Why Did Jesus Preach in Parables? | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

Why Did Jesus Preach in Parables?

The following are links to sermons by Dr. Richard Caldwell that exposit several of the parables found in the Gospel of Mark and a link for all the conference messages from Founders Baptist’s – Truth in Love Conference 2020: The Priority of Preaching, mentioned by Dr. Caldwell in the podcast:

Stubborn Blindness

The Purpose For Parables

God’s Word Received - Pts. 1 & 2

A Stone Rejected, A Savior Raised

Stay Awake

Truth in Love Conference 2020: The Priority of Preaching

Watch this episode on Vimeo

Why Did Jesus Preach in Parables?

Why did Jesus preach in parables? Why was the meaning of them only explained to His disciples and not the crowds more generally? This appears intentional as if Jesus didn’t want them to understand what He was saying, how could this be? This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot discuss these questions. They seek to help us understand why Jesus used parables to teach during His time here on earth and why they are helpful to believers. They also point out why we must take them seriously, and not just graze over them because we say we believe or already believe.

Dr. Caldwell says we, as believers tend to think of parables helping us get a hold of the truth. Often they involve stories that are illustrative using things we are very familiar with, therefore they do tend to be helpful. However, he explains that we have to put our feet in the shoes of those who would have first been hearing these parables. Those people would have been wondering: what does this mean and why would Jesus do this? Dr. Caldwell asks, “Why would Jesus teach in such a way that would cause people to not get the message and then go and explain it to His disciples so that they can get the message?” He points us to the Word of God and tells us that Jesus answers it. He turns to Matthew 13:10-15 for us to see what Jesus Himself has to say about it.

What Christ Explains 

What Christ explains in these verses, is that this manner of teaching is a form of judgment. He has spoken to these people plainly and clearly. He says that what He has given them they haven’t received, their ears are dull and their hearts are hard. Christ has said that He was willing to heal and bless them, but they would not receive it. Therefore, when He teaches in a way that only His disciples have access to it, but the rest of the crowds do not, this is just. It’s a form of demonstrating God’s judgment against people who won’t listen.

But for those who do believe, those whom the Lord has saved, these parables are helpful to us as they would have been to Jesus’ disciples. Just as Jesus explained, these things mean something, they express something that we need to take seriously. It’s a dangerous thing to hear the truth and not pay attention to it. God may justly take away from you what you have because you didn’t take hold of it, you weren’t willing to hear it.

Dr. Philpot says that he has heard people say that preachers today should be preaching as Jesus preached. Some say preachers ought to be using stories and parabolic teaching. He asks Dr. Caldwell, what could he say about this? Dr. Caldwell explains that if preachers today practiced in this way with parabolic stories, they would be practicing a method of preaching that was intended to express judgment. This isn’t what you see in the New Testament.

The Normal Approach that you See In the New Testament

The normal approach that you see in the New Testament is expository preaching. This begins with reading the text, then explaining the text, synthesizing or summarizing the text, applying the text, exhorting people, and calling people to obey by responding to it. This is expository preaching and it is the very method Peter used on the day of Pentecost when he preached his sermon.

As the preacher faithfully preaches the Word of God, it is as God making His appeal through the preacher, as he both exhorts and begs people to be reconciled to Christ. Preachers in this way are acting as both evangelists and shepherds who are feeding the flock as they teach and preach. Many other examples of this method of preaching can be found throughout the New Testament. Preaching is to be done expositorily, rather than with any imaginative or creative alteration by way of parabolic stories.

Lastly, Dr. Philpot wonders who Jesus is speaking to specifically when He says, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand…”? Who is this audience here in the book of Matthew? He makes the point that others believed in Jesus, beyond His disciples, during His time on the earth. So then, who is the indictment on in this passage? Dr. Caldwell explains that the reference here would be the Jews.

Christ’s Ministry Began to the Nation of Israel

Christ’s ministry began to the nation, the people of Israel. They had a covenantal relationship with God as a nation and were meant to be a conduit for the proliferation of God’s message to the world, but they failed. Dr. Philpot reminds us that the very message Jesus gives them here in Matthew13:14-15 are the very words Isaiah the prophet preached about 700 years earlier. Dr. Caldwell affirms this and explains what we see here in Matthew is the culmination of judgment upon the nation. God had been very patient with them, sending prophets and speaking to them in many ways and finally, He sends His very own Son. Here they have His Son speaking to them, and as a whole, they reject the Messiah that God had promised to send them. So these parables were His very expression of judgment.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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