Jesus’ New Teaching Style — After Israel’s rejection, Jesus starts teaching in parables.
Reading 1: Matthew 13
Reading 2: Isaiah 6:8-10
Reading 3: Psalm 78:1-4
After the conflicts yesterday, we see Jesus change His style of teaching. The religious leaders and authorities have rejected His Messiahship when presented with it clearly, now He teaches in parables to confuse those who are wise in their own minds while feeding those whose straightforward faith allows them to see the Story behind the story.
His narratives help us imagine the truths He is communicating, and to see them in human terms. Often these stories contain a “twist” that we find hard to comprehend from our limited perspectives (such as “why does God let the weeds grow among the wheat?”).
Parables are stories with a clear teaching point. The key to understanding parables is to look for the main point the story is making. It is often a mistake to try to apply a parable more widely than the main point of the story.
The word parable comes from Greek and means “to throw alongside.” It was common for Eastern teachers like Jesus to throw out word pictures and stories alongside the experiences of their followers. These parables caused people to reflect more deeply on what the rabbi was saying, while those who thought they already knew everything would dismiss the teaching as “mere stories.”
So the question for us today is not “do you understand every detail of these stories?” but “what main thing does God want to teach you as you reflect on what Jesus says here?”
Have a great day!