Throughout His ministry Jesus taught over twenty parables. These parables are often described as ‘earthly stories with a heavenly meaning’ because for those who want to hear they reveal great riches about the kingdom of God. In Matthew 13:10-17, we learn why Jesus spoke in parables:
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
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. 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. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 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;
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.’
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 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.
Jesus spoke in parables so that His disciples would understand His teachings and so that unbelievers would be without comprehension. This is true today – those interested in the truth of Jesus’ message are given understanding by God. So, over the summer period we will study some of the parables so that we can learn more about the truth that Jesus is teaching us.