Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Why Tell Stories?
10 The disciples came up and asked, “Why do you tell stories?”
11-15 He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward a welcome awakening. In their present state, they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. I don’t want Isaiah’s forecast repeated all over again:
Your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing.
The people are stupid!
They stick their fingers in their ears
so they won’t have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
so they won’t have to look,
so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face
and let me heal them.
-Matthew 13:10-15 The Message
An Explanation for Parables
Verse 10: And the disciples came up and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Verse 10 study: Jesus is not hiding the truth from sincere seekers speaking in parables because those who were receptive to spiritual truth understood the illustrations. To others, it’s just a story with no meaning. So it allowed Jesus to give spiritual food to those who hungered for it while preventing his enemies from trapping him sooner than they might otherwise have done.
Verse 11: And Jesus answered them, “To you, it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it has not been granted.
Verse 12: For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
Verse 12 study: This phrase means we have to be responsible to use well what we have. When people reject Jesus, the hardness of their hearts drives away or renders useless, even with the little understanding they had.
Verse 13: Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Verse 14: And in their case, the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You shall keep on listening, but shall not understand;
And you shall keep on looking, but shall not perceive;
Verse 15: For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears, they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise, they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their heart, and return,
And I would heal them.’
Matthew 19:11; 20:23, John 6:65; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 2:20, 27
Matthew 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 19:26
Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 42:19, 20: Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2
Isaiah 6:9; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26, 27; Romans 10:16; 11:8
Isaiah 6:10; Psalm 119:70; Zechariah 7:11; Luke 19:42; John 8:43, 44; 2 Timothy 4:4; Hebrews 5:11
Father, we understand your purpose in parables. I pray we can use your parables in our situation for deep understanding. It is your way of speaking to us; let us hear it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.