Parables are perhaps the most often considered and discussed passages of the New Testament. They are taught to children early on in hopes of establishing moral values, yet we adults fail to grasp the point that Jesus was teaching for many of them. Below is a quote from the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
"Although parables are often memorable stories, impressing the listener with a clear picture of the truth, even the disciples were sometimes confused as to the meaning of parables. For instance, after Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30), the disciples needed interpretation in order to understand its meaning (Matthew 13:36-43)."
"Jesus sometimes used the parabolic form of teaching to reveal the truth to those who followed Him and to conceal the truth from those who did not (Matthew 13:10-17; Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:9-10). His parables thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10. Like a double-edged sword, they cut two ways –enlightening those who sought the truth and blinding those who were disobedient."
This is one of those passages that tells what Jesus said when the disciples asked Jesus why He talked to the people in parables.
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 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. This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
"'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. (Matthew 13:10-17)
His answer to the question was straight forward, yet hard for us to accept. We think that God should be clear in His speech so that everyone can be saved. However, Jesus says that it's not for those who want to know about God; it's only clearly understood by those who seek to know God through His Son. This is a privilege that wasn't available to the Old Testament saints.
This section of MyRedeemer.org is dedicated to helping to clarify those wonderful word truths from our Lord Jesus. Please respond if you find these helpful or have suggestions for future topics.
doug@MyRedeemer.org (include "MR Website" in the subject) –Doug Olsen
* Quotes are from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Continue reading about parables: "Lost Sheep"
Law (Legalism) vs. Grace
'If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!' (Galatians 2:17-21 - NIV)