And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 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. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Matthew 13:10-13
People often ask the question “Why did Jesus speak in parables”? In our scripture reading today, Jesus actually answers this question. This reminds me of when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus in “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)
Jesus is saying to Nicodemus , I’m trying to explain things to you in an Earthly context and you can’t understand, how can you possibly understand things about Heaven, of course I’m totally paraphrasing this, but this is the point. People will often say “Why doesn’t Jesus just tell us things directly, well simply because our human minds couldn’t comprehend Heaven
Jesus is trying to “dumb” things down for us in a language we can understand. Think about if you ever taught a Sunday School class or taught children. You don’t typically speak to children like you do adults because they don’t understand what your saying. You have to water things down, use figurative language that children could understand, Jesus was doing the same thing with us.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, 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; 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. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Matthew 13:14-17
The Messiah speaking in Parables shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, this was foretold by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6) Jesus affirms this in his teaching. As the prophet Isaiah says “Be ever hearing, but never understanding, Be ever seeing, but never perceiving” Think about the religious leaders , they knew the scriptures from memory yet they didn’t know Christ. Without Jesus , you can never understand The Bible and never understand the Kingdom of God
When you read the parables of Christ, think about it from a spiritual perspective. Jesus is trying to reveal the Kingdom of God to you in a story, embrace the blessed parables Amen!
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I don’t think it’s a matter of dumbing things down, rather Christ was using illustrations that the hearer would understand based on his/her life experiences. For the modern reader to grasp the true meaning of His words we MUST read things in context and understand the what society was like at the time.
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Amen sister God bless!