A parable is a basic story used to show a spiritual lesson. This is how the definition generally goes, however I discover it odd due to the fact that I’m not sure that’s really proper. What’s fascinating when we read about Jesus’ parables is that many people did not comprehend them. In fact, when we find ourselves believing that Jesus’ mentors are just comprehended, that might be an indication that we are misconstruing them.
I find a more helpful method of getting at the significance of parables is to ask the question, why did Jesus inform parables? Did Jesus tell them to expose or to hide? The response isn’t straightforward because that gets at the function of the parables themselves. We find this illustrated for us in Luke 8:1 -21. There, Jesus informs the Parable of the Sower, which is possibly his 2nd best popular parable after the Prodigal Son.The parable is basic:”A sower headed out to sow his seed. And as he planted, some fell along the path and was squashed underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell amongst thorns, and the thorns matured with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” (Luke 8:5 -8 )Jesus goes on to describe, because it wasn’t clear to his disciples,”The seed is the word of God. The ones along the course are those who have actually heard. Then the devil comes and eliminates the word from their hearts, so that they might not believe and be conserved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with pleasure. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and satisfaction of life, and their fruit does not fully grown. When it comes to that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it quickly in an honest and excellent heart, and bear fruit with patience”(Luke 8:11 -15). The manner in which some have actually interpreted this parable is that we are contacted us to analyze the sort of soil we are to ensure that we are all set to receive the Word of God. It doesn’t teach us to ensure we’re the best type of soil. The parable of the sower teaches us particular things, but possibly not what we ‘d expect. The parable teaches, initially, to be open with the Word of God. Anybody who has in fact planted a garden or farmed must be a bit put-off by how Jesus lays things out. People who plant seeds don’t open their front door and begin, immediately, to spread seed everywhere! It’s finest to discover the best type of soil, or to cultivate it, and then to plant the seed there where you understand it will settle and produce great fruit. But that’s the point that Jesus is making. We don’t understand which hearts are responsive to the Word of God, and so we aren’t contacted us to determine the soils. We’re contacted us to be promiscuous with the Word of God and plant it everywhere. The parable teaches us, even more, that we ought to expect all the various
reactions to God’s Word as it is put out. Some will outright reject it, thinking that they are much better than requiring some word from a divine being. Others will respond, however only briefly. Still others will react, but the cares of the world will choke out that response. They will discover themselves drawn away from God’s Word to the important things that the world values such as money and enjoyment. Still others will get the Word of God and it will grow in them.Jesus teaches us, then, to be all set for all these different reactions so that we will be neither overly stunned nor overly discouraged.
The fact of the matter is that true Christians understand those who fall under all of these classifications. It can be hard when friends and family turn down the faith. It can be challenging when somebody who has actually relatively strolled as a follower for so long leaves and turns down the faith. The call to us is in Luke 8:18,”Make sure then how you hear.” Everett Henes, pastor of Hillsdale Orthodox Presbyterian Church, might be reached [email protected]