Jesus Teaches in Parables

Matthew 13:10-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Purpose of Parables
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 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. 12 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. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 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;
15 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.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 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.
Why did Jesus teach in Parables?

  • Mark 4:10-12, 24-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    10 As soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, together with the twelve [disciples], began asking Him about [the interpretation of] the parables. 11 He said to them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you [who have teachable hearts], but those who are outside [the unbelievers, the spiritually blind] get everything in parables, 12 so that they will continually look but not see, and they will continually hear but not understand, otherwise they might turn [from their rejection of the truth] and be forgiven.” …

    24 Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]—and more will be given to you besides. 25 For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.”

    ***Mark 4:25 The person “who has” is one who is receptive to God’s word, while the one “who does not have” is the person who is blind to and has rejected the spiritual truth and godly wisdom already given to him. As a result, even what little he had previously understood about Jesus will no longer be clear to him.
    Matthew 5:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    6 “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

=> How diligently do you study spiritual truth and apply Godly wisdom?
=> How hungry and thirsty are you to be in right standing with God?
Why did Jesus put this after the Sower Parable and before the explanation(Mt 13:1-9, 18-23)?

  • Think of the “depth” of the four soils
    • Soil by the wayside
    • Soil on stony places 
    • Soil among the thorns
    • Soil on good ground

What does it mean to have a teachable heart?

  • How deep is your desire to study and apply God’s word? –Mk 4:24
  • Your desire/love for truth? –Mk 4:25; 2Thess 2:10
  • Mark 8:17-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    17 Jesus, aware of this [discussion], said to them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember?
    =>Symptoms of hard heart = unable to see(perceive), unable to understand, unable to hear, and unable to remember.
    =>The Spirit opens eyes, ears, minds to perceive what God has prepared for those who love(obey) Him –1Cor 2:9-10;Is 64:3-4;Jn 14:15.
    *** How desperate are you for the Spirit to open your understanding?
  • James 3:13-18Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 And the seedwhose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
    =>True fruit is marked by true wisdom and a love of the truth. It is pure and accompanied by righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

    True Wisdom Earthly Wisdom
    Humble/Meek Prideful
    Pure Self Seeking Envy
    Peaceable Strife/Disorder
    Gentle Harsh
    Willing to Yeild Unteachable
     Full of Mercy(Compassion) Heartless
    Fruitful Unfruitful
    Sincere(Straightforward) Hypocite
    Impartial Favoritism


    1 Peter 1:18-23… you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
    =>What kind of wisdom is your fruit marked by?


Word Study
From NetBible Mt 13:10

  • parable[3850] = an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, a comparison

From NetBible Mt 13:15

  • heal[2390] = to cure, make whole{to free from errors and sins}
  • * A quotation from Is 6:9-10. Thus parables both conceal or reveal depending on whether one is open to hearing what they teach.



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