Why Did Jesus Use Parables?

Why Did Jesus Use Parables?

But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.  (Mk 4:34)

. . . that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:  “I will open My mouth in parables;  will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”  (Mt 13:35)

Why did Jesus speak in parables so regularly?  Jesus used parables frequently as a means to illuminate weighty, divine truth.  He also had other reasons to use parables to communicate in public.

  • And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. (Lk 11:53-54)  The scribes and Pharisees were always looking to find fault with Jesus and to discredit Jesus in the eyes of all of the people.  By using parables, Jesus could thwart the plans of His enemies.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Mt 5:6)  Through the use of parables, Jesus could spiritually feed those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness.  Those who had a good heart, who were truly seeking God, could find what they needed in His teachings.
  • “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mt 7:13-14)  This story of the two roads (one narrow, one wide) caused people to think about where their lives were headed.  Using parables motivated people to stop and think about such profound topics.
  • Jesus’ parables brought pressure upon people to cause them to choose whether they wanted to be a sheep or a goat. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left . . .”  (Mt 25:31-33, for full story see Mt 25:31-46)
  • Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. (Ps 78:1-3)  As we can see by this passage, by speaking in parables, Jesus fulfilled prophecy concerning Himself.  (see also Mt 13:34-35)

Jesus always had very good reasons for His actions.  He listened for and obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit, and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He has set us an excellent example, hasn’t He?

Jesus Fulfilled Prophecy

Jesus Fulfilled Prophecy

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.  For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.  The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water . . .
  (Isa 35:5-7)

This passage of Scripture has beautiful, poetic language in it.  This is a prophetic passage about the ministry of God’s anointed Savior and Redeemer.

We can recognize that a number of the things mentioned in this passage occurred in the ministry of Jesus Christ when He was on earth.  And many other miracles took place in addition to these.  Glory to God!

  • Blind people were healed (Mt. 9:27; 11:15; 12:22; 15:30; Mk 8:22-25; Lk 7:22)
  • Mute peoples’ tongues were loosed and they glorified God with their voices (Mt 12:22; 15:30; Mk 7:37)
  • Deaf people received their hearing (Mt 11:15; Mk 7:37; Lk 7:22)
  • Lame and maimed people were healed (Mt 11:15; 15:30; 21:14; Lk 7:22)
  • Lepers were cleansed (Mt 11:15; Lk 7:22; 17:11-14)
  • People were raised from the dead (Mt 11:15; Lk 7:22; Joh 12:1, 9)

The last part of the passage in Isaiah at the top of this article is looking toward the end times, after Jesus returns to the earth.  Here is a teaching pertinent to the 2nd coming of Jesus from another website:

Peter called the time after Jesus’ return the times of “refreshing” and “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). Isaiah painted this beautiful word picture: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. … For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah 35:1, 6-7).  ~ Source:  https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/end-times/water-in-bible-prophecy/

Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies concerning the Savior, but there are still some that are going to be fulfilled in the future.  Those of us who follow Jesus and serve Him need to recognize the nature of the times in which we live, and to share the Good News of salvation as widely and lovingly as we can.  God bless you.