CHAPTER 16 - It’s A Parable Meathead!

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Why does Yeshua employ parables when He could just spit it out and say what He means? Parables are so feeble in their ability to concisely deliver specifics, or a concrete concept or idea. There is always so much ambiguity in the possible interpretations of a parable.

Shortly, we will go on to discuss the parable of the sewer and what it is that chokes out and steals the freshly sown seed. For a few moments though, we will look at the issue of the use of parable by the Messiah as His delivery method for truth. Yeshua is relentlessly connected to the parable as a style of teaching the individual and the masses. Previously, I briefly mentioned the use of parable and provided some insight from Robertson Word Pictures on the topic. In the following verses, we will see the Messiah state that He speaks in parables for a reason. We find His reason is because He is fulfilling prophecy and the prophecy. This fulfillment of prophecy was essential so those who rejected Jesus would not be privileged to have a clear and plain understanding of the deep truth of the Kingdom. This is mentioned in Matthew 13.

I am not talking here about special knowledge like the Gnostics are famous for? No, the type of understanding that came to the person with the submissive heart and mind was available to all. And little children were readily able to hear and understand much of the principles taught by Yeshua. There were those however who could not submit to Yeshua’s authority and therefore because of their pride they did not hear from the meaning in the parables Yeshua was teaching. Missing the point because of their blindness, they then missed out on receiving healing and other good things that come alongside the truth. Notice in the passage below how the reason for parables is to keep a certain group from getting the point.

Matthew 13:13-14
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

The parable is not merely a tool employed by a wise first century Hebrew teacher which tells of a story that actually happened, nor does it tell of a story which will at some point actually happen. One writer tells of truth and parables in this way;

For thousands of years, mythologies, that is to say, stories were the carriers of spiritual truth. Almost nobody was able to recognize the truth when it was pointed to directly. Most spiritual teachers used stories as their main teaching device.” All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parable, indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.” (Matthew 13:34)[60]

It is understood that a truth is very difficult for the hearer to accept if it is stated directly, for this reason a parable is used. When a parable is employed the hearer must think on, ruminate on, and then hopefully digest the message of the parable. This then becomes a vehicle for the teacher to infuse His student with truth; truth that becomes self-evident to the student only after the parable has been received and interpreted in the spirit of the student. The story we receive from the parable is designed to magnify certain aspects of truth or explain and enhance a moral concept. When Yeshua tells a parable, many readers often take the characters in the story and assign them real status as if they actually existed. We then form our ideas and theology based on believing that the characters in the parables of Yeshua are real. However, these elements of a parable are in almost all cases, not real.

In the telling of a parable, Yeshua would have wanted the hearer to ask not about the specifics of the story or for Him to more clearly define the characters, but to ask and search for the meaning of the story. In essence, we should perhaps be asking, “What is the moral of the story?” Looking at what parables are and what they are not might require a thorough cataloguing of all the parables both in the “Old” and “New” testaments. This would then require the diligent researcher to equate all metaphors in said parables, with imagery and concepts found elsewhere in the Scriptures and those found in the culture wherein the parable was spoken. The monumental task of cataloguing parables has been done in several volumes by several commentators, so we will leave that for now. However, a brief note from the article on Parables in the ISBE does add some information to help our understanding of the parable.

In the more usual and technical sense of the word, “parable” ordinarily signifies an imaginary story, yet one that in its details could have actually transpired, the purpose of the story being to illustrate and inculcate some higher spiritual truth. These features differentiate it from other and similar figurative narratives as also from actual history. The similarity between the last-mentioned and a parable is sometimes so small that exegetes have differed in the interpretation of certain pericopes.[61]

To fully understand the deep and often evasive meaning of the stories Yeshua tells, we must come to accept that as parables, His stories mean something different than what the specifics of the words and characters in the story suggest on a cursory reading. We must accept the elements of the parable are neither real nor literal. In light of this information, we will continue to look at the sayings of Yeshua that are important to our topic and
 to our discussion.

[60] The Diamond in Your Pocket-discovering your true radiance;  by Gangaji (formerly Toni Roberson). Page xiii and xiii, Publisher by Sounds True, Incorporated (May 1, 2005)

[61] From article titled “Parable” in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.


Now for a sneak peek at . . .

CHAPTER 17 - How Satan Stole The Seed? (A Sneak Peek)

Matthew 13:18-19
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
See comments on the Parable of the Sower in the Mark 4

As English readers, we see the parable of the sewer as a story teaching about a person spreading seed. However, the parable of the sewer is seen in the Aramaic version to be a parable about the seed not a parable of a person who sews the seed. Notice for now that the word one, after wicked, which I have highlighted, is not found in the Greek text. Therefore it does not belong in the text. When reading the KJV or certain other versions one will often see words written in italics. This is done to show the reader that the italicized word is placed in the text by the translators to add clarity where they thought it was needed. An italicized word does not belong in the text and does not appear in the earliest manuscript evidence.

I am trying to show the reader that the evil, or “wicked” as it is put in the above passage, is talking about the human spirit that is oppositional or resistant to the God of the Universe. In recognizing that the word “one” is not a part of the sentence in the above text but was added at the translator’s discretion, we are able . . .

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