The Parables Of The Savior - What Is A Parable? Why Did Jesus Teach In Parables?

What Is A Parable and why did Jesus Teach in Parables?


A parable is a story that teaches us something about God, His kingdom and ourselves. The stories are often quit simple, but they have an underlying meaning, so sometimes they can be a bit confusing and hard to understand


  1. To Make People Think: The parable of the two roads makes people think about where their souls are going, and to make the decision to “enter by the narrow gate” lest they be swept with the crowd down the broad way to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
  2. To Divide Into Two: After telling the parable of the sower (mentioned above), Jesus was asked by his disciples the question from which our present lesson takes its title. They asked, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" (Matthew 13:10).Jesus answered by quoting Isaiah, concerning people who have eyes but do not see, and have ears but do not hear (Matthew 13:11-17, Isaiah 6:8-10). In telling the parables, Jesus was bringing pressure to bear upon his listeners, to either open their spiritual eyes and ears and be enlightened, or to shut their eyes and ears tighter and be condemned.
  3. To Give His Enemies No Ground: The enemies of Jesus were always waiting for him to say something they could use against him (Luke 11:53-54). By speaking in parables, Jesus was making it very hard for them. He could hardly be arrested for telling homely stories!
  4. To Enlighten the True Hearted: Jesus took advantage of occasions when multitudes flocked to hear him speak. Through the parables he could enlighten those whose hearts were sincere and receptive and who were hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
  5. To Fulfill Prophecy: "Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and he was not speaking to them without a parable, so that what was spoken by through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world'"(Matthew 13:34-35, Psalms 78:1-4).

See also...


  1. Two houses in a hurricane (Mt. 7:24-27; Lk. 6:47-49).
  2. Forgiving the fifty and the five-hundred (Lk. 7:41, 42).
  3. Subduing a strong man (Mk. 3:22-30).
  4. The sower, the seed, and the soil (Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15).
  5. Satan’s tares in the Savior’s field (Mt. 13:24-30, 36-43).
  6. From scattering to sickling (Mk. 4:26-29).
  7. he mighty mustard seed (Mt. 13:31, 32; Mk. 4:30-32; Lk. 13:18, 19).
  8. The cook’s leaven and the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 13:33; Lk. 13:20, 21).
  9. Finding a fortune in a field (Mt. 13:44).
  10. The price of a pearl (Mt. 13:45, 46).
  11. Sorting out a sea catch (Mt. 13:47-50).
  12. A trained man and his treasure (Mt. 13:52).
  13. A rent cloth and a ruptured container (Mt. 9:16, 17; Mk. 2:21, 22; Lk. 5:36-39).
  14. A generation of gripers (Mt. 11:16-19; Lk. 7:31-35).
  15. The forgiven who wouldn’t forgive (Mt. 18:23-35).
  16. How to know your neighbor (Lk. 10:25-37).
  17. Seven spirits and a swept house (Mt. 12:43-45; Lk. 11:24-26).
  18. A fool in a fix (Lk. 12:16-21).
  19. Keep the home fires burning (Lk. 12:32-40; Mt. 24:43, 44).
  20. A sinning servant and a returning ruler (Mt. 24:45-51; Lk. 12:42-48).
  21. A fruitless fig tree (Lk. 13:6-9).
  22. Choosing the least at a wedding feast (Lk. 14:7-11).
  23. Two fools and a henpecked husband (Lk. 14:15-24).
  24. A missing sheep, the misplaced silver and a miserable son (Lk. 15:1-32).
  25. The stewings of a steward (Lk. 16:1-13).
  26. When Hades petitioned paradise (Lk. 16:19-31).
  27. When our best is but the least (Lk. 17:7-10).
  28. A widow and a weary judge (Lk. 18:1-8).
  29. A haughty Pharisee and a humble Publican (Lk. 18:9-14).
  30. When the last was first and the first was last (Mt. 20:1-16).
  31. Three stewards and their silver (Lk. 19:11-27).
  32. Two sons who changed their minds (Mt. 21:28-32).
  33. The vicious vine keepers (Mt. 21:33-46; Mk. 12:1-12; Lk. 21:9-19).
  34. A wedding guest with no wedding garment (Mt. 22:1-14).
  35. The fig tree and the future (Mt. 24:32-35; Mk. 13:28-31; Lk. 21:29-33).
  36. Five lamps that went out (Mt. 25:1-13).
  37. Three stewards and their talents (Mt. 25:14-30).
  38. Separating the sheep from the goats (Mt. 25:31-46).

Willmington's Guide to the Bible.