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Why Parables?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 12:01 am

Why Parables?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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January 10, 2022 12:01 am

During His earthly ministry, Jesus used parables both to communicate and to conceal the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Today, R.C. Sproul defines the purpose of parables and begins to examine the rich truths they reveal about the Savior.

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Illustrations war stories are helpful teaching tools and there is an element of reps contained in the use of parable by juices. However, there is another element element that is somewhat mysterious and sometimes gives us pause. Some people find it objectionable to find out why they can be mysterious and objectionable welcome to Renewing Your Mind on this Monday blindly with today.

And all this week.

Dr. RC Sproul was going to examine several parables of Jesus exploring the rich truths they reveal about her Savior and what he came to earth to accomplish. So let's get started. Tonight were going to begin a brand-new series titled the parables of Jesus and what I intended doing our time together is first of all give a brief explanation and definition of what a parable is, and how those parables were used by Jesus in his earthly ministry. And then after that brief introduction, it is my plan to give an exposition of 11 parables that I have selected for this course now Jesus gave many more parables than those 11 but in the time constraints that we have for this series were going to focus our attention on just 11 of them begin by saying I think that it's safe to say that our Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest teacher that ever walked on the face of the earth. And I say that not only because he was the very incarnation of truth and so that the content of his teaching was altogether impeccable and was of divine origin but not only was he the greatest teacher that ever lived, because of the supreme content that he delivered but also he was a master Pentagon that is his style of teaching was extraordinary. His own contemporaries said of him, no man has ever taught the way he does.

And even some of his enemies said that he speaks as one who has authority, and not like the scribes and the Pharisees not to just pause for a second and comment briefly on that statement that Jesus spoke as one having authority, the word there that is translated by authority.

In some instances is the Greek word which I will transliterate your ex who see you ask Lucy is usually translated by the English word authority but it can also be translated by the English word power and this interesting word is made up of a prefix. Acts and the root see you and I think you know what that prefix X means if you're ever in a difficult situation to theater herein catches on fire.

You look for the sign that says exit because you know that that's the way to get out and so the prefix X means simply from or out of what I'm most interested in is the root of this word XO Sia the word loosely is the present participle of the Greek verb to be.

And so it can be translated by the word being or essence or substance, or even more crudely simply stuff and so if we look at the etymology of this word that is translated authority. It means literally out of substance out of stuff out of essence out of being in the idea here is that the teaching of Jesus is not frivolous. It's not superficial there's not a desultory word that ever comes from his lips. Everything that he says has substance to it. Everything that he says carries the very weight of his own authority.

And so we understand that Jesus uniquely taught from this standpoint of authority. The authority of God himself. Three said I say nothing on my own authority, but I only say that which is been given to me by the father, now in his unique proclamation of truth with authority in his pedagogical style is perhaps most noted for his use of parables and a brief comment on that. First of all, the idea of the parable is not something that began or was invented by Jesus.

There was a tradition among the Pharisees and the rabbis of that day to use parables but their use of parable was different slightly from Jesus use of it. The use of the Pharisees was to explain or to illustrate the meaning of the Old Testament, Mosaic law, Jesus use of parables was not simply to illustrate previous revelation that had been given and delivered through Moses and the prophets of the Old Testament, but his use of parable was to give no revelation revelation that was heretofore unknown and so it was an important difference from his use of parable and that of the Pharisee. Second of all, you won't find a parable anywhere in the New Testament outside of the Gospels.

The Gospels are filled with the use of parables, but they are strangely absent from the rest of the New Testament and their most infrequent in the Old Testament. Perhaps you will remember the most famous parable of the Old Testament, and that was the one delivered by the prophet Nathan when he came to David after David's sin with Bathsheba and he told them the story of this rich man who had many sheep and he took this one sheep from the poor man who love this shape dearly and arrogated to himself and when David heard that story. He was outraged and he said who is that man find me. That man bring Amira Micah put up with that in my kingdom.

And so even with the use of the parable by the prophet Nathan. David didn't get until Nathan got in his face and said David you are the main, I mentioned that famous parable of the Old Testament because in that case, Nathan came to David with judgment. He came in a moment of crisis and this is one of the ways in which parables function so richly in the New Testament. The very word parable if we break it down. It comes from the Greek Kara follow Kara again is the prefix and you're familiar with it, you have paralegals, parachutes para ministries para this imperative that an up para means something that is alongside something else paralegal works alongside the lawyer as a helper to assist them in a certain way and the root of that word parable ball lower below means to throw or to her and so if you break the word down parabolic means something that is thrown alongside of something else and we see how Jesus uses it.

He is teaching an important concept and in order to clarify his teaching and his meaning he throws the parable along side of it to illustrate the truth that he's given. It's been said that in in real estate there only three important factors that determine the value of a property.

The first one is location and the second one is location and the third one is location. So we said comes down to location, location, location is been set of preachers. The most important part of their proclamation is illustration. Illustration illustration but again we try to use illustrations to simplify to clarify to heighten people's ability to understand what we're say and there is an element of that contained in the use of parable by Jesus. However, there is another element element that is somewhat mysterious and sometimes gives us pause. Some people find it objectionable, but will look at that in Mark's gospel in the fourth chapter right after Jesus had preached his famous parable of the sower. He said at the end of that parable. He who has ears to hear, let him hear now why would a speaker ever make a statement like that after he tells a story if I given illustration. My sermon do I say at the end of it to you, he who has ears to hear, let him hear. Because were almost 100% certain that everybody who was present in the congregation has two ears. They may have a percentage of those who can't hear and are hearing impaired.

But again, the vast majority of people were sitting under the sermon are able to hear the sound waves of comes through the years and so why would Jesus say he was ears to hear, let him hear what he's obviously not talking about a simple response to an impact on the auditory nerve in the ear he's talking about people who have an ability to hear to understand and to embrace the truth of it to hear not simply the audible sounds that are being made, but again it and to embrace it. In fact, there's a strange phenomenon in the Greek language with respect to hearing the verb to hear is the verb of complaint from which we get the English word acoustics and the word for obedience in Greek is hope a cooling and that prefix hoopoe is the prefix from which we get the English word hyper or the word super and so is interested in the Greek language there's hearing and then there's obeying what you hear, and obeying what you hear means really hearing it. I hyper hearing a super hear and so when Jesus gives the statement he was ears to hear, let them hear what he's basically saying is that he understands that there were people there hearing his teaching and inherent it never really pierced their understanding or their hearts. And so Jesus makes a distinction between those who hear and those who don't hear and we get further explanation of that in this strange passage in Mark chapter 4 will read these words after Jesus said to them, he was ears to hear, let him hear.

But when he was alone, those around him with the 12 asked him about the parable and he said to them to you. It is been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God but to those who are outside all things come in parables so that he says saying they may see and not perceive and hearing they may hear and not understand lest they should turn in their sins be forgiven them. So what's going on here is that to those who have ears to hear the parable is an instrument that Jesus uses to give a deeper understanding of the things that he said, but to those who don't have ears to hear the parable is actually an instrument of concealment is not simply given to make everything clear to people, but it is too obscure to those who are the outside that are not given the understanding of the mystery of the kingdom of God.

That sounds somewhat harsh is not the Jesus comes in the not only comes to instruct and to help people understand the kingdom of God. For those who have ears to hear it, but also his coming is a kind of judgment on those who don't want to hear the truth. Remember in our fallen condition where describe the New Testament terms that we by nature do not want to have God in our thinking will want to hear his word. We have no desire to understand his word were fugitives from his word and enemies of that word and because of that whenever God speaks his word, which is redeeming to some it is an expression of judgment on others go back just for a moment to the prophet Isaiah to his call in the six chapter of the book that bears his name after he has the vision of the Lord, high and lifted up in the years the tri-saggy on the song of the Seraphim, holy, holy, holy is the Lord opposed him and he's overwhelmed and pronounces a curse on himself and then God instructs the Seraphim to take an burning coal from off the altar, and sear his lips and while he's trembling before the holiness of God, and profound anguish and a four and terror. God says who shall we send, and who will go for us in Isaiah through those blistered lips that had just been cauterized by that hot coal says here in my send me as to what this gunsight was profitable. Isaiah this one. I'm so glad you volunteer for this mission. I'm going to anoint you with my Holy Spirit to make you the most popular evangelists that ever walked the face of the earth, and the crowds will be streaming into arenas in order to hear every word because her mouth.

That's not what God said rather, he said to him, go and tell this people keep on hearing but do not understand. Keep on seeing the do not perceive make the heart of this people dull. Their ears heavy, and shut their eyes lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart and return and be healed. Isaiah on commissioning you to shut the eyes of the people to stop the years of the people that their hearts may be hardened last they repent and be healed.

In other words, your mission is to be my instrument simply of judgment, and it's a judgment in kind a kind of poetic justice these people to want to hear my word that I'm going to give them over to their antipathy to my word, and not give them the ability to hear more.

They don't want to look at me I'm better shut their eyes on the make the hearts that last they hear the good news and be converted when Isaiah heard those terms of his location. He cried out in anguish.

Lord, how long how long am I go to preach to the people that don't want to hear it got answered. He said until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, until the houses are without a man in the land is utterly desolate Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land, but yet 1/10 will be units and will return as the terrible three or an oak whose stump remains when it is cut down, so the holy seed shall be my stop For myself, a remnant of my people who will hear what you say and who will be given ears to hear, there's an interesting word in the New Testament that is used. That really describes Jesus entrance into the world and it's the Greek word, Croesus, Croesus, now that word is translated by the English word judgment. We bring it over into our language by different work. The word crisis in the greatest crisis with the world ever experience with the advent of Jesus. He came for a rising and falling of many in Israel. So I came not to bring peace but a sword. The set father against mother and husband against wife and parents against children is the rock of stumbling the stone of offense those who love him and his aroma of salvation to those who oppose them. He's the grounds for their condemnation in all of this is seen in his use of the parable he would take his disciples aside and say to you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God finding this when we go through the parables. You will see there are many different things, but one of the most common themes of the parable is the theme of the gospel of the kingdom of God. The term Gospels use three ways in the Bible. One way is to describe a particular literary form the Gospels, the books that tell us about Jesus and his life and ministry. But in the first instance the gospel that is defined and proclaimed by John the Baptist and then by Jesus is the good news of the kingdom of God and later in the epistles with Paul. For example, he talks about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the content of that gospel is Jesus's person and his work, but that transition comes from the initial announcement of the good news which is the announcement by John and the announcement of Jesus of the breakthrough of the kingdom of God. So over and over and over again throughout his parables Jesus will say in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven is like into this and he would throw along with that announcement that we might understand the mystery this people would gather from foreign wanted to hear Jesus teach. He had specific reasons though, for telling these parables as we continue this series by Dr. RC Sproul this week we will explore several of them, including the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in the parable of the workers in the vineyard.

Glad you joined us on this Monday for Renewing Your Mind would like for you to have all of these lessons in your collection of teaching resources so will send you the two DVD set for your donation of any amount to look at your ministries.

You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or if you prefer to give your gift online or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org if you have someone in mind you like to assure today's lesson with its easy to do, just go to Renewing Your Mind.org and look for the share button next to today's program title. There you can post a link to the program to Facebook, Twitter, or email, web address again is Renewing Your Mind.org Jesus told a parable about a man who had a bumper crop a banner year but instead of blessing others with his wealth, he thought to himself. How can I find a place to store up all of this wealth that I've just assumed I'm going to tear down my and build bigger. The last thing that was in his mind. Ladies and gentlemen was thanking God the parable of the rich fool tomorrow on Renewing Your Mind


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