Saturday, Nov. 26
A figure of speech uses something that is known to explain something not known. The known sheds light on something that is little known or something out of normal experience. So it is no wonder that the Bible is full of them. What greater gulf is there than the gulf between heaven and earth, between God and man? The Bible is specifically designed to reveal God and His plan of redemption. Is there any greater issue than that? Is there any situation more appropriate for the use of figures of speech? Jesus used a wide range of figures of speech, but especially the parable. A parable is a short fictitious story that illustrates a moral principle. Jesus’ encounters always included a parable. Mt. 13:34. “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.” Why did He do this? Like all figures of speech, He was using the known to understand the unknown. He is revealing heavenly truths to earthly people. Secondly, people are always captivated by stories. How many novels do you suppose have been written over the centuries? Parables attract people. Thirdly, a parable always deals with critical issues, moral issues, life and death issues, issues involving eternity. People are in need, desperate need, although they may not realize it. New knowledge of redemption opens the door to a proper response, trusting in Christ, salvation, one’s eternal destiny. A fourth reason has to do with three distinct audiences—those who opposed Him, common people who were interested in His message, and the disciples, whom Jesus was preparing for future ministry. Jesus often hid the meaning of a parable from the Pharisees, later explaining it in greater detail to the disciples. And the parables continued to be an attraction to the common people. We sometimes get the idea that most of Jesus’ messages fell on dull ears. Not so! This groundwork paid off later when thousands of people responded to the gospel and became the nucleus of the newly founded Church. Jesus’ ministry was not in vain. He was masterful in His use of parables. His ministry was eminently successful.