Why did Jesus speak in parables? January 7, 2005Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, Jesus, Religion, Theology.
In public speaking, one may share a short story using life experiences to drive home a point. In most cases, this may be necessary to make the point easier to understand. Many popular preachers today are great story tellers. They have the ability to take Bible passages and make them more relatable to those in their intended audience.
However, in the Gospels, Jesus spoke in parables, not to help the hearer to understand what he was saying – but to intentionally confuse them.
Matthew 13:10-15And 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
So that I should heal them.’
Preceding the above passage, Jesus told the parable of the sower. When asked why he spoke in parables, his response leads you to conclude that he does not want certain hearers to understand what he was saying. In other words, his response is that those with dull hearts, whose ears are hard of hearing, and whose eyes have been closed, are intentionally confused. Otherwise, they may see, hear, understand, have a change of heart and be healed. Does he not want their hearts to change? Did he not come to save the world?
Jesus’ response does not make sense since he should want his preaching to yield the result of a changed heart. Jesus also said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Why would he now contradict himself by stating that those who are healthy should understand, but the sick should not lest they be healed? Why would he now more or less say that those who are healthy will become more healthy, but those who are sick will become more sick?
What am I missing from this passage?