Parables: Earthly Stories Heavenly Truths
The disciples of Jesus had no idea about the nature of the kingdom Jesus had come to established. The Old Testament was filled with promises of the coming King and His kingdom, but no one on this earth understood what it would be like (1 Cor. 2:8-9). Jesus used parables to help those disciples see what was about to happen.
In Matthew chapter thirteen, there are eight parables He gave to them. The first describes the coming kingdom being like a man sowing seed. They could not comprehend the meaning and asked Him to explain. The second parable is about a man who sowed seeds into his field and the enemy who came at night and sowed tares (weeds) in that field. They did not comprehend this parable, so He also had to explain to them its meaning.
The failure to understand these beginning parables blocks the ability to find the truths of God. Mark’s account adds one thought not found in either Matthew or Luke’s account. “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13). One cannot comprehend the nature of the kingdom of heaven until he grasps what Jesus was saying. Those who view the coming of the kingdom as being in the future with Jesus establishing His kingdom and reigning on the earth for a thousand years have not begun to understand these earthly stories with a heavenly meaning which Jesus taught.
Jesus only explains the first two parables, and they become the basis of seeing the meaning of all the parables. You may think you do not know much about the Bible, but do you understand these parables? You likely know more than you think. These stories open the door to deeper truths.
Do you know what the seed was which was sowed in four different types of soil? Do you know what each of those kinds of soils describe? Do you know the identity of the man who sowed the seed in the story of the tares? Do you who the enemy was who secretly sowed weeds in the field where the good seed was sown?
The disciples had no idea what Jesus was saying, but because He explained the meaning of these parables you can know the answers to each of the questions asked in the previous paragraph. If you do not know, I urge you to simply sit down and read the accounts in Matthew 13 and Luke 8. If you already know the answers, I urge you to slowly read the verses again and pay attention to every word Jesus used. You may not know them as well as you think you do.
One cannot read until he learns the alphabet, and one cannot understand the kingdom until he learns the parables!