Great crowds followed Jesus from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.  People came to see Him from all over for many different kinds of reasons after hearing the great things He did. Along with teaching, Jesus heals all kinds of diseases and afflictions.

Jesus frequently used parables as a means of illustrating profound, divine truths. He utilized many graphic analogies using common things that would be familiar to everyone (salt, light, bread, sheep, etc.) and their meaning was fairly clear in the context of His teaching.  They’re only in the book of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Crowds would gather around Him to hear Him speak. The crowd that gathered around Him was so large that He got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus highlights four different responses to the gospel message. Jesus describes the hard ground “by the way side” that prevents the seed from sprouting at all, and the seed becomes nothing more than bird food. The stony ground provides enough soil for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow, but because there is “no deepness of earth,” the plants do not take root and are soon withered in the sun. The thorny ground allows the seed to grow, but the competing thorns choke the life out of the beneficial plants. The good ground receives the seed and produces much fruit. With many such parables, He was speaking the Word to them.

When Jesus was alone with the disciples they asked Him why He taught in parables (v.10). Jesus answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, '‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ (v.11-12)

We find these same word spoken in Isaiah 6:10, "Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:” Jeremiah 5:21

“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”   Ezekiel 12:2 

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. ” Matthew 13:15

People don’t understand parables.  Jesus is not withholding the truth from some.  Some people understand spiritual truth and some do not; some have eyes to see and ears to hear, some do not. Some who saw Him heal and heard Him teach rejected Him. Others followed Him for a season but then walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? and broke down the parable to them.  (v.13-20)

In essence hearing and understanding the parables had to do with the condition of the heart (belief), the ability to hear and receive truth, seeing what is not readily apparent and  desiring to know more. Through the parables He could enlighten those whose hearts were sincere and receptive and who were hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).

The good heart hears God’s word, understands it, and seeks to know more about the kingdom of heaven and God’s will. We are blessed when we hear and obey the Word of God! This is very significant to us today.  The Bible says, "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:10-13

May you be abundantly blessed!


Published by Dr. A. Francine Green