|Why Did Jesus Tell Parables?
Joseph Francis Alward
Parables are simple stories which are meant
Mark Said Jesus' Parables Mystified Outsiders
Following Jesus' parable about the sower of
seeds, Mark has Jesus tell his disciples that he wants to make sure only
his followers hear the truth and understand the mysteries, while the
Gentiles remain in the dark. Mark then tells us that Jesus, when he is
alone with his disciples and out of the earshot of unworthy Gentiles,
speaks to his disciples directly and without the need for parables. Here
is Mark's story:
Matthew: Parables Hid God's Message from the Gentiles
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathering together unto him.....And he spake many things unto them in parables saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew cites scripture to justify his having Jesus hide God's message from the Gentiles: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive." (Matthew 13:14) The scripture to which Matthew refers is the one in which the command is given to "shut the eyes" of the Gentiles: "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9-11)
This is not the only time Matthew demonstrates his belief that God's message of salvation was not to be wasted on Gentiles. Matthew has Jesus give his famous speech urging his followers to ignore them: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles....but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel....I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:7, Matthew 15:24)