Parables and Miracles
Open Your Bible
Luke 8:1-56, Psalm 107:28-32, Acts 28:25-28
Jesus used parables to teach both the crowds and His disciples. Typically, He first spoke the parable in the hearing of all, and then in private explained it to His disciples. But even the disciples were curious about this, and so they asked Jesus, “Why are you speaking to them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).
It’s a funny thought. Why would Jesus want to make things more complicated? Isn’t the kingdom of heaven a sufficiently difficult idea to grasp without riddles? And isn’t it hard enough to comprehend what it means that Jesus is the Messiah, even when explained in plain Aramaic?
Yes! And here’s Jesus’s fascinating response, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them” (v.11). What?! The disciples got secrets that everyone else didn’t get? But wait, there’s more. Jesus continued, “For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. That is why I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand” (vv.12–13).
They think they understand, but they don’t. Now when we read Jesus’s parable of the sower and see the Word fall on unfruitful ground, we can see what He’s talking about. Some hearts are hard, and some hearts are not ready.
Christ’s Word was at the center of His ministry. His Word is valuable—His Word is life—and not everyone understood it. We stand at a wonderful time in history because now we, like His disciples, get to be taken aside to hear Him explain His own Word. The messianic mystery is made even more understandable for us than it was for the disciples because we have access to the entirety of Scripture.
Like the disciples, we need Christ to interpret His Word. Without the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, we are like those who have eyes yet see not, and have ears yet hear not. Apart from Christ, we are unfit soil and will bear no fruit.
Like the disciples, we are to listen attentively and carefully, seeking to know more. We are not to clutter our hearts with the vain loves and cares of this world. “Therefore, take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18). The light of the world has come to reveal all things, and in His light, nothing remains hidden. So let us look to the Lord and ask Him to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to believe (Acts 28:27).