Day 1

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

from the The Parables of Jesus reading plan

Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:33-34

BY She Reads Truth

I will open my mouth in parables;
I will declare things kept secret

from the foundation of the world.
—Matthew 13:35

The Prodigal Son. The Good Samaritan. The Pearl of Great Price. You’ve heard the stories, but do you know them in their original context? In this 3-week study of the Parables of Jesus, we will read through many of the well-known—and not so well-known—stories Jesus used to teach hearers, both then and now, about how to live as His followers. Each day we will read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. In lieu of reading a devotional response, we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.


Week 1: Parables about God’s Kingdom

Parables are stories with a point. They are designed to make us think about what is being said, why, where, to whom, and in what context. To get to the heart of Jesus’ parables, we need to pull them apart and take a careful look at the details He gives us. One detail that runs through this week’s selection of parables is that Jesus says they all describe the kingdom of God in some way. As you read through these passages, use the following questions to unpack the stories Jesus tells.


Day 1 Reading: Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:33-34


1. Today’s reading gives us not only a parable, but Jesus’ own words about why He used them. How would you summarize why Jesus spoke in parables? How does that help prepare you to read through them?

2. What situation or problem is addressed in today’s particular parable, and what is the outcome of the story?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What is your response to this parable?



Post Comments (166)

166 thoughts on "Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?"

  1. Erin Pettengill says:

    Parables, to me, are a story in pictures that I can see in my head when I read them. They come alive.

  2. Michelle St. John says:

    I have been feeling like I’m in a spiritual slump these last couple months. I feel I’ve become overwhelmed and unmotivated because of life’s worries, my job, thinking about the future as an expectant mother, and I’ve been so focused on myself that I’ve been unfruitful. I’m praying that my time in this study would help to refocus me and that by Gods grace id bear fruit once again.

  3. Pamela Barr says:

    I’ve been really struggling with my faith lately. Just questioning a lot of things. But something that always leads me back to believing in him is his revolutionary way of thinking and treating people, specifically women. The fact that he treated them so well and held them to such a high standard during a time where women were REALLY second class, shows us how loving and perfect Jesus was. I know that might seem like a weird reason as to why I truly believe he was/is the son of God but i thought about that today while journaling and it really made me fall in love with him all over again. So long story short, I needed this.

  4. Lorelei Kerns says:

    I just began this study this week, and I can’t wait to dig deeper and find a more special understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Word!

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