Why did Jesus TEACH mostly using ‘PARABLES’?
October 12 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 13-15
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world." (Matt. 13:34-35)
The quotation of Asaph serves as a prophecy of Jesus’ use of parables: "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old" (Psalms 78:2). Jesus Christ taught similar to Asaph by using parables. In fact, the words of Asaph described the manner in which Christ taught, and in this sense it could be said that the words of Asaph were fulfilled by Christ Himself.
The teachings of Jesus were laced with parables, and people followed Him everywhere hanging on His every word (Matt. 7:28). His listeners remarked: “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46), and they were right. Jesus was a Master Teacher and profound Communicator!
It was remarkable that Jesus actually lived the highest moral and spiritual principles ever known besides teaching them to the people. He told people to love their enemies; He forgave those who crucified Him. He told people to lay down their lives for others; He laid down His own life for the world. He told people not to worry about material possessions; He owned no more than the clothes on His back. Jesus’ example makes Him the most remarkable of all teachers!
However, the question arises: Why did Jesus teach mostly using parables? Let us look into a few scriptural verses earlier to get a better grasp of this issue: And 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. 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 and turn, so that I should heal them.' (Matt. 13:10-15)
A simple explanation can be as follows: Jesus proclaimed the mysteries of the kingdom of God and made the far-reaching implications of its arrival very public. This was a "mystery" in the sense that it had not been disclosed in this form before: Jesus revealed it in his ministry. Among his hearers there were some whose minds were open to his teaching; they grasped its meaning and appreciated the point of his parables. Only a few, relatively speaking, embraced the good news of the kingdom, but for their sake it was worthwhile making it known.
There were others whose minds were closed. Even if at first they thought that He was the teacher and leader for whom they had been waiting, they soon changed their minds. The parables of Jesus were clear to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear were but riddles to others whose eyes and ears were closed to His words. They could not take his message in, and so they could not profit by it. The more he spoke and acted among them the less responsive they became, and very quickly, they became the majority. So, God decided that these people should not profit by the wisdom spoken by Jesus, and that was the reason why He spoke mostly in parables.