Why did Jesus teach with parables?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus taught with parables? Even Jesus’s disciples asked this question. “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” Matthew 13:10 KJV.
Jesus gives them the answer, and it is recorded here in Matthew, but still many people, even professing Christians, do not understand. I will explain, but first let’s read what Jesus told his disciples and I will interject at points to discuss.
“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” *Note that last sentence is directly in relation to Jesus’s parable of The Talents.*
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed;”
Let’s stop here and discuss these people which he is speaking of. They see not, hear not, they do not perceive, and their hearts are hard. Jesus speaks of such people many times! They are the ones who the seed fell on bad soil, they are the ones who are like swine or “pigs”. What did Jesus teach us about such people? “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6 KJV.
By speaking in parables he was able to speak in mixed company. The sheep heard his voice and the swine understood not and therefore the swine had nothing to turn on and argue with. Those people standing there that didn’t understand didn’t contest his teaching because they didn’t understand what he was even saying. I’m sure they mumbled and said he was crazy, but they could not take issue with his teachings and drag him into mindless debates!
If they would soften their hearts and come to him as a small child, truly hungry for righteousness, then he would save them! Continuing on in Matthew 13 verse 15, Jesus said, “...lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
Jesus then said again to his disciples; “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16 KJV
You are truly blessed if you 'see' and 'hear' because you will be healed! You will be able to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. You will be converted by his Holy Spirit to eternal life because of the redemptive sacrifice made for us by our Savior!
With love and the good news of Christ, I desire nothing more than God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.
Joseph R. Stansel