The term “parable” is defined as “a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.” Literally it means, “a throwing alongside” (i.e., one thing is placed along side another for the purpose of comparison). Often described as “an earthly message with a heavenly meaning,” Biblical parables were so effective in conveying spiritual truths that Jesus utilized them at great length in His teaching.
When His disciples asked, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus responded, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given…Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Mt. 13:10-13). Though Jesus said this about 2,000 years ago His statement is just as pertinent today as it was then; for there are in this generation those of whom it could
easily be said, ”Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (vv. 14-15).
Therefore, friends, “read and understand” (2 Cor. 1:13), for those priceless parables are still to the saving of the soul.