Why did Jesus Speak Only In Parables?


Thank you for being available to assist us. Last night my wife and I struggled with this from Mark 4:10-12.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,

” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”

We just couldn’t explain to ourselves why Jesus appears to be intentionally preventing some from coming to forgiveness by using parables.

We’d really appreciate some help here. Thank you very much.


In Mark 3:22-30 the Jewish officials had attributed the Lord’s miraculous work to Satan (Beelzebub), the so-called unforgivable sin. This is viewed by many scholars as Israel’s official rejection of their Messiah. They had hardened their hearts against Him. From then on he only spoke publicly in parables. This was to fulfill Isaiah 6:9-10 the passage Jesus quoted.

But notice Mark 4:33-34. “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”

Verse 33 alludes to the fact that many did understand the parables because being Spiritually discerned, those who believed could understand. (1 Cor. 2:14) Also verse 34 tells us that He made sure the disciples understood everything so they could teach the believers after He had gone.