Parables of Jesus

Parables of Jesus

    Why Jesus Spoke In Parables
  • Terms:
    Gross - Lacking sensitivity or discernment; unrefined or Carnal; sensual.
    Jesus Refers To: (Isaiah 6:9) in (Matthew 13:14)
    (Matthew 13:10-17) NKJV
    10  And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables?
    11  He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
    12  For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.
    13  Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand.
    14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, "By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive;
    15  for this people's heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
    16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
    17  For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard them.

       “Jesus explained to his disciples that he had two reasons for speaking in parables: to reveal and to conceal.  Parables revealed truth to believers but concealed that same truth from certain unbelievers. A parable is easy to remember, so it can help a believer remember or recall the truth that Jesus taught in a particular parable. But, sad to say, there are people in this world from whom God is determined to conceal his truth. God wants all people to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved, but his patience is not inexhaustible.            See (1 Timothy 2:4)
       When people stubbornly and persistently despise God’s Word and insist on going their own way, despite many God-given opportunities to know and do what is right, God finally withdraws his grace from them. They harden their hearts against God’s Word, and finally God hardens their hearts by means of that same Word. We cannot judge when an unbeliever’s heart is so hardened that God’s Word will only harden it more; only God can look into the heart and understand that. So we should be very reluctant to give up and to regard anyone as a hopeless case as far as the kingdom of God is concerned. We must not pronounce such a judgment upon anyone; we must only warn people that this tragedy can happen.
       The final consequence of spiritual hardening will be that those people who are consigned to eternal damnation in hell will be without excuse. They will have no one to blame but themselves. They will finally realize this fact, but then it will be impossible to do anything about it. We all need to be careful that we do not fall from the faith and lose our salvation. The solution is, of course, our regular and faithful use of the means of grace, the gospel in Word and sacrament. As we continue to nourish our souls with the gospel, our faith will be strengthened and preserved, and no one will be able to pluck us out of our Savior’s hand.”[1]

    More commentary by the Kretzmann Project
    [1] Matthew the people’s Bible by G.J. Albrecht / M.J. Albrecht, Published by Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-8100-0582-4, pages 192-193
    Parable of The Sower and The Seed
  • (Matthew 13:1-9) KJV
    1  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
    Jesus Explains The Parable of The Sower and The Seed:
    (Matthew 13:18-23) KJV
    18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
    What is the benefit of this parable:                        
    “When people hear the gospel and believe it, that is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is a gift of God. On the other hand, when some hear the gospel and reject it, that is entirely their own fault. That doesn’t sound reasonable or fair to our human minds, but that is what God says and we leave it at that. Another benefit of this parable is to see ourselves all the way through it. By nature we all were like that hard ground, totally unreceptive to the gospel and at the mercy of the devil. Sometimes we are like that shallow ground, and we imagine that we don’t need to sink our roots deeply into the soil in order to be able to endure whatever might come into our lives. And we surely are all subject to “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth.”  As we take this whole parable to heart, let us thank God for having brought us to the knowledge of the truth and for having given us unlimited opportunities for growing in faith and godliness through the power of the gospel of Christ.”[1]

    More Commentary from The Kretzmann Project.
    [1] Matthew the people’s Bible by G.J Albrecht / M.J. Albrecht, Published by Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-8100-0582-4, page 197.
    Parable of The Tares
  • Terms:
    Tares - Any of various weedy plants of the genus Vicia,  especially the common vetch.

    (Matthew 13:24-30) KJV
    24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
    Jesus Explains The Parable of The Tares:
    Matthew 13:36-43) KJV
    36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
    Jesus makes a clear contrast on what is going to happen to the believer (good seed) and the unbeliever (tares or weeds) in the last day. Jesus also explains that he lets unbelievers exist for the sake of the believers. (Matthew 13:29) We do well to root ourselves deeply into the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thereby protecting us from all the  unbelievers of this world who attempt to rob us of our faith.
    “Remember that in this parable the field is the world, not the church. We have no right to exterminate unbelievers from this world. There have been too many instances when the church attempted to do just that. Think of historical events like the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the many religious wars, some of which still trouble us today.” [1]
    More Commentary from the Kretzmann Project
    [1] Matthew the people’s Bible by G.J. Albrecht / M.J. Albrecht, published by Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-8100-0582-4, page 202.
    Parable of The Good Samaritan
  • Luke: 10:25  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    Luke: 10:26  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

    Luke: 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

    Luke: 10:28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

    Luke: 10:29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

    Luke: 10:30  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

    Luke: 10:31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

    Luke: 10:32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

    Luke: 10:33  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

    Luke: 10:34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

    Luke: 10:35  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

    Luke: 10:36  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

    Luke: 10:37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


    Points revealed in this parable: How do we inherit eternal life?  Who is our neighbor?

    The lawyer is arrogant enough to believe that there is something we can do to inherit eternal life. Eternal life is a gift from God through faith in his Son, our savior Jesus, The Christ, The Anointed One of God. Man is incapable of inheriting eternal life on his own merits. That’s why God sent us his Son, Jesus, not only to accomplish for us what we could not do for ourselves, but also to take our place before the judgement seat of God for the atonement of all our sins. Faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life. (John 14:6)
    "Generally among the Jews the neighbor was defined as a fellow countryman, one of the same race. This parable overturns such an understanding of the word "neighbor". The early church saw in the Good Samaritan none other than Jesus himself. No one else so radically fulfilled the love commandment." [1]

    [1] “Luke” the people’s Bible byVictor H. Prange p. 126

    Repentance And The Barren Fig Tree
  • First we must understand what Jesus means by saying repent. There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.                     

     (1.) The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matthew 27:3).

    (2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

    Easton's Illustrated Dictionary

     Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Psalms 119:128; Job 42:5-6; 2 Corinthians 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.  

    Easton's Illustrated Dictionary


    Repent: Metanoeo is used here in the Greek manuscript, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.

    Luke: 13:1 : There were present at that time some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

    Luke: 13:2 : And Jesus answering said unto them, Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?

    Luke: 13:3:  I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

    Luke: 13:4:  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

    Luke: 13:5 : I tell you, No: but, except you repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Barren Fig Tree:

    Luke: 13:6: He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

    Luke: 13:7:  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

    Luke: 13:8: And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

    Luke: 13:9: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

    Luke: 13:10:  And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

    Try to get the picture. Christ in these passages was talking to good people who believed the old tradition that people suffered only because of their sins. So they logically concluded that those in Galilee and at the Tower of Siloam who died such horrible deaths must have been great sinners. Christ contradicts what they "suppose" (Luke 13:2) and "think" (Luke 13:4) and tells these self-righteous people that they need to change their minds and see themselves as sinners too or they will perish in their own self-righteousness. For in the eyes of God all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23) and we are all viewed the same; as sinners in need of repentance. "We must not interpret unusual earthly suffering and death as a specific punishment for some sin."[1]

    "The parable told by Jesus about the fig tree brings out the truth that God gives people time to repent. God is very patient, not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance(2 Peter 3:9). However, the delay in judgment should not cause people to put off repentance.  The time will finally come when the unfruitful tree is cut down. The opportunity for repentance does finally come to an end." [2]


    [1] "Luke" the people's Bible by Victor H. Prange p.155

    [2] "Luke" the people's Bible by Victor H. Prange p.157