ASK THE average churchgoer why Christ spoke in parables and you will probably hear, "Why, to make the meaning more clear!" That answer is absolutely, totally wrong — directly opposite from the reason Christ Himself gave ! The disciples came to Jesus asking the very same question once, "... Why speakest thou unto them in parables?" (Matt. 13:10.) Does Christ's answer agree with the one most would give? "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.... Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand" (verses 11, 13). From the lips of Jesus Himself. He did not want the multitudes to understand. He continued, quoting from Isaiah, "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive" (verse 14).
Minds Must Be Opened
God is simply not opening the eyes of all to His truth. And unless God opens someone's mind, that individual is totally blinded to spiritual things. Paul explained to the Corinthians that the natural human being understands things on a physical, carnal plane. His mind comprehends only that which is logical from the normal, physical point of view. But the true knowledge, true understanding, and true logic of Almighty God can be grasped only by a mind that is expanded to understand spiritual things through God's Spirit. "But the natural man 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" (I Cor. 2:14). Unless God elects or selects an individual to be CALLED AT THIS TIME, unless God expands his mind to discern real spiritual truth, he remains blinded. Paul went on to explain in Romans 11:25-26, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery...that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Zsrael shall be saved...." God plans to eventually give all Zsrael (including modern Britain and America) an opportunity to know His truth; but most, even in Paul's day, were blinded to that truth ! The same Christ who spoke in parables inspired Paul to write to the Thessalonians, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (II Thes. 2:11).
Most Not Interested
Some are simply not interested in obeying God. They are caught up in transitory physical pursuits that have become their god and do not want to know the truth! God knows that to wake such people from their dream world could mean eternal death for them — because they would probably reject His way. So, in love and mercy, He sends them strong delusion — He allows them to go on in ignorance. But God plans ultimately to give everyone an opportunity to know His truth. II Peter 3:9 reports, "The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Paul wrote to Timothy that God "...will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4). God wants everyone to have an opportunity for salvation — but at the time that is right for each individual. Christ spoke in parables because it was not yet the time for people of His day to come to a convicting knowledge of the truth.
None Converted Till Pentecost
As astounding as it may be, not one single individual was ever converted during the ministry of Christ! Thousands were taught. Multitudes followed Him, captivated by His preaching and enthralled by His miracles. A few chosen disciples were thoroughly instructed, but none was converted until after Christ ascended into heaven — until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was made available to those whom God had called. On that day and afterwards, thousands were converted — including many who had heard and wondered at Christ's parables. But the vast majority — even of those alive during Christ's ministry, death, and resurrection — lived and died never having had their eyes opened to the real meaning of Christ's message. And the vast majorities down through the centuries have never heard of the truth of the God who created them. But when God's plan for mankind is all finished, every last human being who has ever lived will have had a chance — one chance — to learn of the right way of life. Paul wrote, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Romans 9:16). Christ said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44). God wasn't drawing everyone in Jesus' day, and He is not opening the mind of everyone living in our day! The Bible makes very plain the fact that the vast majority of all humanity will receive its opportunity — its first and only opportunity for salvation — in the future. For more information about God's plan, read our free reprints "Is This the Only Day of Salvation?" and "What Is Death?"