Parable Why did Jesus use them?

Posted on Jan 18, 2014 at 9:00 PM by Charles King

Why did Jesus use Parable?

Why Parables? A good picture can speak more loudly and clearly than many words. Jesus used the ordinary everyday to point to another order of reality, hidden, yet visible to those who had "eyes to see" and "ears to hear". Jesus communicated with pictures and stories, vivid illustrations which captured the imaginations of his audience more powerfully than an abstract presentation could. His parables are like buried treasure waiting to be discovered, "he that hath ears let him hear".

In other words, Jesus was trying to make it easy for us to understand, However some take the following statement of Jesu literally, "so that, They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!" However many belief that this statement is a figure of speach and that Jesus' intentions were to make His teaching easier to remember and understand. The later has more of a Biblical basis than the first.

Jesus' parables are short stories that teach a moral or spiritual lesson by analogy or similarity. They are often stories based on the agricultural life that was intimately familiar to His original first century audience. Some aspect of an unfamiliar concept, such as the kingdom of God, was compared to something from everyday life that could easily be understood.

Jesus' Parables are true to life. Parables are for adults. The power of a parable comes from the fact that you recognize that "that's the way it is in real life." Jesus knew that some who heard his parables refused to understand them. It was not that they could not intellectually understand them, but rather, their hearts were closed to what Jesus was saying. They had already made up their minds to not believe. God can only reveal the secrets of his kingdom to the humble and trusting person who acknowledges the need for God and for his truth. The parables of Jesus will enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart, ready to let them challenge us. If we approach them with the conviction that we already know the answer, then we, too, may look but not see, listen but not hear or understand.

Parables are great because they tell a story that is easy to remember. How many of you can tell me the story of the three little pigs or Goldie Locks and the three bears? All of you. How many of you studied those stories this morning before you came to church? It is not like a bunch of principles we try to memorize and soon forget.

Parables are told so that only those who really care will come to know the truth. Not so much because they understand the parable, but because they care enough to ask what it means after the story is finished and hang around long enough to have it explained to them. The others don't really care and leave. Remember, the disciples didn't understand the parables, but they asked what Jesus meant after the crowds left. They had a soft and open heart. Understanding is an issue of the heart. Those who have a hard heart, also have closed eyes and closed ears and they don't understand.

Mat 13:10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

So, whenever you read a parable, meditate on God's character and ask the Holy Spirit , "What does this tell me about the kingdom of God?" What do I mean by kingdom of God? (See Interpreting Parables)

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