Why the Lord Sometimes Speaks in Prophetic Parables

by | Jul 8, 2016 | Woman

God sometimes operates in ways that aren’t easily understood. While this ambiguity can be quite unsettling for us, the Lord has no qualms with guiding through the whispers and nudges. In some cases, He’s inviting us to see through a glass darkly

A lot of churchgoers have difficulty with this. They honestly don’t think it’s the way that things ought to be done. What it comes down to is this: they don’t like to deal with the nebulous. They want the truth to be explicit. After all, no one has time to wrestle through the night to get a blessing, particularly when there’s so much going on.

The early Disciples had to contest actively with this unforeseen complexity. They wanted to understand what Jesus meant when He used parabolic lessons. Matthew later recounted their confusion in the following passage: 

The disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you speak to the people in parables?'” (Matthew 13:10).

They didn’t yet see that Jesus had an underlying reason for His cryptic language. He wasn’t trying to withhold the truth, or even keep anyone in the dark. Through simple stories, He was subtly reordering the world. Few understood that His little parables were sifting the hearts of men.

Clarifying some of this, Jesus declared the following:

You are positioned to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not…For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,’When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them‘” (Matthew 13:11, 13b-15). 

Sometimes the Lord speaks to us through visceral pictures and stories. He wraps up His incredible, life-changing truth in prophetic parables. These transformative messages are deliberately shrouded in mystery to see who will seek them out. Glory is hidden in plain sight so that the condition of the heart can be clearly observed.

So, it all comes down to this question: “What do your eyes see and your ears hear?” The things that you truly comprehend says a lot about where you stand in the Kingdom of God.

J.D. King is the director of the World Revival Network and associate pastor of World Revival Church.

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