"The disciples came to him and asked, 'Why do you speak to the people in parables?' He replied,
'The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.'"
How would you communicate spiritual truth to a diverse group of listeners, some hungry for what you have to say and others seeking any chance to trap you with your own words? Jesus did it by telling parables.
The Greek word for parable means to “lay by the side of” or “cast alongside.” Each parable compared or cast a new or difficult spiritual truth alongside settings and customs familiar to Jesus’ listeners. By focusing on just one spiritual principle in each story, Jesus enabled His followers to understand the truth and apply it to their lives.
Not all of Jesus’ listeners were eager to hear what He had to say. Their hard hearts caused them to be blind and deaf to the truth. So Jesus sometimes used parables to hide the truth in plain sight. For those unwilling to take His words to heart,
He made sure the meanings would be obscure.
Jesus’ parables are more than simple stories. They communicate profound truths if we will open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to the lessons they have for us.
About the author:
We welcome back to Anchor Ava Pennington, a writer and Bible study teacher for several years. Ava’s training includes studies with Moody Bible Institute. Her recent book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, came out of an Anchor she wrote for Haven Ministries in 2009. Ava and her husband live in Stuart, Florida, where she teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship class.
ALTHOUGH JESUS' PARABLES MAY BE FAMILIAR, WILL YOU READ THEM WITH A FRESH APPRECIATION OF THE SPIRITUAL TRUTHS HE WANTS TO COMMUNICATE TODAY?