Parables - Again
January 4, 2021
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:34-35).
The ‘secret’ things of God are the ‘hidden’ things of God (krupto). Matthew quoted, in part, 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 hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. Jesus taught in parables as did the ancient prophet Asaph. In this sense it could be said that his words were fulfilled in Jesus.
In speaking to the people in parables, Jesus conveyed the truths of the Kingdom as they (the people) were able to hear it (Mark 4:33), that is, as his hearers were able to receive them. He used parables at that time to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom to those whose ears were open to it, to those who hungered and thirsted for God’s truth.
Certainly the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees were not open to the truth of God’s Kingdom. Their minds were closed and hearts hardened to the things of God. The focus of their religion was on the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God. Their desire was for the Law as interpreted by their forefathers and not the Law as God gave and intended through Moses. Even still, the letter of the Law was not honored among the elders of Israel, neither was the spirit of the Law.
But to those whose spiritual lives were being ruined by the elders and their corrupt manipulation of the Law, Jesus came to salt their thirst for truth through parables. He gave them the mystery of the kingdom in this veiled form which was the only feasible form at that time. But even so they did not understand what they heard, for He had to explain the parables to them (Mark 4:34).
Why? In order to stir up the spirit of the people and to challenge their minds; to draw to Himself those who truly desired the Kingdom. Curiosity is always a motive for further, deeper investigation. Through the use of normal and natural examples, Jesus caused those searching for spiritual truth to find it. Spiritual truth cannot be taught to man except through the medium of earthly things. If God should speak to us in the language of heaven, clothing His truth in the words of the angels, we would not be able to hear or understand it. So Jesus condescends to us in thoughts and words as He did in human form. He is the truth of God revealed to us.
“Father, what a privilege it is to be taught by Jesus the mysteries of Your Kingdom. Thank You for these parables that challenge the mind and heart to trust in You for understanding. Thank You that Your Word continues to stir the heart and mind heavenward that we might come to the knowledge of Your truth. In Jesus I praise You, Amen.”