Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. – Psalm 78: 1-4 ESV
All throughout the OLD TESTAMENT, there is prophecy and shadows, and foretelling and forerunners. Chuck Missler’s quote on the Bible rings true and it rings loud! “The great discovery is that the Bible is a message system: it’s not simply 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, the Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail.” The Old Testament was about a redeemer, the Messiah, about Jesus- It was to tell us about God, to show us the need for a Savior and to tell us about the coming Savior, His Name, His Purpose, His Way of Life, His Way of Death, what He would do and how He would do it! The Old and the New Testament should be looked at like the 1st half and the 2nd half of a great play, a great drama, a great romance: God’s love for Man and His pursuit of His Bride. It is about God’s actions to acquire, solidify and consummate the GREAT LOVE STORY! Many people in Jesus’ day erred in their thinking about how the Messiah would show up, what He would do and How the Kingdom of God would manifest itself. Many thought that Jesus would change everything. He would get rid of the OLD and bring about the NEW, However- as always is the case- we got it wrong! Saint Matthew recalls what Jesus told the crowds at the most powerful sermon ever preached, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah and the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Leader, it was foretold that the Messiah would teach in Parables. As with ALL THINGS, our God is a God of Purpose. He has multiple reasons for everything He does. Our God is the OMNI God; Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omni purposed! OMNI= ALL. I believe this is one of the reasons why Jesus taught in Parables. Stories, parables, analogies, Metaphors all allow for multiple meanings and understandings. Even those closest to Jesus wanted to know why the Parables, why use such colorful language patterns that allow people to derive ALL different types of meanings? Jesus’ disciples, His Apostles, and many today want to know why Jesus talked in Parables? Well, one of the reasons was because it was Prophesied that He would- so He did this in fulfillment of the scriptures. Got Questions dot org states the following: A parable is, literally, something “cast alongside” something else. Jesus’ parables were stories that were “cast alongside” a truth in order to illustrate that truth. His parables were teaching aids and can be thought of as extended analogies or inspired comparisons. A common description of a parable is that it is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. For a time in His ministry, Jesus relied heavily on parables. He told many of them; in fact, according to Mark 4:34a, “He did not say anything to them without using a parable.” There are about 35 of Jesus’ parables recorded in the Synoptic Gospels. It had not always been that way. In the early part of His ministry, Jesus had not used parables. Suddenly, He begins telling parables exclusively, much to the surprise of His disciples, who asked Him, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).
Conduit, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16, see also Romans 11:34) We do not know exactly ALL the purposes of God, but we can speculate and offer some educated reasons for some of God’s divine purposes. In the 2 verses listed, above, it shows us one reason for the parables, it puts us into a pattern that CREATES in us, THE MIND OF CHRIST. Some other possibilities: To keep His enemies off balance. The enemies of Jesus were always waiting for him to say something they could use against him (Luke 11:53-54). By speaking in parables, Jesus made it extremely hard for them. It would seem unjust to arrest Him for telling stories! To Enlighten the True Hearted; Jesus took advantage of occasions when multitudes flocked to hear him speak. Through the parables he could enlighten those whose hearts were sincere and receptive and who were hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). To Make People Think; Jesus knew that not everybody would understand or give proper thought to his parables. Some people tune their hearts and ears to God’s word, whilst others deliberately block their ears to God’s voice. Yet others neither tune nor block their ears —Jesus told parables to challenge people, to test their hearts. To Divide into Two; After telling the parable of the ‘Sower and the seed’, Jesus was asked by his disciples the question, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10). Jesus answered by quoting Isaiah, concerning people who have eyes but do not see, and have ears but do not hear (Matthew 13:11-17, Isaiah 6:8-10). In telling the parables, Jesus was bringing pressure to bear upon his listeners, to either open their spiritual eyes and ears and be enlightened, or to shut their eyes and ears tighter and be condemned. Parables not only make people think, but they also make people choose. They bring people out of the grey area into the clearly black or white. The parables were a winnowing fork for Jesus, by which he was able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lastly I believe part of the OMNI-PURPOSES for Jesus talking in Parables goes to the analogy of US, HIS CHURCH, being His Bride. In any amorous relationship, there is a seeking to know the deep things of the heart, mind, and spirit. It is a deep desire to know thy lover, deeper, a fuller intimacy and connection. Just like when a man courts a woman, he seeks out the inner workings of their heart and mind to connect and establish an intimate rapport. “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Do you hunger and thirst to know the heart and mind of God? Do you seek to KNOW HIM and make HIM KNOWN? God wants you to want Him and to search His Word, and in the process you will know His Way, His Will, and His Word! This TRUTH will set you free and give you GREAT FAITH and GREAT LOVE!