Illustrations

How Jesus used them in teaching:

Such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.  –  Matthew 13:2-3

Jesus used many illustrations, or parables, when speaking to the crowds.  A parable compares something familiar to something unfamiliar.  It helps us understand spiritual truth by using everyday objects and relationships.  Parables compel listeners to discover truth, while at the same time concealing the truth from those too lazy or too stubborn to see it.  To those who are honestly searching, the truth becomes clear.  We must be careful not to read too much into parables, forcing [magic] them to say what they don’t mean.  All parables have one meaning unless otherwise specified by Jesus.

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable – Luke 8:4

Jesus often communicated spiritual truth through parables – short stories or descriptions that take a familiar object or situation and give it a starting new twist.  By linking the known with the hidden and forcing listeners to think, parables can point to spiritual truths.  A parable compels listeners to discover the truth for themselves, and it conceals the truth from those too lazy or dull to understand it.  In reading Jesus’ parables, we must be careful not to read too much into them.  Most have only one point and one meaning.

 

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