scenario: I issue a warning to you to move to the side of the road in order to prevent being struck by a truck that is careening down a steep hill out of control. You avoid being murdered because you move out of the path. My warning was not in vain, as it turned out. Pretend for a minute that you are unable to comprehend a word said by Kashubian. It won’t be difficult to maintain the illusion because it’s probable you weren’t aware that it was an actual language until now. (Wait, I’ll go look it up on Wikipedia.) If it’s any consolation, I’m not fluent in the language either. Let’s envision the identical scenario, only this time I’ll warn you in Kashubian, rather than English or Spanish. Because I am warning you in a language that you do not understand, you will not be able to heed my warning and will be murdered as a result of my warning. In this particular instance, my caution went unheeded. It’s the same as in the parables, actually. If Jesus purposely issues a warning to the general population that they are unable to comprehend or hear, His Word would be rendered null and invalid. According to Isaiah 55:11, God’s Word, on the other hand, does not return void.
However, this all makes sense if we consider that Jesus informed the disciples that He was not teaching the parables to the public so that people would not comprehend them during His earthly mission. After the resurrection, the disciples were instructed to scream from the rooftops what they heard in secret—that is, to announce publicly what Jesus had taught them secretly. And that would include the meaning of the parables. That’s why we can comprehend them now. God’s Word did not go out in vain, albeit there was an intentional time delay.