Q: #7. Why did Jesus speak in parables so often?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Jesus explained why He did this in (Mt 13:10-17)(Mk 4:10-12)(Lk 8:9-10). It was to show "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 13:11) to those who believed in Him and were open to His message, but to conceal His message from those who rejected Him. (Mt 13:12-13) continues, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (13) Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do do they understand."
What we need to realize is that when people are seeking the truth and light of Jesus Christ and His message, they will be given more of it. However, if they reject the message of Jesus Christ, and are not seeking Him, they will be blind and without understanding. We can see this happening today as well. How often do we try and share our love of Jesus Christ and His message of salvation with others, only to be rejected and ridiculed? We want so much for others to find what we have found, but they are not open to it. Yet, at times, a person is seeking and open to the message of Jesus Christ and they come to understand and believe it, and as they are given more light and truth, they finally make a decision to trust in Jesus Christ and surrender their life to Him. The Bible says in (Rom 1:18-20) that the knowledge of God and His existence is manifest in all men because God has placed it in them. What we do with this knowledge determines our destiny.
Jesus said in (Mt 13:14-15) that the people who couldn't comprehend His parables (not hearing or understanding), were fulfilling a prophesy made by Isaiah in the Old Testament which said: (Mt 13:14-15)(NASB) 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; (15) FOR FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.' (Prophesy found in Isa 6:9-10)
Can't we see this same thing today from so many in response to the gospel? However, Jesus called us to proclaim His message to the world, and we should do so boldly. We should not be discouraged when it is rejected, because while we are called to share it, no one can come to Jesus unless they are drawn by the Father (Jn 6:44), and the Father, who knows the hearts of all men (Ps 44:21)(1 Sam 16:7)(1 Kin 8:39), draws and gives light to those who are seeking the truth. Interestingly, Jesus is called both the Truth (Jn 1:7-9)(Jn 8:12)(Lk 2:32)(Jn 12:35-36) and the Light (Jn 14:6)(Jn 1:14,17)(Eph 4:21).
Let us always remember David's words to his son Solomon in (1 Chr 28:9): "... know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him; he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."