Why did Jesus use parables to convey much of his teaching? What can we learn from this about how we should communicate ‘good news’ to the people around us?
Introduction to the Gospels
The Gospels of the New Testament contain 39 different parables told by Jesus (Phillips 2004, 18-19) and no doubt he spoke many more during his ministry. Jesus’ choice to use parables to teach his people is one that has intrigued many people throughout history. The aim of this essay is to get to discover why he chose to use those parables, and also what we can learn from this teaching method when evangelising today.
Mark 4: 10-12 is one of the main passages that explains why Jesus taught in parables. There have been a number of
…show more content…
Jesus wanted to break down any immediate pride of being rebuked that would hinder the listener from conviction as demonstrated in Luke 7:36-50, the parable of the two debtors. This is Steins understanding of those verses. ‘Here, in order to pierce through Simon’s hardness of heart and prejudice, Jesus spoke in a parable and sought to reach Simon. Jesus even involved Simon in the parable and in so doing, it is hoped, made him ask himself, “Is my lack of great love due to a lack of real forgiveness?” ’ (Stein 1981, 35) When approaching people in this way most people are more likely to see their flaws and admit their need for change than if one confronted them. This is mainly because the use of parables is a far less aggressive approach which is less likely to provoke a negative reaction, but also, as can be seen from the passage, it helps the subject to discover the sin for themselves and this leads to greater conviction and more positive reaction to that teaching. This is great lesson for us and we need to assess the people we are sharing the good news with to discover if they will not respond to confrontation about their position before God. If they will not respond well to confrontation then we may need to take the approach where they are made to discover these things for themselves by use of an inclusive parable.
In conclusion it seems that there are different views on why Jesus used parables. It seems safe to assume that Jesus had more than one