What is a parable: And why was it necessary to speak in parable
Most common answer to what is a parable is to state that it is a simile or it is an Metaphor, however that is not strictly true as only some of Jesus parables involve doing a comparison such as ‘the kingdom of heaven is like or as’. So if all His parables are not stated with such figure of speech it is clear that you cannot simple say parables are similes. It is also clear that not all of Jesus parables can be called a metaphor because not all are reduced to a single word expressing a similarity without the signs of comparison such as ‘ye are a temple of God‘.
So what then is a parable and why was it necessary to use such, simply put a parable is a statement that conveys a meaning indirectly. It is a short story that portrays familiar events to illustrate a spiritual or ethical point. These stories contained concealed truths, and its purpose is to give revelation by illustration. Thus a parable will convey truth in every day term yet confound by its concealment, truth from those who refuse to believe.
Jesus began to teach in parables following the barrage of verbal assaults and opposition that was levied at His message from the Scribes and Pharisees throughout Matthew chapters 5 to chapter 12. I guess you could say Jesus reached a point where He needed to find another way in to deliver His message, a point where it was necessary to change the way He presented His message in order to challenge people’s faith concerning His mission and His identity. Jesus use of parables then would uncover the faith of His disciples and demonstrate judgment on those who refuse to see or hear.
Just because people was rejecting His message did not mean it should not be delivered therefore it was necessary to bring home in a more simplistic way the message, so that even those who had deliberately closed their eyes and ears and refused to receive His teaching would hear and understand even if they did not perceive the truth of what was being said. Matthew 21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them. The story registered with priests and pharisees yet they fail to comprehend the central message. Their failure to properly interpret the message correctly led to them rejecting Jesus.
But just as with Isaiah the message still had to be delivered even if they did not want it.
And He said, go and tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not: and see ye indeed, but perceived not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy and shut their eyes lest they see with their eyes, lest they hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Written by Angela Doreen