Q. Why did Jesus teach in Parables?
Jesus was one of the greatest story tellers and communicators who ever lived. He was able to communicate the great spiritual truths and insights about the kingdom of God by using the everyday ideas and items of life. He often taught in parable form. The communication experts of today agree that parables are an excellent way to teach because they allow each person to see themselves and how they are pictured in the story.
A parable is a short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth, religious principle, or moral lesson; a figure of speech in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
12 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15 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.’
16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
17 “For truly 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.
Parables are short stories that are told in order to get a point across and occur in both testaments of the Bible.
The word “parable” (Gk. parabole) was generally used in reference to any short narrative that had symbolic meaning There are many stories and saying of Jesus in the New Testament that are identified as parables, but not all of these are parables in the true sense.
The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35) may be regarded as a true parable because it is a complete story with a beginning, ending and plot, but the Leaven in the Meal is a similitude, “You are the salt of the earth” is a metaphor and “Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes” is an epigram .
A true parable then may be regarded as an extended simile . It is a story that resembles real-life natural situations and does not contain any mythical or supernatural elements. These stories were told in order to catch the listener’s attention and provoke a response. They often embody a message that may not be communicated in any other way.