10/21/18 – The Parables of Jesus – Part 1 – The Purpose of Parables

The Parables of Christ

Part 1 The Purpose of Parables

Sermon Setup

Series Dates and Topics

  1. The Purpose of Parables
  2. The Sower of Seed Explained
  3. The Wheat and the Tares
  4. The Mustard Seed and Leavened Bread
  5. The Treasure in the Field and the Pearl of Great Price
  6. The Unforgiving Servant
  7. The Lost Son
  8. The Great Feast

Opening Passage

Matthew 13:1-9 (NKJV)

On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

You’ll have to return next week for the unfolding of the parable of the sower. I wouldn’t miss it because within it are the keys to a greater understanding of all the parables and frankly the whole bible!

Introduction

Jesus Always Taught the Public Through the Use of Parables

Matthew 13:34-35 (NKJV)

All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

Mark 4:34 (NKJV) In the Parallel Verse Mark adds…

But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Matthew 13:10-13 (NKJV)

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

The great twentieth century theologian, William Barclay called a parable of Christ, “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”. He taught young future theologians that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead men’s minds towards heavenly concepts.

Most (if not all) of Christ parables utilized rather mundane activities like:

  • A woman baking bread.
  • A farmer sowing seed.
  • Fishermen casting a net.

Or common things of the day such as:

  • A seed.
  • A coin.
  • A widow.

Jesus didn’t use parables to confuse people or keep understanding from them… quite the opposite. Parables are meant to give understanding… if you’ll really listen!

  1. Seeing they do not see.

Matthew 13:10-13 (NLT)

His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don’t really see.  They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand! (NKJV) …seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Q: Why don’t they see?

A: Because Christianity is a life and a walk of faith!

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Think about this, the people who literally saw the miracles and witnessed the resurrected Christ and experienced the miraculous birth of the church in the Book of Acts, were the same people the epistle (warning against all kinds of worldly behavior) were written to!

If it was hard for them to see (look, watch) but not see, you and I are really going to need to lean on the Holy Spirit to see! 

To many Christians today are looker or watchers!

JOKE: Have you been somewhere and said we’re just looking, and you get that look?  Lori and I often go places and just look but were not really there to get anything.

Q: Is there a difference in watching a sporting event and participating in the event.

JOKE: Parents and Grandparents, screaming at the umpire, the coach or the referee does not count as participation!

To many Christians today are mere spectators (onlookers) but God is wanting active participants!

Stop just watching and begin seeing what God is saying and what heaven is communicating!

  1. Hearing they do not hear.

JOKE: Have you heard the saying, “you heard what you wanted to hear”?

Sometimes we do that in relationships or in financial matters or negotiations, don’t we?

Sometimes we do that with the word of God! Jesus said that’s why he had to use parables… so you can hear what God wants you to hear.

Romans 10:17 (NASB)

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

The next passage is what Christ quoted to Satan when he came to tempt him in the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 8:3 (NKJV)

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

Listen to what Paul says to the Galatian Church about hearing…

Galatians 3:1-6 (NASB)

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

That’s how we really hear, by listening and hearing with faith!

Hearing by Faith is listening to the Holy Spirit!

Matthew 13:12 (NLT) For clarification

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

Q: Why do you think God does such things?

A: This is nothing new or foreign to God! We read the same principle in the Parable of the Talents…

Matthew 25:29 (NKJV)

‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Q: Again, why is this God’s way?

James 1:22-25 (NKJV)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

A: God is teaching us, just like we teach our children.

Example

Q: If your child abuses or misuses something, what does a good parent do?

A: It’s taken away until the child better understands how to use or take care of it.

God loves us enough to teach us how to steward what He gives us!

When we don’t, the enemy will come in and take what God gave us!

The parables are a wonderful place to start learning care and stewardship… God’s way!

  1. Nor do they understand.

The original Greek meaning for understanding was: to put the perception with the thing perceived. 

Definition for Perception: the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something!

Understanding is being aware and, conscious of a thing; in the case of the parables it is the Kingdom of God!

The problem is that to many people are trying to comprehend the Kingdom of God and that’s impossible to do!

Definition of Comprehension: the action or capability of understanding or grasping something.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

The Purpose of Parables

Matthew 13:13 (NKJV) abbreviated

…I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

The purpose of the Parables of Christ is so you can see, hear and understand God’s word and know His will!

Conclusion

Matthew 13:14-17 (NKJV)

And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, 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.

Notice, He didn’t say many false prophets and unrighteous men desired understanding but rather many prophets and righteous men! 

Jesus says this right after He quoted the OT prophet Isaiah.

Q: What did NT seers and hearers have that OT seers and hearers did not have? Jesus! They didn’t have the living Christ so those prophets and righteous men, no matter how much they desired it, they couldn’t understand.

Even in the days of Christ this was still true! Jesus was teaching these people in person and still many could not understand what He was telling them!

They were looking but they didn’t see; they were hearing, but they weren’t listening!

Jesus said

Matthew 13:12 (NLT) For Clarity

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

We want God to be able to bless us with more understanding not allow the enemy to take away what little we have!

Prayer for Congregation, to listen with ears to hear, eyes to see and the understanding to believe in what God is speaking through His word (specifically in these parables of Christ over the next few weeks) to each one of us individually and all of us corporately!

Invitation for Salvation

May I tell you today that without Jesus Christ you will look and never see, and you will listen, but you will never hear!

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NASB)

… the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Q: Did you hear that? Satan has blinded peoples mind to the goods news of Christ Jesus!

All you have to do to have your eyes opened, is to believe.

Salvation Prayer

Raise Hands if You Prayed that Prayer

By |2018-10-23T10:08:50+00:00October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Sermon Notes|0 Comments