This is a common question people ask.
Matthew 13 has got a lot of parables and in this chapter this question was asked to Jesus by his disciples themselves and Jesus himself gave them the answer. Let us see the reason Jesus had.
10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Vs.10. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
Jesus’ reply was ‘the knowledge of the secret of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you and not to them.’
Now we wonder why not ‘them’ ?
1. To identify and help those who are seeking God with all their hearts.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
God is not far from any of us;
26) but He will be found only if we seek him with all our hearts.
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
How does Jesus know that we are seeking Him with all our hearts?
Big crowds came to listen to Jesus. But he knew “many are called but few are chosen”.
To find out who is really seeking God with all their hearts, Jesus spoke in parables and left the place. Then those who are seriously seeking God came after him and requested Jesus for the explanation of the parables. Jesus was happy to explain the parables for those who were serious. Those who sought God were able to find Him through Jesus. They remained faithful as disciples and were saved.
What can we learn from this? We must also seek God with all our hearts. If we are seeking God with all our hearts, we will never miss any meetings. We will bring our Bibles and write notes when we listen to any message or discipling time lesson or even our own personal Bible studies.
We need to be humble and eager to get to know God?
Let us decide today to seek God with all our hearts. Let us seriously take notes and check our hearts with it again and correct ourselves.
Let us clear our doubts from the Bible and have a full understanding of Christ.
Also, when we teach the Bible to people, observe them and see if they are eagerly studying the Bible as the Bereans
10-12) and are clearing their doubts etc.
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
These are good signs of their eagerness in seeking God and be fired up about making them disciples.
If you are visiting with us or studying the Bible with us here, have more eagerness because only if you seek God with all your heart you will find him.
2. Parables made the gospel attractive
1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
Certainly Paul gained this conviction from Jesus.
Just as Jesus was willing to become a mere human being to save all human beings, he was also willing to relate to them in all possible ways especially in his teaching and preaching.
Relating to people in our teaching is so important because that helps them to pay more attention to our teaching and through that the word of God will dwell in them and produce fruits.
Paul tells Titus in Titus 2:10 “ ….in every way they will make the teaching about God our saviour attractive.”
Parables that are related to the daily lives or life styles of the listeners made Jesus’s messages very attractive to the point where even the Pharisees realised “ …. people hung on his words.”
Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
One of the reasons Jesus used parables is to relate to people.
Let us see a few examples:
1. Luke 14:15-24 : Parable of the great banquet: told while Jesus was in a banquet in the house of a prominent Pharisee.
2. Luke 15:1-11 Parable of the Lost Sheep: while teaching the Pharisees and Teachers of the law, who should have been the shepherds of God’s flock- the Israelites.
3. Matthew 13 : Parable of the Sower :
4. Matthew 13 : Parable of the Weeds
5. Matthew 13 : Parable of the Mustard seed and the Yeast
6. Matthew 13 : Parable of the Hidden treasure and the Pearl (Hidden in the fields)
7. Matthew 13 : Parable of the Net
8. Luke 12 : Parable of the Rich Fool : Spoken to a man who wanted Jesus to divide his property. (Must have been a rich man)
Let us imitate Jesus and make our preaching also attractive and use parables and illustrations too according the kinds of people that we are teaching .
That will help them feel like we do care and that we are taking interest in their lives and not only interested in Baptising them.
To do that we need to spend time to know their background and even to study the fields they are interested in.
Jesus was a carpenter in profession.
He did not convert only carpenters.
But Jesus made so much of efforts to learn fishing, gardening, farming, handling money, tax laws etc. Just to relate to people and convert them.
It is time for us to check ourselves and see what are we doing to relate to people around us.
All are not like us and we hardly find many like us with same backgrounds and interests.
But we must deny ourselves and take initiatives to learn more things about which people are interested like languages of people around us, cultures, history of places we live in, current affairs or what is going on around us, movies, sports, music, computers etc. to relate to people.
Let us remember Love Never Fails. As we relate to people and make the gospel attractive God will make us abundantly fruitful.
We are called to make disciples of all nations in this Generation and it takes all of us to imitate Jesus.
Let us do anything to make the Dream of Jesus come true.