Somehow the listener/ reader of the parables of the New Testament is led to a place of self-confrontation (Kirkwood 1983, p. Despite the seeming simplicity of the stories through which Christ revealed deep spiritual truths, it was those innocent at heart, whose soul was ready to accept the light shining forth, who understood what Christ taught (Orthodox Study Bible 1991, p. The result of the Pharisaic blindness and deafness was that they would remain in their sin, while the faithful who repented were open to the good news of the Kingdom of God (Orthodox Study Bible 1993, p. 318 citing Schurmann), that if they could not comprehend even this parable, then how were they to understand the rest (Matt. It is important to note, that Christ does not deliberately make people unreceptive to His message, rather it is individual persons who must take responsibility for being insensitive to the truth (Orthodox Study Bible 1993, p. It was also this form of teaching that allowed Christ to execute the divine plan without a premature arrest by the authorities.
59), awareness and logical conclusion, that the only means of salvation is through love in action. 37) and who were given to “know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” The Pharisees who were present in the large crowds, and who were highly educated, were hard of heart, so did not “see” and did not “perceive”, and could not “hear” and had not “understanding” (Matt. The sacred parables then, served three distinct purposes, namely: “to 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
On 3/18, Wes, Mark, and Lawrence Ware discussed Jesus's Parables. To read the versions of the Parables that we read, follow the links from the Wikipedia entry on the Parables.
These entries generally give the traditional interpretations for each parable and include historic depictions of them in artworks, so that's pretty cool.
11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that only appears in the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John adopts the language of hypostatic paradigms.
While John’s style of writing differs to that of the Synoptics, the message is the same.
Plainly, Christ wished to ensure that everyone who heard him teach could comprehend his profound message and come to the realisation of the state of their personhood with a clear way forward toward salvation.
And yet at once the listener who stood among the masses could place himself or herself typologically within the parable; free to choose whether they would follow the Great Storyteller or would resist His message (Beavis 2001, p. Christ’s parables are universal, they have traversed space and time, they are equally relevant today as they were over 2000 years ago.
If you're not familiar with the Parables, they were Jesus's main teaching tool: instead of just giving a sermon, tell a story, and especially if the intended interpretation of the story is not clear, then you can smuggle in points that might otherwise be politically controversial. Given that we are not the original intended audience, we don't know (in most cases at least) what interpretation Jesus intended, and moreover, the text is a third-hand account that went through a few layers of oral tradition and redaction before it found its way into the Synoptic Gospels.
These stories present a feast for hermeneutics, and this episode would best be listened to after #111 and #112, and our recent episode and bonus discussion on Jaspers would be helpful here too. So we're likely looking at a collaborative work, where the text as originally spoken is combined with the interpretations of various 1st century communities and given to us by writers whose identities we do not know (the names "Matthew," "Mark," etc. We assigned ourselves the task of reading all 41 (or so) parables, but ended up covering in our conversation The Sower, Hidden Treasure/Pearl, Two Debtors, Good Samaritan, Tenants (aka Wicked Husbandmen), Mustard Seed, Talents, 10 Virgins (aka Wise & Foolish Virgins), and Lost Sheep.