by Jerry Vines

Mark 4:1-34.
This Scripture is a departure from the normal- teaching- method of the Lord Jesus. At this
point in time the Bible tells us that Jesus began to teach in parables. There was rising
opposition to the Lord as we have seen back in the third chapter, and we remember that the
Lord Jesus was grieved because of the hardness of their heart. That doesn't mean that Jesus
got mad at them because their heart was hard, but it means that His heart was broken - His
heart went out to them. Jesus was giving the truth that could liberate them and change their
lives and they were closing up their hearts and were refusing to receive the truth of the
Word of God. So, in an effort to reach them the Lord Jesus now turns to the method of the
parable. In fact, you will notice over in the 33rd verse of the chapter in verses 33 and 34
it says-
And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were
able to hear it.
But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were along
he expounded all things to his disciples.
So the parable becomes the primary method of the teaching of the Lord Jesus. A parable is
an illustration or it is a comparison. The word, parable, is the Greek word
pari - which means a long side; balo - which means to throw. So a parable means to throw
along side. In other words you have a truth you want to illustrate and so in order to
illustrate that truth you throw along side of it some comparrison, some illustration which
people understand which amplifies and illuminates the truth you are trying to teach. So
a parable, someone has quite well said, is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus
began to tell these stories, these little earthly comparisons and illustrations in order
to help these people understand what he was trying to say. There were two reasons basic-
ally why Jesus was using the method of the parable. One of the reasons is found in verse
11 and 12 -
And he said unto them, ...

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