Q. I have two questions. My first question is about the Pharisees. Throughout the gospels we see that the Pharisees just about hated Jesus. My question is, why? Why did they hate him? I mean, he was healing the sick and giving sight to the blind. Why weren’t they compelled to follow Him? My second question is: why did Jesus teach in parables? When I was reading the gospel of Mark recently, it seemed like He didn’t want the people to understand His message. Why is that?
A. The Pharisees had two problems with Jesus. One was that they believed they were saved by keeping the Law and didn’t need a Savior. But the more serious problem was they didn’t think it was possible for Jesus to be the son of God. Their Scriptures plainly said there was only one true God (Deut. 6:4), and they didn’t understand how He could become a man. Therefore they believed Jesus was a false prophet and guilty of blasphemy.
In Matt. 13:10-17 the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables. He said there were two reasons. One was so believers would gain an even greater understanding of the secrets of the Kingdom and the other was so unbelievers would lose even the little understanding they had. Paul clarified this statement later by saying that without the Holy Spirit to guide us it’s impossible to understand the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14). To an unbeliever it’s all foolishness.