A parable is loosely defined as an earthly narrative with a heavenly touch and meaning. Jesus’s disciples asked Him why he used parables. Jesus may have used parables to draw the complete attention of his followers. He did it to distinguish between serious kingdom seekers and the rest.
Jesus also used parables to fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah. Isaiah reiterated that people will hear but will not understand, see but will not perceive and their hearts will grow dull. For those who would understand the parables and interpret them, they would have a deeper understanding of the kingdom of God. In so doing, their faith and belief in God would be strengthened.
Jesus spoke in parables for the enlightenment of the true-hearted. He used parables to enlighten those with real hearts and whose hearts were filled with sincerity and those whose hearts were thirsting for righteousness. This is well explained in the parable of the sower which says that “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The sincere hearts therefore genuinely seek to know more about Almighty and interpret God’s teachings.
Jesus used parables to make people think critically about the Father and eternal life. He wanted people to be keen and remain steadfast in understanding God and His teachings. He taught about the broad and the narrow gate and expected people to think just beyond literal narrow and wide gates.
Jesus used these parables to give people clear choices. He used the parables to divide every situation into two, the black and the white, the good and the bad and the righteous and unrighteous. He taught the parable of the sheep and goats and expected people to choose whether they were sheep or goats.
Jesus also used the parables to give no ground to his enemies. The enemies always expected Jesus to say something they could take advantage. However, Jesus made it hard for them by speaking in parables hence avoiding an interesting debate with his enemies. Jesus was indeed the master of parables. These parables had significant effects on the serious kingdom seekers who became radicalized and later on went to preach the gospel.
The parables were important in conveying important messages to the listeners. The parables were important in the sense that they propagated salvation and spread the information about the kingdom.
The parables were important in revealing the hidden secrets and information one require entering the kingdom of God. The parable also concealed some answers so that those who were serious about entering the kingdom could do their best to uncover the secrets.
Christians are therefore expected to understand symbolism that comes along with parables that were taught by Jesus. Christians, therefore, consider parables as life changing experiences that affect their spiritual lives.
Reflect on Jesus’ imagery and language in the Parable of the Sower. Discuss the ideas presented in this parable. What is this parable about? What does this parable suggest about the difficulties of the spiritual life? What is your interpretation of this parable?
Jesus adopted the parable of the sower to teach his listeners and followers. He explained saying that a sower sows seeds on the path or wayside, others on a hard and rocky ground and among thorns but when it is planted on a good earth, it sprouts and brings a hundred folds.
In this parable, a farmer who plants seeds on a rocky ground will not reap because of the plant withers because they had no roots. The seeds that fell along the path were eaten by birds while the ones that fell among thorns were choked as they grew. However, the ones that fell on the fertile ground grew to produce a hundred fold (Butler, 2012).
This parable suggests that the spiritual life is indeed full of challenges. Those who hear the word and then the word departs from them are likened to the seeds that grown on the wayside. The seeds that grow among thorns are the people who hear the word but are pricked by worldly pleasure hence they leave the word. The seeds that fell on a hard rock are those Christians who hear the word but do not have others to support them just like moisture supports seeds. Hence they wither. The people who hear the word, guide it and keep it are like the seed that fell on good ground. They grow and produce a hundred folds.
The parable of the sower is indeed an excellent way to teach the serious kingdom seekers. People have to choose which plant they want to be (Barclay, 1999). The one that produces a hundred folds or the one that withers.
Barclay, W. (1999). The parables of Jesus. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press.
Butler, O. (2012). Parable of the sower. New York: Open Road Integrated Media.