The Nature of
What reference is made in
the Psalms to Christs use of Parables?
I will open my
mouth in parables, I will utter hidden
things, things from of old.
Note - A parable primarily
means a comparison or similitude; specifically it
is a short story or narrative drawn from life or
nature, by means of which important lesson is
taught, or some moral drawn.
From what sources did
Christ usually draw His parables?
From nature and from
For what are His parables
parables are distinguished above all others for
clearness, purity, chasteness, intelligibility,
importance of instruction, and simplicity. They
are taken mostly from the affairs of common life,
and are intelligible, therefore, to all men.
Dr. Albert Barnes, on Matthew 13:3.
Following one of His
parables, what did Christ say?
He who has ears let
him hear. Matthew 13:9.
The Why and Wherefore of
The disciples came to him
and asked, Why do you speak to the
people in parables?
What reply did Christ make?
He replied, The
knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom
of heaven has been given to you,
but not to them. Whoever has will be given more,
and he will have abundance. Whoever does not
have, even what he has will be taken from him.
This is why I speak to them in parables: Though
seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do
not understand. Verses 11-13.
Note - Christs
objects, therefore, in using parables was to
teach the mysteries, or truths, of the kingdom of
heaven truth not necessarily difficult to
understand, but which had long been hidden or
obscured by sin, apostasy, and tradition
in such a way that the spiritual-minded and those
desirous of learning the truth might understand
them, and the worldly-minded and unwilling would
not. When asked the meaning of any parable,
Christ readily explained it to His disciples.
(See Luke 8:9-15; Matthew 13:36-43; Mark 4:
After giving instruction
by the use of parables, what question did Christ
ask His disciples?
understood all these things? Jesus
asked. Yes they replied. Verse 51.
How extensively did Christ
make use of parables?
Jesus spoke all
these things to the crowd in parables; he did
not say anything to them without using a parable.
Note Parables are
simply stories. All, young and old like to hear a
story. Storytelling is one of the most successful
means of awakening an interest, securing
attention, and teaching, illustrating, and to
enforce important truths. Christ, the greatest of
all teachers, recognized this, and therefore made
constant use of this method of instruction.
Suggestive Use of
How did Christ suggest
that His disciples follow His example in teaching
He said to them, Therefore
every teacher of the law who has been instructed
about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of
a house who brings things out of his
storeroom new treasures as well as the old.
Which are some of the
most touching and soul winning of Christs
The parable of the lost
sheep, and that of the prodigal son. (Luke
So wide was Christs
view of truth, so extended His teaching, that
every phase of nature was employed in
illustrating truth. The scenes upon which the eye
daily rests were all connected with some
spiritual truth, so that nature is clothed with
the parables of the Master.
In the earlier part
of His ministry, Christ had spoken to the people
in words so plain that all His hearers might have
grasped truths which would make them wise unto
salvation. But in many hearts the truth had taken
no root, and it had been quickly caught away.
Therefore speak I to them in parables,
He said; because they seeing see not; and
hearing they hear not, neither do they understand
For these peoples heart is waxed gross, and
their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes
they have closed. Matthew 13: 13-15.
Jesus desired to
awaken inquiry. He sought to arose the careless,
and impress truth upon the heart. Parable
teaching was popular, and commanded respect and
attention, not only the Jews, but of the people
of other nations. No more effective method of
instruction could He have employed. If His
hearers had desired a knowledge of divine things,
they might have understood His words; for He was
always willing to explain them to the honest
Again, Christ had
taught truths to present which the people were
unprepared to accept, or even to understand. For
this reason also He taught them in parables. By
connecting His teaching with the scenes of life,
experience, or nature. He secured their attention
and impressed their hearts. Afterward, as they
looked upon the objects that illustrated His
lessons, they recalled the worlds of the divine
Teacher. To the minds that were open to the Holy
Spirit, the significance of the Saviors
teaching unfolded more and more. Mysteries grew
clear, and that which had been hard to grasp
Jesus sought an
avenue to every heart. By using a variety of
illustrations, He not only presented truth in its
different phases, but also appealed to the
different hearers. Their interest was aroused by
figures drawn from the surroundings of daily
life. None who listened to the Savior could feel
that they were neglected or forgotten. The
humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching
a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and
tenderness. E.G. White, Christs
Object Lessons, pp. 20-22.
Light on Parables
Each parable is designed
to teach some new and important truth. The first
twelve parables given in the following segments
are intended to teach the following lessons,
respectively: (1) Good and evil in life and
judgment. (2) Value of the gospel. (3) Seeking
salvation. (4) The visible church of Christ. (5)
Truths new and old. (6) Duty of forgiving others.
(7) Call at various epochs. (8) Insincerely and
repentance. (9) Need of righteousness. (10)
Watchful and careful profession. (11) Use of
abilities. (12) Final separation of good and bad.
The kingdom of
heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking
goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl
of great price, went and sold all that he had,
and bought it.