"PARABLES OF JESUS PART 5"
Delivered By
Brother Chuck Fannin
Delivered On
March 27, 2022 at 10:00 AM
Subject
"PARABLES OF JESUS PART 5"
Description
  • Slide # 1: We read the Bible as a literal document

Does that mean everything is literal?

What about

“idioms”

“metaphors”

“similes”

“stories”

“parables”

How can we begin to discern the differences?

 

· Slide # 2: Why it is important to understand figures of speech in the Bible?

· To get to the correct interpretation of Scripture.

· Serious misinterpretations of Scripture come from:

Two examples of possible misunderstanding of figures of speech are:

· Calling something figurative that is literal. For example, the 6 days of Creation in Genesis 1 are literal 24-hour periods. But many who want to believe Creation couldn’t have happened that quickly say they are figurative.

· Calling something literal that is figurative. For example, John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am” is used to support that Jesus is eternal and pre-existed Abraham. Really, it is the figure of speech heterosis or switching of word forms (here, verb tense). It emphasizes the certainty of Jesus’ coming. (My question: is this a “good” interpretation? If so, how does this author square this with John 1:1? I believe this to be a “literal” statement – not a figurative (chuck))

 

· How can we recognize figures of speech?

Sometimes, the words do not make sense literally.

1 Corinthians 11:16-21, Paul calls himself a fool. Is he really a fool? Not at all. He is using sarcasm as a way to emphasize his point.

Isaiah 55:12, “the trees will clap their hands.” Trees don’t have hands and don’t clap. The figure is personification.

 

  • If your interpretation is contrary to any other portion of the bible, it is wrong. All of the Bible MUST agree. Example above. If Jesus’ statement “I am” is a figure of speech, then it would not agree with John 1:1 where we are told explicitly that “in the beginning was the Word”. John 1:14 clearly tells us that the “Word” became flesh (Jesus). Thus the “I am” statement is NOT figurative but rather literal!

 

 

· Slide # 3: Some figures of speech

The idiom – One dictionary defines an idiom like this. “an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own”. This definition really captures the importance of understanding cultural context when seeking to understand an idiom. Examples:

 

Time to take a “Cat nap”.

I had to “bite my tongue”.

He was “putting all his eggs in one basket”.

Time for me to “hit the books”.

 

  1. are all examples of idioms or figures of speech. Did you know that the Bible is full of full of sayings or expressions that cannot be understood in and of themselves because they have a separate meaning of their own? As an example, Job 19:20, we find an idiom expression that is still used in the world today. By itself, it has no meaning but I’ll bet everyone of use could correctly explain its meaning!

 

“I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.”

  • Metaphors (describe)

My first thought is of Peter. Jesus said to him, And I say also unto thee, “That thou art Peter (petras – a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church” …. Was Peter a rock? Or does this comment tell us something about Peter? How so? (solid?, (maybe as dumb as one as well))

 

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). This confused some people. But, Jesus did not actually mean He was a loaf of bread. Instead, He meant that He gives life and sustains us spiritually, the way bread sustains the body.

I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Jesus did not mean He literally gave light to the world, like the sun. Instead, He pointed to His role of driving back spiritual darkness and illuminating the way of life and truth.

I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7). This metaphor has several layers. Here, we, humanity, are represented by the sheep—helpless, rather foolish creatures at the mercy of a shepherd to protect them. Jesus is the door to the sheepfold, the safe haven of the sheep. He is the only way to enter into the place of protection and rest.

  • Similes (compare)

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”(Matthew 13:52)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

  • The Parable: a comparison for the purpose of illustration

The word parable comes from the Greek word “parabole”, which means “a placing beside” and therefore is a comparison or an illustration. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain about 30 of these stories while John’s gospel contains no parables but does use figures of speech.

 

A parable is a story taken from real life (or a real-life situation) from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn. They are not fables (talking animals or trees, etc.). They are not allegories where every detail has a hidden meaning. They are basically an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

When Jesus began to teach in parables, it represented a new direction in His ministry. We are told that from when they were introduced, from this point forward, Jesus typically taught the multitudes in the form. He continued to teach his disciples in a plain manner but the crowds primarily received parables (Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:11).

  • Resources and quotes used for this study guide: “The parables of Jesus” by T. Johnson

 

· Slide # 4: Jesus used parables to illustrate spiritual truths such as

There is a “new story” being told

The Kingdom of heaven is like

How God’s people should behave

The coming Judgment

 

· A New Story - Matthew 9:16–17 (ESV) No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

 

  • The Kingdom is like - Matthew 13:31–32 (ESV) He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
  • How God’s people should behave - Luke 12:16–21 (ESV) And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
  • The coming Judgment - Matthew 25:31–46 (ESV) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world . . . 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

· Slide # 5: Why Parables? (remember we are disciples)

 

That the disciples might understand But Israel not . . .

Matthew 13:10–15 (ESV) Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

· To fulfill Bible prophecy

 

14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

 

Mark 4:10–12 (ESV) And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that

“ ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’ ”

 

Luke 8:9–10 (KJV) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 

Isaiah 6:8b–10 (ESV) Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “ ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

 

· Slide # 6: Leads to “WHY” would He speak parables to Israel?

 

Why would He allow them to see yet not understand?

(Repeated 6 times in the N.T. (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:25-28; and Romans 11:8

 

He was preparing the way for the Gentiles (the temporary rejection of Israel from its position of authority – till the time be fulfilled) Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25-27

 

Luke 21:24 (ESV) They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

Romans 11:25–27 (ESV) Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

 

· What is “the times of the Gentiles”?

 

Daniel refers to this “time” in Daniel 2:31-45. In interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel clearly teaches that the time of the Gentiles (the time that Israel would be under gentile rulers) started with King Nebuchadnezzar and extends until the return of Jesus when he sets up His kingdom!

 

It also might be said to refer to the idea that the Gentiles are set aside to carry the message of God – to be the “light of the world”. Israel was removed from the position of the oracles of God. Many might say that the Gentiles are allowed to rule the world – and by extension, Jerusalem/Israel. It might be thought that this time would have ended at the end of the six-day war when Israel retook Jerusalem. This would be erroneous for two reasons: 1. Jerusalem is not totally under Israeli control. 2. The gentiles still rule the world.

 

· So, when can we expect the “times of the Gentiles” to be finished (or fulfilled)?

 

Daniel 2:43–45a (ESV) as you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kingsthe God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,

 

· Slide # 7: The question at hand is, “why are their hearts hardened?”

 

Isaiah 6:8–10 (ESV) And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “(Imperative – God said to Isaiah (You)) Go, and say to this people: “ ‘ (who said?)Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. (who said?) Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed (by whom).” (Note that the “noun” is missing in these statements and must be inferred.)

 

Verse 10 gives the command “(who??) make the heart of this people dull”. There is no noun. Who is to “make the heart dull”? Since this is a prophecy that God directed Isaiah to say, I believe it is God. Yet, many will say Israel is the unspoken noun. When defending the position (Israel has hardened their own hearts), most will not look at conflicting verses – such as Isaiah 29:10.

 

· Is it because of their attitude? (Let this one hang for a little)

 

· Or is it because of some “outside” action? (and this one)

 

  • “God has blinded Israel.” Lest they see/hear, repent and be saved! Here is an example of “cherry-picking” verses to prove (correctly or incorrectly) a theological point. If I were to offer the following verses (Isa 29:9-12; John 12:39; Romans 11:7-8; Romans 9:17) you would quickly come to the conclusion that “God” has blinded Israel.

 

1 Isa. 29:9-12 Stay yourselves, and wonder; Cry ye out, and cry: They are drunken, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, And hath closed your eyes: The prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, Which men deliver to one that is learned, Saying, Read this, I pray thee: And he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, Saying, Read this, I pray thee: And he saith, I am not learned.

 

2 John 12:39–40 (ESV) Therefore they (Israel) could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He (who?) has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I (who?) would heal them.”

3 Romans 11:7–8 (ESV) What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

4 Romans 9:17–18 (ESV) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So, then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

From these three passages, we might conclude that God has blinded Israel. WHY? So that they might go down a path that He has laid out for them. WHY AGAIN?

Yet, that sort of conclusion would seem to be in contradiction to three other verses. These verses indicate that the “hardening” has happened due to the action of the nation. Let’s bring them up as well:

1 Matthew 13:13–15 (ESV) This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

2 Acts 28:25–27 (ESV) And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “ ‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

3 Acts 28:26–27 (ESV) “ ‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

 

  • Slide # 8: Conclusions: The more I learn, the more I understand just how much I do not know (ref Line upon line Isa 28:13)

Isaiah 28:13a (ESV) And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little

 

  • Some things are without argument.

Example: To you it is given! Jesus spells it out in unmistakable terms!

Mark 4:10–12 (ESV) And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”

  • Since we are of the opinion that the Bible is inerrant in its teachings, we must conclude that sometimes, God’s Plan and Purposes trump our ability to understand what is written.

Isaiah 55:8–9 (ESV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

Psalm 139:17–18a (ESV) How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

 

· God’s Word is Eternal!

 

Isaiah 40:7–8 (ESV) The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

 

Isaiah 46:8–11 (ESV) “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ . . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

 

 

Slide # 9: Thoughts to explore

  1. Do the parables have “themes”

If so, what is/are it/they?

 

  1. Do the parables have a particular structure

 

  1. To whom are they given?

The Jews alone?

The Gentiles alone?

Or some of both?