Contrary to what most people think and have been taught, Jesus Christ spoke in Parables to hide or conceal truth from those who really did not want truth.
Usually you will hear something like this, "Jesus Christ spoke in Parables to illustrate the truth in order that it might be made clear and understandable." NOT SO! Let's let the Scriptures speak for themselves. Jesus said, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in Parables. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven (Mark 4:11-12.)" Jesus plainly says that He spoke in Parables so that people would not understand what He was saying.
That is why the whole subject of Parables ought to be approached very carefully. It is because the Parables can be made to say just about anything you want them to say. And that is exactly what Jesus Christ intended. Does that sound strange? Let me repeat! Jesus spoke in Parables to hide and conceal truth from those who really don't want truth.
Listen to this prayer of Jesus from Matthew 11:25; "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." In this prayer Jesus is thanking the Father for hiding the truth from certain ones.
All Parables must, therefore, be interpreted in the light of clear doctrinal statements. We should never contradict a clear statement of Scripture with a Scripture passage we do not understand. For example, Jesus said in John 6:47, "Verily, Verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." This statement is clear, and the proclamation is final. Nothing in the Bible contradicts this wonderful verse. In fact all other Scripture must be interpreted in the light if this verse. Any interpretation of a Scripture that contradicts John 6:47 would be a wrong interpretation.
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29.)" We find this verse a wonderful truth, that the truths of God's Word are for the saved (the believer) not the unbeliever. That is why the Bible says that the unbeliever cannot understand the Bible. In I Corinthians 2:14, it says, "But the natural man (unsaved) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Jesus also said in John 8:47, "He that is of God heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
Now the unsaved man can understand the gospel. Paul tells us that the "gospel message" is the "power of God unto salvation," Romans 1:16. If the unbeliever believes on Jesus Christ as his Savior, then the Bible can become opened up to him.
Let's look at several things we know:
1. God is absolutely sovereign and in His sovereignty, he gave man a free will to accept or reject the salvation that He has provided. It is God's will that all would be saved and that none should perish. God foreknows, but does not predetermine any man to be condemned. God permits man's destiny to depend upon man's choice. (I Timothy 2:4; II Thessalonians 2:12; I Peter 1:2; II Peter 3:9; John 6:64-65; Acts 10:34-35; I Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:5-14; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:30-32.)
2. God promises to get the truth (gospel) to the person is seeking. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
3. A person who does not want truth will go into further darkness. Romans 1:21 says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
4. Dr. Scofield says, "Paul divides men into three classes; psuchikos, of the senses (James 3:15; Jude 19), or natural; i.e. the Adamic man, unrenewed through the new birth (John 3:3-5); pneumatikos spiritual, i.e the renewed man as Spirit-filled and walking in the Spirit in full communion with God (Ephesians 5:18-20); and sarkikos, carnal, fleshly, i.e. the renewed man who, walking after the flesh, remains a babe in Christ (I Corinthians 3:1-4). The natural man may be learned, gentle, eloquent; fascinating, but the spiritual content of Scripture is absolutely hidden from him; and the fleshly, or carnal Christian is able to comprehend only its simplest truths, milk, (I Corinthians 3:2.)" SEE SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE, PG. 1213.
First, a person needs to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior. "…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt b saved...(Acts 16:31.)" Secondly, as a born-again believer, have a seeking attitude and a willingness to do the will of God. "If any man will to do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God...(John 7:17.)" In other words, our attitude toward God and knowing the truth is very important.
Remember that Jesus spoke in Parables to hide the truth. Be careful to interpret Parables in the light of clear passages. Seek truth in God's Word with a willingness to obey God's word.