Parables are sayings that teach truth by comparison. The word parable means a placing alongside of; a parallel, comparison or similitude. In scripture it is a story drawn from nature or human circumstances to teach a moral or spiritual truth. The meaning of the parable has to be studied - it is not the story that is of value but the lesson it teaches. There is a comparison being made and the hearer has to perceive the likeness of the things compared to learn the lesson. Much of Jesus' teaching was in parables because parables have a double use - they reveal the truth to those who want it, and conceal it from those who do not (CP V10-17). V11-15 do not teach as some suppose that Jesus deliberately withheld the truth from the Pharisees so that they could not get saved. The Pharisees wilfully rejected the truth, causing it to be veiled from them because they had hardened their hearts to it. They did not want to be converted to Christ. To be interpreted correctly parables must be studied strictly within their context and attendant circumstances - what precedes them and what follows them; the conversations of which they formed a part; the questions and objections to which they were the explanations.
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