Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. (Matt. 13:34)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 13:31-35, 44-50
The word parable means “cast alongside.” A parable is a mini story or analogy that casts a familiar idea next to a new concept to help make the lesson clear. Jesus referred to his parables of the kingdom as “the secrets of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:11). In verse 10, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” Jesus explained that the spiritual truths in these stories are understood only by divine revelation, to those who listen to and obey him. He explained some of the parables for those in his inner circle, but not for the casual passerby.
It works the same for us today. The more time we spend with the Lord, staying close, hearing his Word through study and prayer, the more his Spirit ministers to our hearts, assuring us of the realities of his magnificent kingdom. I trust Jesus did not use parables to confuse or condemn his audience. He must have wanted to arouse their curiosity. After all, most of us want to understand secrets!
Even though Jesus hasn’t changed the way he deals with his people, he is not physically here to explain things, and his inner circle has grown quite large. I’m grateful he sent his Holy Spirit to teach us all things and remind us of everything he said to us (John 14:26).
Ask God to open your ears to hear his messages more clearly.
S. Schulz wrote devotionals for earlier editions of Light from the Word. They have been drawn from the archives and reprinted for this publication.
© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.