Basic insight into the parables of Jesus

It, therefore, falls that we encounter facts, fiction and a lesson or lessons.

Proper application of the rules or principles of biblical interpretation helps us to explain the Bible without reading our thoughts, innuendos or biases into the Scriptures. Many times we fall into error because we hold a persuasion or philosophy which we back by plucking a portion of Scripture out of context and mary it to our preconceived notions. Regrettably, the parables of Jesus have been mutilated by many without regard to the intent of God.

You have read repeatedly in this column that the Word of Truth has to be rightly divided. A parable is an analogy. It, therefore, falls that we encounter facts, fiction and a lesson or lessons. Before we go much further, let us understand why Jesus used parables in His earthly ministry. We read Matthew 13:34-35, “[34] All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: [35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

To the multitude, Jesus spoke in paradise in order to fulfil Psalm 78:2, “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter [speak obscure sayings or riddles] dark sayings of old:” Space may not allow me to quote much but we need to know that Jesus didn't say anything from nowhere but from Genesis to Malachi. This is also what the Epistles writers did. The Bible is written in progressive revelation from Genesis to Revelation.

We read further in Matthew 13:10-11, “[10] And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? [11] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries [hidden truths] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” We clearly see that Jesus spoke to His disciples plainly but to the multitudes, He used parables or analogies.

Let's look at Lukes account using the Message Bible. We read Luke 8:9-10, “[9] His disciples asked, “Why did you tell this story?” [10] He said, “You've been given insight into God's kingdom — you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren't going to get it: Their eyes are open but don't see a thing, Their ears are open but don't hear a thing.”

We now have something to break down. The disciples had Jesus with them always and had the necessary spiritual awakening to comprehend plain truth. The multitudes were spiritually dead or what we call unsaved and therefore could not understand spiritual things. This is the reason why those not born again cannot interpret the Bible.

This is made clear in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Born again believers can comprehend spiritual things. The unregenerated or natural person cannot explain spiritual things. Parables are for the spiritually dead.

The saved can handle plain speech. 1 Corinthians 2:13, New King James Version, reads, “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” The spiritually developed believers compare spiritual things with spiritual things.

Jesus was teaching spiritually deficient people, therefore the mode of communication had to be parables. Have you ever noticed that in outreaches and evangelistic endeavours, much of the content comes from the Gospels? Not restricting any portion of the Bible to any set of people, you also notice that when ministering to born again believers, Epistles get much usage.

In the Gospel of John, we don't see the narratives of the birth of Jesus. John, who also wrote the Epistles of John and the book of Revelation starts thus, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. Theologians argue that John was standing on higher revelation because he had sat under the ministry of Apostle Paul. They further assert that the same week that the Gospel of John was written is the same with the writing of the Epistles of John. For further comparison please read John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.


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