Jesus used parables to tell people about the truth. These word pictures taught spiritual lessons to help them understand the way of righteousness. When the disciples asked Jesus why he taught in parables, he replied: “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (nonbelievers) it has not been granted” (Matthew 13:11).
People in general, understand stories but as followers of Jesus, we especially should understand the stories of the Bible. The parable of the sower tells us if we plant our lives in God, we will produce much. (Matthew 13) The parable of the net shows us how the good will be separated from the bad. (Matthew 13: 47-51) The parable of the 10 virgins teaches us to be prepared for the day when the Lord appears. (Matthew 25)
Yet, if we do not listen to Jesus, it may seem as if we don’t understand. There are many arguments as to why these stories don’t fit our daily lives. In the first story of the seeds, nonbelievers might argue that people are much different than seeds. In the second, that talking about good and bad fish has nothing to do with how we live. In the third, that the five virgins who kept their extra oil to themselves were not fair to the other five whom suddenly needed more. We can share so many points of view behind each lesson.
Though there are many who would say these are foolish stories, there are others who would jump right in with explanations. But we have to remember due to living so much in the world we often do not see beyond ourselves to the plan of God. Let us take time to help ourselves and others understand and perhaps if we begin to comprehend the parables of Jesus better we might renew our relationship with Jesus or draw others into one.
Pastor Kimberly Arbaugh
Carrollton First UMC