Jesus_in a boat


From today’s Gospel from the Mass (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus teaches a large crowd using parables.  An excerpt:

[10] And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. [11] 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;  [12] so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.”

Why does Jesus teach using parables?  Here’s why:

  • Parables are a spoken or literary comparison between two things for an illustration.  Jesus offers at least 37 parables/metaphors in the NT.  Clearly, Jesus purposefully uses parables as a core to His Gospel.
  • By speaking in parables, Jesus conceals His message in plain sight from those who lack faith.
  • Parables are a powerful way to relate to a crowd; He used common settings and issues that all would have been able to relate to.  These parables are demonstrably memorable; we are still talking about them today.
  • For the faithful, parables gave a richness to reflect upon that both revealed the Truth of Christ’s teachings and His Divine Genius.
  • For those who are hungry, the parables draw them ever deeper into their faith (CCC 546).

Whatever Christ says, small or large, one can know that it is the Word of God.  When Christ repeats things or does things multiple times, there is something great to be learned.  Reflecting on the parables can draw us ever deeper into the great and unfathomable depths of Jesus Christ and His Divine Genius.