In Mat 12.42, Jesus claimed to be the Greater Solomon. Now in Mat 13, He is proving it. But it doesn’t look like what the disciples expected. Jesus is teaching the people in parables. Why doesn’t He speak plainly? To moderns, a parable is a helpful, illustrative story, but that is not what it is in the Bible. Hebrew parables include proverbs, riddles, stories, allegories, and the like. The common feature is not form, but the fact that the meaning does not lie on the surface. It requires work on the part of the hearer – thinking, pondering, and often asking for help – to discern the meaning. This is the way it was with Jesus’ parables. He explained them to the disciples, but not to the crowds. But the gap between the two groups was not unbridgeable. To the one who was drawn to Jesus’ words (even if they didn’t fully understand them) and wanted to learn more, deeper truth was available, even as Nicodemus and the Rich Young Ruler had learned. (Mark 10.17-21; John 3.1-21.) It all depended on the heart of the hearer. And that’s the point of Jesus’ first parable, the Parable of the Sower. (Mat 13.19-23.) I hope you enjoy the sermon. Thanks for listening. –Alan Burrow
Click the play button to listen to 'Jesus and the Preaching of the Kingdom' by Alan Burrow.