The Purpose of the Parables
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that
‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
This is one of those sections of the Gospels that I’d like to sit down with Jesus someday and ask him about. I understand the explanation that is given for the parable of the sower, but the first part just makes it feel like the parables are just used to confuse people rather than enlighten. It feels like “secret knowledge” – information only given to and understood by a select few. Maybe that’s it – that without the inspiration and work of the Spirit, the parables are just stories rather than deeper messages revealing the truth of God.
I loved how this picture came out a few months ago because it feels like those times that we think we have everything understood – focus and clarity right there. But in reality, we see one small glimpse that seems to be clear, but in reality the rest isn’t in focus. We see that small piece ahead of us and trust in that, walking the tightrope for the next steps to come into focus.