Why parables?

In Matthew, Jesus starts off teaching very directly.  With the Sermon on the Mount (“Blessed are the…”) and the teachings that follow (“You have heard it said…, but I say to you…”), there’s no guesswork, we know Jesus is saying.  But with last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus switches to parables – and the Apostles ask “why parables?”  

Dictionary.com defines a parable as “a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.”  That’s what parables are, but why use them?  This Sunday’s Gospel gives us one reason – to fulfill what a prophet had said. 

Okay, so Jesus is doing what he is supposed to be doing, (not to sound like a 3-year old) but why?


To reveal the truths contained in the imagery.  Instead of scholarly tomes, Jesus develops his teachings with parables.  Jesus uses stories with everyday settings to invite everyone to reach beyond the images and grasp the truths they reveal.  We’ll look at Sunday’s parables tomorrow.