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June 25, 2017

Sermon: Parables: Why?

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Scripture Lesson

Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:10-17

And he said, ‘Go and say to this people: “Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.” Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.’

The Purpose of the Parables

Then the disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.” With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: “You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.” But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Parables: Why?
Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:10-17

I. Introduction: Wizard of Id
II. Parables
     A. Definition
     B. The question (Matt. 13:10)
III. Why speak in parables? (Matt. 13:10-17)
     A. Because it fulfills scripture
         1. Jesus is in the tradition of Isaiah (13:14)
         2. Jesus accepts Isaiah’s commission
             a. First a glorious vision of God (Is. 6:1-8)
             b. Then a commission to failure (Is. 6:9-10)
     B. Because understanding is a gift of God (13:11)
     C. Because they are a reminder of God’s blessing (13:16)
IV. What’s here for us?
     A. God may call is to fail (by our standards)
     B. People may misunderstand
     C. Submission to God
     D. We are blessed
V. Conclusion: St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-97)

 

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