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The Parable of the Soils – Prologue – Why parables?

The Sower - Van Gogh

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10 NASB)

Why indeed! I have heard preachers tell me Jesus spoke in parables that related spiritual things to the land and farming so that simple farmers could understand these high and lofty principles of the kingdom of God.

That is not how Jesus answers this question. He does not say, “I am keeping it simple so the simple folk get it.”

His answer is actually a bit sobering. Matthew has more here than Mark and Luke, so let’s look there.

And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

"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. And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM.’

But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." (Matthew 13:11-17 NASB)

This is pretty staggering to me. Jesus is actually telling stories in order to leave those who will not hear in their ignorance.

Jesus quotes Isaiah’s judgment on the people. You have turned your hearts from me, which is evidenced by your refusal to hear. And so when I speak, I will speak in such away that you will not understand.

So is it hopeless? Is the die cast? Is there no hope if you have once turned away from the Lord?

I don’t believe that for a second.

But you do need to turn to the Lord, and away from all that has drawn you from Him. You must choose to hear only Him, and forsake that which has drawn your eyes from the wonder of His beautiful holiness. [Tweet This]

Otherwise you will never see that which your heart needs in order to be healed.

Today, don’t harden your heart, but stop, look, and listen to the voice of the Spirit calling to you.

Don’t delay.

BenThanks for stopping in today friends.

Come back tomorrow when we start looking at the soils


0 thoughts on “The Parable of the Soils – Prologue – Why parables?

  1. Francis Drake

    The parables are parallel stories which are intended not to be read with just with our flesh (intellectual) eyes, but with our spirit eyes.
    This is why Jesus says, "seeing, they see not".
    Again this is why Jesus said in Mk4v13 that if they didn't understand this parable, then they would never understand ANY of his parables.
    Sadly many Christians, including teachers, really don't grasp the necessity of reading and listening with the eye of the spirit. It is primarily the intellect that they extol when accruing biblical truth.
    Their minds have never been humbled before God so they eat and drink from the Tree of Knowledge, even if it is God they study.
    This is why Jesus made it plain that a child, whose intellect was unformed, was ahead of an adult when it came to seeing or entering the Kingdom of Heaven. How arrogant it is that the church tells us that a child cannot make that decision for Christ until he knows enough information.
    As a little child, of non christian parents, I knew nothing of the gospel when God first spoke to me alone in my bedroom. I met with the Holy Spirit long before I knew there ever was a Holy Spirit or a Christ who died for me.
    By the time I first heard the gospel preached in my mid 20s, I had already known the voice of God telling me that there was nobody "good", but that God himself had made a way, and that He didn't dwell in church buildings but in lived my heart.

    After initially rejecting these evangelists, that same Spirit working on my heart showed that they were talking about the one I already knew, and thus I became a "Christian" in my mid 20s.

    For added interest, my wife also had a similar experience. She, (whether in the body or without) actually was drawn up to heaven whilst she was 3 years old and saw all sorts of amazing things of Paradise, including the walls and gates of precious stones in the City of God
    She also was not evangelised until her late teens, but the thing that convinced her of the message was reading the descriptions of Heaven in Revelation. She had already been there as a child!

    1. Ben Nelson

      You make some really good point Frank! And i love the testimonies you've shared. thanks for stopping by. This particular teaching gets bigger in my heart each time i ponder it. Glad to have your input.


  2. chris

    I am fairly new to my faith, so I don't understand why Jesus wouldn't want people to understand what he was saying. Also, Jesus then explained this parable. Why would He do that if he didn't want people to understand. Thank you for your time.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hey Chris - welcome!
      Those are great questions. It was not that He did not want anyone to understand, but rather He wanted people to listen actively. He makes the point that just hearing the words is not enough, but we need to actually act on what He is telling us.

      The crowds who were following Him where there for various reasons - some to really learn and grow to be like Him, others hoping to see a miracle, others for a free meal.

      He often says things with what seems like the express intension of offending some of them. The whole middle of the book of John is like that - from Chapter 5 to 8 His message gets harder and harder until he looks at the disciples and say - Are you going away too?

      But Peter nails it when he says - where would we go - You have the words of life.

      Regarding your second question - based on the account He explains it to those who were following and hungry. He says - To you it is given to understand.

      For the next couple days i will be unpacking this a bit at a time, and it may make more sense by the time we are done. Hang in there!

      And thanks again for coming and for asking.


      1. Chris

        Thank you for your reply. I have so much to learn! I find your blog simple enogh to learn from on ifst reading, but thought provoking as I mull it over, if that makes sense. Thank you!

  3. Caddo Veil

    Not that I fear I'm in any danger--not planning to turn away from God--but I'm hoping to gain more clarity/understanding. I appreciated Chris' questions and your reply--they benefit even us "old folks" in the faith. And wasn't it gratifying to you, to hear confirmation from a new believer of what "we" (your regulars) have been saying--that you deliver messages in a clear, simple style?! God bless you and the fam--love, sis Caddo

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thanks much Caddo. It is in fact these questions that drive me back to Jesus over and over again. This old guy is still asking the questions, and saying - do i have it right here.

      It sure is gratifying to hear.

      I am really excited about the next couple posts, so hang on for the ride.

      Bless you sis.

  4. Debbie

    Thank you for talking about this, Mr. Ben! Great post about Jesus using parables. I'd heard that too, that He used them so people could relate, so thanks for showing how that wasn't quite it. God bless you! I'm praying now to see and hear as He desires me to!


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