2001-03-13 - Speaks in Parables
The Prophecy Fulfilled Series, Part 21
Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
Matthew 13:34,35 "All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable, so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.'"
Parables are very useful because they engage the listeners attention and convey instruction in a manner that is fairly easy to understand. When Christ chose to use parables to speak to the multitudes He picked a form of communication that was well fitted to a large audience. If Christ had simply stated truths as propositional statements, it would have been likely that much of what He said would not have been understood, but parables made these truths available to everyone who could hear.
Another reason why Christ adopted the mode of parables was because it was a common method of teaching in the Jewish communities. Parables are a way of teaching that can allow truths to enter the mind tactfully. They also can conceal the true meaning to those who will not listen to truth. "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Matthew 13:13
Parables allowed truth to be hidden from those who wanted to remain in darkness and refused to come to the light. Sometimes the meaning of a parable is very clear and expressly stated in the form of a conclusion at the end of the parable, as in Luke 12:16-21. Other times a parable can only be understood by considering the context, or reviewing the circumstances under which it was spoken. However, most of the parables of Jesus are very easy to understand if they are received by a willing mind and heart.
The parables of Jesus were very useful teaching tools. Simply compiling a short list will bring many truths to mind for many of you. The sower, the tares, the mustard seed, the hidden treasure, the pearl, the two debtors, the good Samaritan, the barren fig tree, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, Lazarus and the rich man, the Pharisee and the publican, the marriage feast, the talents, the sheep and the goats, are just a few of the parables of Christ. They compose a great wealth of wisdom, doctrine, and practical teachings. And lastly, their use, is also a fulfillment of prophecy.
Soli Deo Gloria,