Summary: A look at the nature of Jesus’ parables.

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Series: The Parables of Christ

Topic: Here’s Your Sign

Matthew 13: 1-3, 10-17, 34-33

["The Parables of Jesus: Introduction To The Parables" From a sermon series on the parables found at:]

Introduction: song "Here’s Your Sign" by Billy Engvall

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables...Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."...All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."

I. The Definition of "Parable"

A. During His earthly ministry, as Jesus went about preaching and teaching, He frequently used parables. It has been estimated that at least one-third of Jesus’ recorded teaching is found in the parables.

B. The Word "PARABLE"

1. Is a transliteration of the Greek "parabole" (para-bow-LAY)

2. Comes from ‘para’-next to; along side; & ‘ballow’-to cast

3. Means "to place beside, to cast alongside"

4. As defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words, it "signifies a placing of one thing beside another with a view to comparison"

5. As "a story that places one thing beside another for the purpose of teaching"

6. "It puts the known next to the unknown so that we may learn"

II. Power Of A Story

Use of story’s to communicate truths are nothing new.


1. Stretch the imagination

2. Are able to communicate truth in a non-condemning manner

3. Enable us to actively engage the experience of the story

Ill- Reading Rainbow, the TV series

4. Allow us to view things from a different perspective.

Jesus loved to tell stories. Although Mark deals with the ministry of Jesus (what He did), Matthew and Luke emphasize what He said. As I mentioned earlier, most of what He said was by means of stories/ parables.

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