To most of us, Jesus speaking in parables is so wonderful. The parables make it easier for even the children to understand the true meaning of what Jesus wanted to say to all of us. But, why parables? Why just stories? Couldn’t Jesus make it a little more straightforward? The kingdom of heaven cannot be just limited to few stories!
Jesus preached to all of mankind in three ways: Parables, Miracles, and Actions. Parables were a little comfortable and at times were a bit complex. There are so many hidden meanings in these parables that unless we go down into deep reflection, we may miss out on some of the most important facts that Jesus wants us to know. Also, these parables are in so many ways linked with the teachings of the church, the final judgment, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is quite evident that people may not have understood the real meaning of the parables until the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is why, with the resurrection of Jesus, the entire story is complete.
Jesus preached through miracles as well. When we healed the leper who was brought down through the roof, he taught all the people and the Pharisees that the Son of Man had the authority to forgive sins on earth. Which meant two things, one that Jesus was the Son of Man and also he had the power and authority to forgive all kinds of sin. Therefore miracles were done by Jesus not just to show that he is different and not only a prophet but something more.
Jesus’ actions were a significant portion of these ways of preaching. By actions, I also refer to the words he spoke. These words were sometimes too complex to be understood by the disciples, as Jesus did not want to give away everything to them in one go. The transfiguration of Jesus, going up to the mountains alone for prayer, asking people not to tell anyone after they are healed by him, all these actions or words were spoken by Jesus had specific reasons. People obviously did not understand the reason behind these, but as stated earlier, it all became clear to them after the resurrection of Jesus.
Now let’s see why did Jesus speak in Parables with the masses.
Everyone isn’t gifted
Many people followed Jesus. But each and everyone had their own reasons to follow him. Some thought that he would be a great military leader. Some thought that he would soon be a king and wage war against the Romans. Some thought that Jesus was a miracle worker or a magician. Few thought he was a prophet, maybe Elijah! Therefore, the words that he spoke and the actions he performed were not digestible for all. Hence speaking in parables was necessary. We must realize the fact that as humans our perceivable senses are very limited to our very nature. Hence, accepting something divine and deep in its own reflection is not everyone’s cup of tea. When Jesus spoke with Nicodemus about being reborn, he took it in a very literal sense. He thought Jesus wants us to be reborn physically. Nicodemus, a learned scholar and a teacher of the law, could not understand the wisdom Jesus was giving him without the form of a parable. How on earth, could the farmers, carpenters, homemakers, and any other daily wage earners could be able to understand his teachings if it were not in the form of a parable.
Exposition of the Truth
Through the parables, Jesus wanted to uncover the truth of society and of the kingdom of heaven. We must note something about the parables. Sometimes Jesus’ parables were just not about stories but were about comparisons. For example, when Jesus said that it will be easy for a camel to pass through the needle’s eye rather than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, he made a very small parable with this comparison. Jesus speaking in the parable was not just about big moral stories, it was also about these tiny comparisons that exposed the harsh and bitter truth. But it also gave overwhelming hope to the poor and marginalized and oppressed people. Let’s take another example of the parable of the prodigal son. Through this parable, Jesus brought to light that our father in heaven is not a father who condemns his child after he does something wrong. Rather, he welcomes him with tenderness and forgives him. For so long, the people were taught the opposite. They were taught that we must fear God rather than love him. But Jesus exposed the truth and also in a way the hypocrisy of the Pharisees with the parable of the prodigal son.
From Divinity to Human
Jesus was both human and Divine. There were times when Jesus truly exposed his divine form with complete glory. There were also times when Jesus, just like any other humans exposed his emotions in front of all. Thus, to Jesus understanding the vulnerability of the humans and also the complexity of them to understand the divine teachings were very well known. Thus Jesus speaking in parables, was a way to address this vulnerable side of the humans. it was a way to communicate to them even the most complex teachings of the divine law in a very simple and ordinary manner. Think about all the parables that Jesus narrated. Each and every one of them was so much relatable to the common people. Jesus speaking in parables was thus a deliberate attempt by him to make things easier for you and me and all the masses living during his time.
The Kingdom of Heaven must be known to all
This is one of the most important reasons for Jesusfoe him to speak in parables. The kingdom of heaven must be known. Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven was made known to his disciples but not to other people. Therefore through the parables it was his prime motive that the people should know about the kingdom of heaven. the people must not stay in the darkness. Through these Jesus in so many ways and kind made them understand the three most important things of the Gospel: Repent, Accept God, and the arrival of the kingdom of heaven at any point in time.
To open the eyes
Finally, we know that the sole reason why Jesus spoke in the Parables is that the people had closed their eyes and shut their ears. They have been blinded by the false prophecies of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Actually, these teachers of the law made it in their own interest that the common masses must do whatever they say, so that they may always have an upper hand on them. Thus the people were ready to accept Jesus as the Son of God. May rejected him and his teachings, many doubted and few accepted him. They were ready to be enslaved by the burdens placed by the Pharisees upon their shoulders, but they were not ready to allow Jesus to remove those burdens with the actual truth that would set them free. This is what Jesus says in the Matthew 13: 13
” The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look but do not see, and they listen but do not hear or understand.”
These were the main reasons why Jesus used parables to speak to the common masses. what do you think? Why did he use these parables? Comment Below.