CGOM: Why Jesus Spoke in Parables


Did you know that the reason that Jesus spoke in parables was so that the vast majority would NOT understand what He was teaching?

Notice the following account in the Gospel According to Matthew:

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,

And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.

16 “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Matthew 13:10-17)

Thus Jesus was clear that the purpose of parables was not to make His teachings clear to the masses.

CGOM picked up on this and it was the main subject of James McBride’s latest newsletter:

Why Parables?
‘…Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke he not unto them’
Parables are usually thought of as pleasant little stories designed to illustrate and clarify a spiritual principle. In fact, Bible parables have a different – indeed an opposite – significance.
…..The parables are, superficially, ‘nice stories’. They may tickle the curiosity of the casual listener – and are loved by Sunday School teachers. But notice ‘…[Jesus] said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand’ (Luke 8:10). The purpose of the parables was, it seems, to confuse! Why?
…..”In the more usual and technical sense of the word, “parable” ordinarily signifies an imaginary story, yet one that in its details could have actually transpired, the purpose of the story being to illustrate and inculcate some higher spiritual truth. These features differentiate it from other and similar figurative narratives as also from actual history”. [ISBE: Parable]
…..In our study of the Bible text it is vital we pay careful attention to detail. Removed some two to five thousand years from the original writing factors such as language, culture, textual transmission must be considered. Words, for example, change meaning over time. In the modern West we tend on general to take the written word as literal. Anciently, in the Near East, much use of language was symbolic…
…..A lesson from the use of parables by Jesus is that there is real depth to the Christian faith. Most people are content to paddle in the shallows and never learn to swim. Seek enlightenment, however, and you will be led to the spiritual depths. The Father seeks such to become His children: ‘…the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such does the Father seek to be his worshippers’ (John 4:23). When the interest is there the Father draws such to Jesus:  ‘…No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him’ (ch 6::44)

The fact is that the REASON THAT JESUS SPOKE IN PARABLES was to maximize how many would ultimately accept salvation–not in this age, but in the age to come!

God knew that if people understood a bit more that they many would actually knowingly reject the truth, (and hence commit the unpardonable sin, see What is the Unpardonable Sin?), hence He had much of His plan veiled (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 4:3).

Most who profess Christianity have no idea that since God is a God of Love that He has a plan that will results in the vast majority of humankind being saved,

Those interested in learning what the Bible, as opposed to inaccurate traditions of men, teach concerning God’s plan of salvation should open their Bibles and check out the following articles:

Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it?

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