Parables of Jesus. Everyone loves to read or listen to stories. Of all movies I personally love the ones based on a true story. If you are the same way, you will understand why Jesus used so many parables in His teachings. There are just 26 parables in the Old Testament, while there are 70 Parables by Jesus in the Four Gospels.
Well, what is a parable actually? And why were the parables of Jesus so important?
The Greek word parabole means: a comparison, a figure of speech, a proverb, an illustration. By using such, people can grasp the meaning and significance of what we are trying to say, in a spiritual way, without them being offended. This is a great advantage, as we will not be the ones trying to force people into something, but by using parables we are letting the Holy Spirit work in their spirit, mind and conscience. Finis Jennings Dake, author of the Dakeís Annotated Reference Bible says that in the case of the parables of Jesus, Jesus used stories which the people in His time were well familiar with, e.g. in the Parables He used real stories to convey spiritual meaning to the people.
In this way, the parables of Jesus illustrated truth and made it so clear, that often the Bible says: ďand they understood that He spoke to them aboutÖĒ
Because of their interesting form, the parables of Jesus created more interest and spiritual hunger in the listeners, in the same way now we have a saying: A picture is worth a thousand words and A movie is worth a thousand pictures. Peopleís mind loves to investigate, search out mysteries, make comparisons and find out hidden meanings by making parallels with things already known. On the other hand, the Jesus parables concealed the truth from the rebellious and disinterested hearers, who just did not understand anything. In this way, the ones who are interested, hungry and seeking get the meaning and act accordingly, changing their attitudes, ways and actions, while the ones not interested just go on without being turned off completely.
Because the Lord has given us a free will to choose to follow Him by our own decision, and not by compulsion, thatís why He sometimes uses these parables Ė because they will add revelation and understanding only to the ones already seeking him. As for the rebels and anti-Christ folks, Jesus said: ďDo not throw your pearls to the swine, because they will not understand the meaning of pearls, but instead will turn and trample them under their foot and they may even turn and hurt youĒ (Matthew 7:6).
Here is a list of the parables used in the Bible, for your quick reference. The list I have taken from Dakeís Annotated Reference Bible: