1 Peter 3:22 "Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God..."
Day 102 – Mark 4
RATIONALE BEHIND TEACHING BY PARABLES
What were some of the reasons why Jesus kept on teaching by way of parables? Let us ponder the following text for some answers.
“And with many such parables He spoke the word to them
as they were able to hear it.
But without a parable He did not speak to them.
And when they were alone, He explained all things
to His disciples”
1. “To those who are outside, all things come in parables” Mark 4:11
Though Jesus had come to His own people, they did not know Him nor recognized Him as their Messiah. They may well be called “those outside” even though they were the physical descendants of Abraham.
a) Privilege withdrawn
The privilege of hearing the Word plainly had been withdrawn from Israel. They had forfeited this privilege when they kept rejecting the many prophets God had sent to the nation.
b) A punitive measure
Parables may indeed be seen as a punitive measure. If the listeners would pay serious attention to the teachings of Jesus, they could still make a comeback. They could still be fully restored! But much depended on whether they would take the trouble to hear carefully and respond appropriately.
2. “As they were able to hear it” Mark 4:33
Mark listed this as one of the reasons why Jesus spoke to the people in parables. It was because the multitudes could not understand and appreciate His teachings easily.
a) An expression of understanding grace
Jesus had not given up on Israel. He would try and teach them creatively and gently, in the hope that they would comprehend the Kingdom of God.
b) A special means of reaching out
If the hearers could only comprehend that Jesus was really reaching out to them with simple illustrations to encourage them to believe what He was teaching them about the Kingdom of God. All three parables had a common feature. All illustrated the potential of “growth”.
3. Explanation to the Disciples
They were privileged indeed! They had chosen to follow Jesus. Their special reward was comprehension of the profound teachings of the Kingdom of God!