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.

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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.

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

Questions:

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?

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Post Comments (166)

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

  1. Chelsea Hlad says:

    Parables help you relate

  2. Annie Myburgh says:

    My opinion of Jesus speaking in parables is to make his word relatable to the everyday person. People often get confused by what is written in the Bible but Jesus spoke in a way the made people listen.

  3. Nicole Poplewko says:

    I view what jesus said as a perspective of the abundance of people in the world we have and the lives we all live, see through the eyes of not just ourselves but through his eyes. the eyes of heaven and giving. the true value of yourself, to learn what can be taken from you if you do not see what can be taken from others.

  4. Caroline Spigner says:

    I think that Jesus spoke in parables because He was demonstrating that without Him, without seeking the kingdom of Heaven all of this—the Bible is just stories. We can read the words but we will never understand them. Without true, honest relationship and fellowship with Him the words have no meaning, and we have no purpose. We first have to accept Him and His fellowship before we can accept understanding.

    1. Glory Smith says:

      This is such a beautiful explanation. Without Jesus we are not able to interpret His word and His intention for the message in our life.

    2. Marissa Carter says:

      I love your response! I completely agree! Once Jesus has our whole hearts in a true relationship, he can begin to reveal things to our hearts that we may have never understood or realized before. I believe parables were his way of making stories relatable, but also presenting something that makes us want to go deeper in understanding.

  5. Joyce Otakasongo says:

    I think the point of these parables was to witness. You can witness to so many people, most of which won’t be affected by it (the seeds on rocky ground) but it’s still worth it because someone WILL be affected, they will be that good ground. Sowing the seeds of the gospel.

  6. Sarah Cho says:

    I think he spoke in parables in order to reach the believers in his secret “spiritual language”. He knew the hearts of the self-righteous did not have “ear to hear”. God spoke in parables because His sheep recognize his voice and it allows for the Holy Spirit to speak to the soul. This way we understand with our spirits rather than Jesus spoon feeding us and then have us only understand Him with our minds.

  7. Lesa Payne says:

    When a friend or family member says something that we don’t understand, it prompts questions for further detail, “what? why?” In asking the questions, we give the speaker an opportunity to peel back the first layer and give us a different and deeper explanation. Asking people questions are important, and help us to draw closer and build deeper relationships with our friends and family. It is the same with Jesus. I believe Jesus used parables in this way, to provoke questions and deeper reflection. So that those who truly wanted to learn more would ask, seek, and knock. Jesus wants a relationship with us. He wants us to press in, dig deeper and walk closely with him. Parables spark conversation and pray with our Lord to help us better understand Who He is and His promises to us. ❤️

    1. Charlie Mcfarlane says:

      I love this!

  8. Ivie Imoisili says:

    Jesus speaks to not only listening and understanding the word but also choosing to live by the word. Some will read and understand and as soon as adversity strikes, they are using earthly solutions instead of going according to God’s plan.

    The central point of this parable is to strive to read, understand and live according to his word.

    I feel that i am the seeds that was down on rocky ground. And i am working towards becoming the seeds sown in rich soil. I want to read, understand and live right.

    1. Kirsten Nelms says:

      I’m somewhere in between as well. I think it’s important for us to recognize this is our position so we can dig deeper with an open heart. We won’t be shaken when trials come because of the hope we have after reading this passage.

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