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Author Topic: Parables  (Read 5439 times)

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« on: July 02, 2008, 08:59:54 AM »

In Matthew 13:36-42 and 49-50 we find Jesus EXPLAINING his parables.
Does this mean they're meant to be taken literally?

Dear Readers:  First:  Is this a parable?
"And He [Jesus] spake many things unto them in PARABLES, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow" (Matt. 13:3).
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in PARABLES?"
(Matt. 13:10).

"Therefore speak I to them in PARABLES" (Matt. 13:13).

"Hear ye therefore the PARABLE of the sower" (Matt. 13:18).

Yep, I'd say we have pretty good proof here that this story in Matthew was a PARABLE.
Next:  Is it to be taken literally?  I'm thinking that what you mean by that is, are we to take Christ's explanation of the parable literally?  Is that what you mean?  Surely you understand that when we read back in verses 3 and 4: "And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow.  And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up," that this is not literally what Jesus was teaching, or He would not have had to explain it to His disciples at all. They would have just taken a "sower" to mean a literal farmer or gardener who when out to sow literal seed in the field.
So then let's ask if Jesus' explanation of His parable is to be taken "literally?"  And the answer I given in the past is "NO."  No, neither the parable nor the explanation of the parable is to be taken literally.  Notice there items in Christ's explanation:
"the word of the kingdom"--what's that?  What is "the word of the kingdom," and is it a "literal" word?
"then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart"--Who is this wicked one?  How does he catch away something sown in the heart?  And agin, just what IS this word of the kingdom sown in theheart which some wicked one can snatch away?  This is all symbolic of something differnt from these "literal" words of explanation.
Likewise the rest of the explanation is also all symbolic and spiritual in meaning that does not represent the literal words and phrases that Jesus used at all. You can check all of the parables which Jesus explained, and you will find that Jesus explained His parables with more words and symbols that have a spiritual rather than a literal meaning.
Hopefully that will help you a little better.
God be with you
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