The English word ‘parable’ is a compound word made up of a form of the verb ‘ballo’ (to throw, lay, or place) and the prefix ‘para’ (meaning alongside of). The idea is that of placing or laying something alongside of something else for the purpose of comparison. A spiritual or moral truth would often be expressed by laying it alongside so to speak, a physical example tat could be more easily understood. A common, observable object or practice was used to illustrate a subjective truth or principle. The familiar definition of a parable as “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning” does not say it all, but it says enough, and it reminds us that there is a unity between the visible world of nature and the invisible world of the spiritual. God has revealed truth to us in creation as well as in the Bible. The fact that Jesus could use a seed to explain the Word of God, or a feast to explain salvation, is evidence that all truth comes from God and all truth is a unity. The better we know the book of nature, the better we will know the Word of God. Jesus purpose in teaching with parables was two-fold. He was seeking to interest and awaken those whose spiritual senses were growing dull. But the same message that awakens one will harden another. Parables often both revealed and concealed. The careless and indifferent, those with no spiritual hunger for truth and salvation, would not understand His teaching. The same sun that melts the ice also hardens the clay. By using parables, Jesus was revealing His patience and mercy, but He at the same time He revealed their sad spiritual condition.
We invite you to join us as six different men in our church walks us through some selected parables of Jesus.