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The Purpose of Parables
Jesus then went out to meet his family. After they greeted each other and exchanged pleasantries, Jesus left with the twelve disciples. When they were alone, the disciples asked Him, "Why do you speak in parables (analogies), Master?"
Jesus answered, "Because to you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but it is not granted to outsiders. So I only speak in figures and parables. They see but they cannot perceive; they hear but they do not understand.
"Isaiah gave a prophecy concerning this. He said, 'Hearing, you will hear, but you won't understand; and seeing, you will see, but you won't know. This is because the heart of this people has become hardened and they hear with difficulty, and their eyes are dull so that they cannot see with their eyes and hear with their hearts. Let them return to Me, and I will heal them.'
"But as for you, your eyes are blessed and you can see; and so are your ears, for they can hear. I am telling you truthfully that a great many prophets and righteous men have longed to see and hear what you have seen and heard, but they did not see it or hear it."200
200. Isaiah 6:9, 10; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 13:13-17.
Jesus Explains the Parable of the Seed
The Celts were one of the first civilizations to believe in immortality, dating back to 1000 1300 BC. They believed that death was but a changing of place and life went on just as on this world. Death was greeted with joy and birth was accompanied with sadness, because the people in heaven came back to this world of less benefits.
The Celts were from Indo-Eurasia and inhabited Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. The Gauls of ancient France were Celts who then inhabited Galatia.201 When the Galatians heard about Jesus dying and coming back to life, they readily became Christians because Jesus' resurrection was confirmation of their ancient beliefs.
The Celts loved to fight, and it was a joyful experience to die in battle. And so Paul, in his letter to the Christian Galatians, said, "Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you to not obey the truth?" 202 The Galatians had gone back to following the law instead of having faith.
Jesus explained immortality to us, immortality being hidden since the creation of the world. The Jews wrote about Sheol, a place where the soul goes after death, but their concept of the kingdom of heaven was limited. So Jesus explained to His disciples,
"Listen now to the parable of the seed. If you cannot understand this parable, how then will you understand all the other parables?
"The farmer who sowed the seed was really sowing the word of God. I am that farmer. Whoever hears the word of the kingdom of God and does not study it and understand it, those are the ones on the roadside who hear my word. Then when they have heard it, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. This is the seed that was sown on the roadside.
"Those that were sown over rocky land are those who when they heard the word of God, immediately accept it with much joy; but they have no roots in their souls, and their faith is seasonal; so in time of scarcity, trial, persecution, rejection or trouble, they soon stumble and quickly become confused.
"The seed that fell among the weeds and thistles are those who heard the word of God, but are choked by worldly thoughts and the deception caused by riches and various pleasures come in, and they bear no fruit.
"The word that was sown upon good soil is those who hear my word and learn with a pure and good and generous heart. They understand it and keep it, and with patience, they bear fruits through the testimony of faith and some produce a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty."
Then Jesus once again gave the parable of a lamp. He asked them, "Does a person light a lamp and then cover it? Does he put it under a bucket or under a bed? Or does he put it on a lamp stand so that whoever comes in sees the light?
"There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered; there is nothing done in secret that will not be revealed; and there is nothing hidden that will not be known and brought into the light. If anyone has ears to hear let them hear. Take heed what you hear; by what measure you measure it, because it will be measured to you again and you will be further rewarded, especially to those who hear my word. To those who have my word will be given; and from those who do not have my word, even that which they have will be taken away."
When you hear Jesus' words, be like fertile soil. Accept it, understand it and let it grow in you. Let it shine like a light on others so that the words of Jesus will be multiplied.203
Peter Berresford, 1990. The Celtic Empire The First Millennium of Celtic
History, c.1000 BC 51 AD and Herm, Peter, 1975. The Celtsthe People Who Came
Out of the Darkness, St. Martin's Press, New York.
202. Galatians 3; 1
203. Mark 4:1325; Luke 8:1118; Matthew 13:1823.
Four More Parables About the Kingdom of Heaven
Jesus then gave four more parables to His disciples and the crowds, each describing the kingdom of heaven. First He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a farmer who cast seed into the ground. While he sleeps every night and rises up every day, the seed springs up and he is not even aware of it. The earth brings it to life and causes it to produce fruit. First it becomes a blade of grass, then an ear, and finally a full grain in the ear; and when the fruit is ripe, immediately the sickle comes and harvests it."
Next, he said, "The kingdom of God is like a farmer who sowed good seed in the ground. An enemy came while his laborers were sleeping and sowed weeds among the wheat and left. When the blades sprang up and bore fruit, the weeds also appeared; so the servants of the landowner came and said to him, 'Master, did you not plant good seed in your field? Then why are there weeds in it?' And the landowner said, 'An enemy has done this.' Then his servants said, 'Should we go and pull them out?' The landowner said, 'While you pull out the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat. Let them both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the reapers to first pick out the weeds and bundle them together and burn them. Then gather the wheat into my barns.' "
Then He gave a third parable, "And what should we compare the kingdom of God to? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds on earth; but when it is grown it is larger than all the herbs. It becomes great like a tree and puts out braches so large that the birds can come and nest in its branches."
Many non-Christians use this as an example that what Jesus said was not true. There are many seeds smaller than a mustard seed. To make points, Jesus often talked in parables and idioms so that unbelievers would not understand what He was talking about, such as saying a person has a beam or plank in their eye compared to one who has a splinter in his or her eye, meaning the criticizer had a large fault compared to the one being criticized. Another example was when a widow gave what little money she had, which was much more than rich people give, meaning that she gave more by comparison to the widow's need than the small percentage of a rich person's need that rich people give. What Jesus meant here was that a mustard seed makes a much larger plant than many larger seeds make. Nor does a mustard plant become the size of a tree, but becomes a large bush. The mustard seed is a little bit of knowledge that God teaches, which then grows until that knowledge is given to the entire world. In the following chapter, it becomes clear that good, common, ordinary poor people may get to heaven while bad famous, rich and powerful people may not.
Jesus then told them a fourth parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and buried in three measures of flour. Then yeast grew and raised the flour into bread."
Jesus later spoke these things to the people, and would only speak in parables.204
This was so the prophecy of Ezekiel 20:49 was fulfilled, "I will open my mouth in a parable, revealing dark secrets hidden from the foundation of the world, which we have heard and known, and our fathers told us."
204. Matthew 13:2433; Mark 4:2634; Luke 13:1821.
The Hidden Mysteries of the Parables Explained
God came to earth as a human, as God's Son. Because it was the custom at that time that a man could not instruct others until he was thirty years old, Jesus had to wait for thirty years before He could begin His ministry. In three short years, His ministry comprised two phases; one phase was performing miracles to prove that He was God's Son, and the other was telling those who would listen how to enter the kingdom of heaven.
He told the people how to get to heaven in John 3:16, Chapters 25 and 39 of this book, and He told them in His Sermon on the Plain, Matthew 5-7 and Chapters 43-49 of this book; and He told them parables. Just as today, there are those that will consider the parables foolishness, and will perish, most of those that Jesus ministered to did likewise.
After Jesus told the parables to the multitudes, He went back into the house and His disciples asked Him to explain the parable of the weeds in the field. Jesus did not explain the parables to the multitudes, but only to His disciples; when they were alone among themselves, He explained everything.205
Jesus told them that the farmer who sowed good seed is Jesus. The field He sowed in is the world. The good seed are those who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and the weeds are the evil ones who will perish. The enemy who planted the weeds is Satan. The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are angels.
Just as weeds are picked out and burned in the fire, so shall it be with the evil ones at the end of the world. Jesus said that He will send His angels, and they will pluck out from His kingdom all things which cause stumbling, the blasphemers and all the workers of iniquity. The angels will throw these evil ones into the furnace of fire and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous ones [the saints] shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. God becomes the Father of the righteous ones. Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Then Jesus told His disciples, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that is hidden in a field that a man discovered and hid. Because of his joy, he went and sold everything he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was searching for good pearls. And when he found one uniquely costly, precious pearl, he went out and sold everything and bought that pearl."
In other words, when you discover that Jesus is indeed God's Son, you should give up all your worldly desires and follow Him.
"Again," Jesus said, "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net which was cast into the sea, and it gathered fish of every kind. When it was filled, they pulled it to the shore and sat down and sorted them. They put the good fish into bags, and they threw the bad fish away.
"This is how it is going to be when the world comes to an end; the angels will go out and separate the bad from among the righteous ones; and they will throw them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then Jesus asked them if they understood all of these things. And they answered, "Yes, our Lord, we understand."
Then Jesus told them, "Therefore every scribe who is converted to the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is like a householder who brings out both old and new things from his treasures."
In other words, when you receive Jesus as your Savior, you spend your time studying the Bible and doing good works.
After Jesus finished these parables, he went out of the house again. 206
206. Matthew 13:3653.
Jesus Puts His Parables into Action
Outside the house, the crowd of people was great. Jesus looked at them and told his disciples to get a boat to take them to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. As they were going, a scribe came up to Him and said, "Lord, my teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered, "The foxes have holes and the birds have nests for a shelter; but the Son of Man has no place to even lay his head."
Then He looked at another in the crowd and said, "Follow me!" The man replied, "My Lord, my father is dying. Permit me first to take care of him until he is dead." Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
By this He meant, the ones who do not believe in Jesus are dead, but this man believed in Jesus and was alive; therefore he should follow Jesus.
Then another one said, "I will follow you, my Lord; but first let me find someone to take care of my household, and then I will come." Jesus answered him, "No man who puts his hand on the plough handle and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."207
This sounds pretty strong at first. These people needed to follow Jesus to learn more from Him before they went out to preach the word of God. We can follow Jesus today while we take care of our family. Our dying parents can be among those to whom we minister, to bring them into the kingdom before they die. At the same time, Jesus must be first in our lives, and no family is more important than Jesus. Jesus will lead some to leave their families and go out and preach; others He may have their families go with them to foreign lands and participate with them as they bring others to the Lord.
Do not look back and wish for your life before you found Jesus. Just as Lot's wife looked back at Sodom in Genesis 19:26 and turned into a pillar of salt, you will not be fit for the kingdom of heaven if you look back.
As Paul wrote in Romans 12, we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, and we should do the perfect will of God, whatever it is that He inspires you to do. Just as a human body has many different parts that perform different functions, not everyone should be a preacher; some may be inspired to help the poor, or support a minister or a church by even the simplest of tasks. The important thing is that we do the will of God. Ask Him what to do and wait for His answer. Then do it, not as being forced to do it, but as inspired to do it as Jesus' parables taught. Some, out of joy may sell everything and follow Jesus. Others, out of joy may work to earn money to help support others in the ministry, or the poor and helpless. Others, out of joy may act as janitors or other helpers in a church. As Jesus said in John 4:3738, some sow and others harvest; all work together and all rejoice together.
Humans are human, as God created us. As humans, we are incapable of comprehending the spiritual realm and the kingdom of heaven. Immediately after Jesus left the earth, man, in his ignorance of God and the kingdom of God, immediately began to add his own concepts to what Jesus came to earth and taught us.
And so, in 241 AD, the Persian prophet Mani began to preach a new religion, Manichaeism. This was a blend of Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and mostly Gnosticism.
Gnosticism teaches that Adam and Eve were not the first people, the nature of man is good, scripture is not infallible, Jesus is one of many ways, all religions are paths to God, reincarnation is in the Bible, the resurrection is a personal spiritual awakening, and the error of eternal damnation are all carefully and lovingly revealed in the life and sayings of Jesus, all of which are false concepts.
Buddhism, established in 528 BC by Gautama Siddhartha, is the belief that existence is suffering; the cause of suffering is desire; and the end of suffering comes with Nirvana, the Eightfold path of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindedness, and right concentration. In Buddhism, there is no God. Good actions are rewarded and evil actions punished through a long series of lives and deaths.
Zoroastrianism, founded in the 6th century BC is the belief that the world is divided between the spirits of good and evil. They consider fire sacred. Zoroastrians worship Ahura Mazdah as the supreme god who is forever in conflict with Ahriman, the evil god.
In the fourth century AD, Donatus founded a Christian movement in North Africa that claimed that only those without sin belonged in the church.
Also, in the fourth century AD, Pelagius (c.360 c.420) preached in contrast to St. Augustine's' belief that humans could only obtain salvation by God's grace. Pelagianism taught that original sin did not exist and that humans are creatures of inherent spiritual grace and free will.208
Down through the ages, many other humans inserted their beliefs into Christianity. We need to realize that as humans, we really are incapable of understanding, at least in this material world, what our Creator and His spiritual realm are like. We need to understand that Jesus is the only way to the kingdom of heaven. Do not study or believe anything that I or anyone else has said. Only study what was recorded that Jesus said, and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness with all your heart and soul. Perhaps then, there is hope that you, as a weak and helplessly ignorant creation of God, can enter into His kingdom. This kingdom is not only in heaven, for Jesus told us that the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20, 21). " ... Thy kingdom come ... on earth, as it is in heaven."207. Luke 9:57 62; Matthew 8:18 22.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God