Updated: Aug 23, 2022
How to interpret the parables
Philip the evangelist [Acts 8:30] asked the Ethiopian church as he read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Today, I would like to ask you the same question “Do you understand the scriptures that you are reading?” We cannot understand anything in the scriptures unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. However, God is not in the business of making it difficult for his church to understand his word. In fact, he has appointed some keys in the bible to make it easier for us to understand what he is saying through his word. Today, we are going to look at 3 examples of keys to unlocking the meaning of Psalms, Proverbs and Parables. We are starting with the parables.
Parables: is a story comparison where something is laid against something else. It usually is something spiritual laid alongside something natural, with a view to give understanding to God`s people and hiding it from his enemies.
The key to understanding the parables is found in the parable of the sower.
Mark 4:3-20; Parable of Sower
Verse 12; Unbelievers do not understand
Verse 13; If you do not understand this parable, how will you understand others. This is the most simple of parables and shows us how to interpret all the other parables.
A. Sower (believer) sows’ word (gospel) field (human heart)
B. Those by Road (do not understand) birds (Satan) steals it
C. Those by Rocks (understood) joyful acceptance but does not give word time to develop roots and when persecuted falls away.
D. Word sown in thorns is choked by cares and worries desire for worldly things. Their eyes are off Jesus.
E. Word sown on (good) heart understands it and is obedient to it. Produces fruits (good works) by *100, *50, *30 (minimum)
Seed = Word of God
Ground field = Human heart
Birds = Satan and demons
Rocky ground = Hardened heart
Thorns = Hearts preoccupied with worries and worldly desires
Good soil = Open hearts
Fruit = Good work/character
So in each parable, the things in it represent the elements of God`s truth revealed in a way to make his people understand.
Try another example now
Matthew 13:24-30; Parable of the Tares
Sower of Good seed = Son of Man, Jesus Christ
Field = World
Good seed = Sons of the Kingdom of God
Tares = Sons of Evil one
Enemy = devil
Harvest = End of Age
Reapers = Angels
Tares Burning = evil
Check your answer against
Prayer: May the Lord open his word to each one of us and cause us to understand what the Spirit is saying to us in his church.