Why Did Jesus Use Parables to Convey Much of His Teaching? What Can We Learn from This About How We Should Communicate ‘Good News’ to the People Around Us?

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Why did Jesus use parables to convey much of his teaching? What can we learn from this about how we should communicate ‘good news’ to the people around us?
Introduction to the Gospels

The Gospels of the New Testament contain 39 different parables told by Jesus (Phillips 2004, 18-19) and no doubt he spoke many more during his ministry. Jesus’ choice to use parables to teach his people is one that has intrigued many people throughout history. The aim of this essay is to get to discover why he chose to use those parables, and also what we can learn from this teaching method when evangelising today.

Mark 4: 10-12 is one of the main passages that explains why Jesus taught in parables. There have been a number of
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Another reason for Jesus teaching in parables is identified as Jesus knowing the best way to capture his audience, make them think deeply about what he has just said and then remember his teaching.
‘It is meant to make people think – even think furiously – and to issue in decision and action’ (Hunter 1976, 13) ‘And sometimes such vivid analogies so catch the public mind that they pass into public parlance’ (Etchells 1998, 1) It is no wonder that the reason people still like to use stories to illustrate teaching today is because of these facts. Etchells in particular brings out a very interesting point in that Jesus would surely have wanted his teaching to reach more than just the people directly listening. Stories are easy for people to both remember and remember accurately, making it more likely for his teaching to spread even before it became codified. We can learn greatly from this. If we really want our listeners to engage with the Gospel we need to preach it to them in a way that will help them engage. Telling those parables that force them to think for themselves and remember what they have been taught will help to carry the message of the teacher back into the listeners’ daily lives, rather than just hearing the message and
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