Do Parables Reveal or Conceal the Truth?

The Prophets Spoke in Parables to Reveal and Conceal

The Scriptures make it clear that one of the reasons why Jesus spoke in parables was to conceal the Mystery of the Word of God from those who had not been “granted” the right to understand those mysteries while revealing it to those who had been “granted” that right:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him shall {more} be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
(Matthew 13:10–13) —NASB
And His disciples {began} questioning Him as to what this parable might be. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest {it is} in parables, in order that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
(Luke 8:9–10) —NASB

Jesus’ point is, most of us have the physical eyes and ears necessary to see and hear things in the physical world, but only a few have been “granted” the spiritual eyes and ears needed to apprehend the meaning and significance of the parables of Scripture which unlock the Mystery of the Word of God that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel concealed in their writings.

Few Will Be “Granted” Insight

The key to understanding the parables of Scripture resides in the Hebrew Scriptures, where Moses and the Prophets of Israel concealed the meaning and significance of their prophecies behind parables—which are themselves comprised of parabolic images and Hebrew idioms. Unless one is “granted” insight into The Teaching of Moses and the writings of all the other Prophets of Israel, the Mystery of the Scriptures—which is the Truth of the Word of God—remains hidden behind the parabolic statements made by the Prophets of Israel.

Further evidence of the fact that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel used parables to conceal the Truth of the Word of God is evident in this passage, where Matthew explains what Christ was doing in His Own day by quoting the Prophet who wrote Psalm 78:

“I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

(Matthew 13:35b) —NASB

There can be no doubt that Jesus and the Prophets of Israel spoke in parables, at least in part, to conceal the Truth of the Word of God from those who have no interest in the Truth. But they also spoke in parables to reveal the Truth to those who are willing to listen, to learn, and to believe the Truth concerning the Mystery of the Word of God. Those who have an honest desire to learn will be “granted” insight into the meaning and significance of the parables they hear, as was the case with Jesus’ disciples who, unlike the unbelieving Pharisees, were given a private explanation of Christ’s parables:

And with many such parables He was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
(Mark 4:33–34) —NASB

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