Parables are intended to stretch the mind toward a higher understanding or to provide an enlightened vision.  In Mark 4.13 Jesus alludes to the importance of understanding parable teaching, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”  Directly after, Jesus gives the disciples the Parable of the Sower of the Word.

From the scripture above, there are many more parables to which Jesus refers.  This would include parables not mentioned in the four gospels.  Although our references for this work primarily remain within the four gospels, here is one example from the Book of Philip:

If one goes down into the water and comes up without having received anything, and says “I am a Christian,” he has borrowed the name at interest.  But if he receives the Holy Spirit, he has the name as a gift.  He who has received a gift does not have to give it back, but of him who has borrowed it at interest, payment is demanded.  This is the way it happens to one when he experiences a mystery.

Jesus taught by parable, imparting esoteric knowledge.
He taught by his example and by questioning.
Jesus’ teachings are diverse in style and content, often mixing teaching styles within one speaking.
Teaching parable near the treasury



The above parable illustrates the difference between enlightenment and gaining a broader vision, and the conversion that arrives content with words only.  The spoken-word agreement is better than nothing, and many modern religionists believe only words are necessary.  However, a words-only conversion may not embrace any true awakening.  The person’s intent is sincere, but they are not necessarily awakened to the spirit within, or  ‘born of water and the spirit’, meaning physical birth (water) and spiritual birth (Shekinah, or awakening).  The higher relationship with God is thus left to flounder.



How does the above parable relate to the Way?  Without receiving the Shekinah (Holy Spirit), the debt mentioned in Philip’s parable ends by being paid through unnecessary limitation or lack.  This type of practitioner pays a heavy price.  Limited by a staid faith that plods along through one day and the next, they may live uninspired lives, valuable opportunities may elude them,  what they seek always slips away, and they may remain an unteachable spirit.  After all, the Pharisees believed in the sanctity of their sacrifices but benefitted very little.  They, much like the modern religionist, may be able to explain their practice, but the assumption of the true awakening arrives by entering a different door.  The awakening is more than heartfelt, it is the awareness and the confirmation, the light and the knowing; it is the direct relationship with the spirit of God within.  This blessing of the spirit soars far beyond word agreements.

Philip’s ‘mystery’ refers to what for us is an unknown quality, the ‘dark mystery’ in that we cannot see it, nor can this mystery be experienced in any other way but through deeper revelation.  Even the Buddhist describes his or her enlightenment experience as shades falling from the eyes, ‘and now I see’.  We are all born spiritually blind and then born again with the second awakening or birth that begins the journey into the spirit of God, truly walking in the enlightenment Way.  For Christians, it also means the awakening to the person of Christ.  As a religious practice, this added awakening intends the full measure of God in His person.  Jesus, however, in most of his speakings refers to the omnibus awakening—the awakening to the kingdom of God within.

When one awakens, Philip’s parable mystery becomes solved: if you receive the gift it is yours, if not, you have only taken the gift as a pretender.  Within the parable, Philip’s resolution directs us to a fuller confirmation of the spirit.  This confirmation is not assumed by the individual but can only be received from God.  Likewise, meditations or prayer may lead one forward, but true conversion can only occur by accepting the indwelling Holy Spirit, the awakening to the kingdom within.  Believing is not the same as acceptance.  The Way cannot be engaged without this awakening.  Sowing a good seed can engender this awakening. 


Similar to Philip, Jesus speaks of this mysterious engagement in Luke 8.10 and gives the disciples an almost cryptic message concerning the nature of parables.  “To you, it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest, it is given in parables, that: ‘Seeing they may not see [(perceive) Mk. 4.12], and hearing they may not understand.”  Luke’s version separates those who have a more comprehending mind from those who do not, or perhaps those who seek and knock as opposed to those who wonder where the door is.


If “faith comes by hearing (hearing often), and hearing by the word of God,” Rom. 10.17, it seems clear that the word of truth must be spoken.  But Jesus warns that only some will understand—only some might awaken.  They may have accepted the kingdom based on belief, yet there is not enough faith to carry them into the true revelation.  For those who remain asleep, the words fall on an unawakened soul, “and hearing they may not understand.”

In the teaching of the Way, belief-faith is intimately connected.  Belief lies dormant, thus to be awakened.  Once awakened, faith then initiates action.  James 2.17, which deals with ‘faith without works’, more correctly interpreted as ‘actions’, is often given as a primary scripture for this understanding.  Faith provides a thought structure for how each person proceeds.  Two men may believe the same thing, but faith may move them in very different directions.

Both the Philip and Jesus parables point out ‘the something that is missing’.  Philip tells us that merely claiming but not truly receiving will result in a very different life than he who actually awakens.  The one who will strive because he owes, the others who receive stand satisfied.  Jesus tells us that only at certain times will his words be perceived, and only by certain people, thus discerning the awakened from the unawakened.


As Jesus’ ministry begins to take hold, and some understanding has developed, an important dynamic is created.  For those who do not understand Jesus’ words, they will ask of those who gleaned more.  Much sharing, conversation, and teaching may then occur.  This discussion took place among the disciples as well as other listeners.  Beneath this ministry turbulence, God’s plan can be observed.  That a part may be understood, but not the whole, engenders the quest into the knowledge Jesus offers.  Jesus’ ministry comes alive as the inspection into parable teaching begins.









Mark offers a slightly different version of Luke 8.10.  Mark’s addition to Luke’s scripture is given in verse Mk. 4.12, “Lest they should turn [convert or return], and their sins are forgiven them.”  Matthew Henry’s Commentary: “Those that would improve in knowledge, must be made sensible of their ignorance.”  His comment points to the transition from the current old or dead condition of Judaism, practiced by ritual and enforced by legalism, into revelatory enlightenment.

Mark separates those who not only hear but also gain or receive the new understanding—they awaken or at least begin to do so.  Orthodoxy too often accepts the message without the burgeoning awakening, as indicated in James 2.17, “Even so faith, if it hath not works (actions), is dead being alone.”  There is scant to recommend such faith.  Faith without actions has limited power to renew the mind.  Sowing a good seed is such an action, perhaps leading to revelation and renewal of the soul.  Without the revelation awakening, faith rescinds itself back into belief alone—potential, but very little progress.

Each person must also choose to enter into the enlightenment Jesus discusses.  Christians today sometimes refer to this as ‘kingdom consciousness’—their turn in direction faces the kingdom of God.  Therein, concerning daily participation with the spirit of God, their life becomes measured by a different set of standards.  Like faith, enlightenment is not something you have, it is what you participate in.

Luke speaks of “mysteries” and leads us to accept a broader understanding of the kingdom.  The kingdom is not only a place, such as heaven but also a state of mind or awakening.  His use of the word “mysteries” tells us there is much to understand and points to the deeper elements of parable teaching.  Many of the mysteries will concern the individual—how each person directs his work within and how the spirit (the kingdom) works within each person.  Luke’s scripture points to unfolding knowledge and wisdom, never-ending.  This unfolding knowledge will later become one root within Christianity.

If a person truly repents of their heart, change occurs, and the ears open to the expanded teachings.  Isiah 6.5-10 is paraphrased by Jesus, summed up in v. 9 & 10:


And He (Isaiah) said, “Go, and tell the people: ‘Keep on hearing, but [you] do not understand; keep on seeing, but [you] do not perceive [awaken].’*  This verse has the tone of mocking, essentially saying to the people to go on, ‘Keep listening, but you never understand anything.  You can see it, it’s right in front of your face!.. but you remain blind.’  It is much like a person who knows about sex but has never had sex.  There is no comparison between the two.

*“Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.”  V. 10 is considered a chastisement or a negative consequence for not truly listening.


Today it is no different.  To hear is to hear with the heart, not just the ears, and to see means to perceive with the mind.  The underpinning and demonstration of the enlightenment of which Jesus speaks depend heavily upon such principles.  Likewise, Isaiah addressed the complete change in the hearts and minds of the people.  Yet, due to their sodden nature, and should they truly understand the message of Adonai, they would rebel all the more; thus, this part of scripture is couched in the negative parlance and meant to convict.

Continuing through verse 13 tells us the truth about the Jewish people, that they had a hard time understanding the higher message of Isaiah.  As Jesus quotes the same scripture, he reveals the message of God, yet indicates he remains immersed within similar times as Isiah.  So, many will hear with their physical ears and see with their eyes, even witnessing healing miracles; but only the tenth portion will avail themselves of the great blessing and cross the river.

Isaiah chapter five deals with the impending judgment of the Jewish people.  The judgment is based upon the inability to yield proper fruit.*  Chapter five reads much like the ‘woes’ Jesus directs at the Pharisees (Mt. 23.1-39; Lk. 11.37-54).  Isaiah six refers to God’s calling of Isaiah into his prophetical ministry, with the above scripture describing how hard it can be to call people forth.  In Jesus’ times, Isaiah was considered the greatest of the prophets.  Jesus pronounces the transition by referring to Isaiah and makes an allusion to himself while in Nazara**, “sent to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,” Luke 4.18 (Is. 61.1).

 *“(the vineyard) brought forth wild grapes,” from Is. 5.2.  **Nazara, transposed into Greek as Nazareth; see Jesus the Nazarene.



All higher spiritual teachings embrace parable instruction.  Parable allows for both those who may grasp the unseeable as well as those who may suffer a lagging step.  A parable often foments many elements and requires the student to give thought to its meaning and what it means to them personally.












Matt. 13.31-35 (NIV) He told them another parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is
like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in the field.
Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows,
it is the largest of the garden plants and becomes a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a yeast
that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour
(three setas, about 1/2 bushel) until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables:
he did not say anything to them without using a parable.
So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world (ref. Ps. 78).”


The allusion to a tiny seed, in this case, faith, and one that yields a tree, describes how the kingdom begins and how it grows.  This ‘kingdom-growth’ occurs within each person.  Jesus accounts for himself as the tiny seed.  As Jesus’ words proliferate throughout the countryside various ‘birds’ begin to collect within the branches.  At first glance this roosting may seem completely positive, however, these diverse birds are usually taken with at least some negative connotation, that is, it is good that they have come to accept the abundance of the kingdom, but as to the birds themselves, they are a mixture, and the pure kingdom may not be presented properly, or in whole.

The seeds you plant will proliferate within; you become the bush of abundance.  Yet even amidst abundance, there is not necessarily perfection, completeness, or divine wholeness.  We see this mixture in churches today, or to put it another way, people are people.  Tares in the wheat field (v. 24) similarly allude to this mixture.  However, a good pinch of mustard seeds can yield many bushes.  The ministry is intended to spread much like the mustard seed.  The expanding heavenly kingdom will invasively spread across the land.  Being an herb, the mustard plant is at first hard to detect.  That being so, it suddenly sprouts everywhere.

There is a third factor concerning our spiritual vision.  Even though the mustard seed is the smallest, simple, and humble in size and structure, what is within gives the seed its impact.  Like a mustard seed, anyone (the smallest) may qualify for the kingdom or spread the kingdom, even if at the moment there seems no hope or they believe their time has run out—anyone who decides to do so may awaken, even amid difficult circumstances.

The Parable of the Yeast is similar.  Yeast cannot be separated once mixed in the dough but instead works throughout the dough to yield bread.  Yet, it is still a mixture and explains why unleavened bread is used for ceremonies, there is no mixing, and it is pure.  Similar to the large bush growing from the mustard seed, from which many different birds take refuge, the kingdom as seen in the world can be diverse and in that diversity, not necessarily pure.  For this reason, Jesus admonishes them to enter into the narrow gate (stay pure) and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (impure).  The narrow gate refers to the self and the Pharisees infers the world or worldliness, taking on worldly standards.

When Matthew’s scripture was written (AD 40), the readers of that day would be able to leap to Psalm 78, which locates the last sentence in Matthew, “…things hidden since the creation of the world,” but with a slight difference: Ps. 78.2, “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark (not fully understood) sayings of old.”  The psalmist refers to lessons taught in the past but that they now have to be repeated.  Matthew also understands that Jesus reveals things not spoken, even from the beginning.

Psalm 78 expresses God’s beneficence to a “rebellious generation” (v. 8), finally ending in v. 72, “So he shepherded them according to the integrity of His heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of His hands.”  Those familiar with scripture could not miss Matthew’s reference to Jesus as he pronounces the current generation as rebellious. As well, rebellion is present in many current worldly teachings. Matthew refers to Jesus as he who shepherds and then references Jesus’ skillfulness.  Jesus can speak to the ‘sayings of old’ but also teaches them within a higher context.  He also adds knowledge, ‘hidden since the creation of the world’.




A new spiritual order of events must now come into being, Jesus indicates.  The Great Awakening must continue.  Many people of these times could intellectually interpret the words within scripture but remain spiritually uncomprehending.  The Pharisees were one such group.  Parable teaching leads us to spiritual comprehension, hopefully yielding nuance to each person’s knowledge and wisdom.

God abides everywhere, Jesus tells us.  He is within us, He is without us.  Both the Parable of the Mustard Seed and The Parable of the Yeast give the kingdom of God not as a place but as in every place He is an active presence.  Those who follow the enlightened Path of the Way find this creative component central to their understanding of God’s method and works.

Jesus also lends himself to the mustard seed, for once it spreads, it is hard to rid the field.  Jesus plants many seeds.  He speaks to the new creation consciousness, or some might describe it as the new kingdom consciousness, and that if one wants to receive the harvest, these seeds Jesus sows begin the process.  The “mysteries” mentioned by Luke and the “things hidden” by Matthew refer to deepening growth as the parable understanding develops.  Most scholars recognize that the final teachings within Essene priesthood training concerned the study of parable knowledge-wisdom.

As in v. 37 of Matt. 13, “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man (Anointed One).”  Many of us are so familiar with this scripture that we think little about them, yet Jesus’ statements are far more startling than first observed.  If we embrace this powerful message, it becomes clear that he intended to change the world’s consciousness, not just reform Judaism.  In essence, his ministry statements bring enlightenment forward, and every man may participate.  Everyone may sow good seeds, within and without.


Jesus initiates the preparation of this ‘good soil’, specifically the disciples.  He then sows the seed, especially when he speaks privately, for the disciples are the first to have this seed sown upon the grounds of their souls.  Reflected in the following verse, 13.38, “the good sons are the children [sons (family)] of the kingdom,” wherein he privately speaks to the disciples as The Parable of the Tares* is explained.  This gives the disciples a special role.  Yet, it is also true if “the field is the world,” with “the good seed are the sons,” this leaves the calling open to any who choose the kingdom, taking upon themselves this sonship.  Therein any good soil will grow this good fruit.

*Tares, usually taken in two ways: either the world or worldliness, or perhaps more favored today, specifically a reference to the Pharisees (the enemy), those who follow the law instead of revelation knowledge, or insight (Mt. 7.6).


The above directly points to each individual, not just the disciples, offering universality and inclusion.  Universality is a form of oneness, not only among individuals in what will become the body of Jesus’ followers, but lends itself to the principle of oneness itself, as in, “I in them, and You in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them as You have loved me,” John 17.23.  Although not a parable, it reflects a speaking that lends itself to the revelation of “mysteries” and “things hidden,” likened to speaking prophecy or inspired sermon.  What is this oneness Jesus speaks of so often?  What is this absolute unity Jesus shares with the Father and that he wishes to share with us?  You may only come to understand this if you sow good seeds, following the Christed vision to completeness within the self.

As to the disciples being this good soil: they must also mature and spread new seeds.  For they are first, they are the disciples.  They will become like the mustard plant moving into every field.  They must become this good fruit that will abound to yield an increasing crop.  A grave responsibility has been imparted.  On a personal level, this part of the private message must have given them pause to consider, just as we may now consider ourselves in the same context.

With these few scriptures, we enter into the real beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  The grassroots, the seed, these preparatory efforts will bring the disciples into the required soul development for such a mission.  Our life grows much like the disciples, inward out, and then upward.  What we put into life, the seeds, and what we cultivate, nourish, and harvest gives us the daily walk and contributes to our vision.

By planting a good seed Messiah Jesus reveals the most practical aspects of the Way.  Parable combined with simplicity seems the teaching method.  He explains cause and effect with simple but accurate examples, giving structure to the thought. He essentially tells us how to build the mind, the enlightened godly mind he extolls.

     Jesus said: If you bring forth what is within you [spirit], what you bring forth will save you.  If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. (Saying 70), Gospel of Thomas.

God Bless!

2 comments on “Parables

  1. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

    • Hi Ancic,

      I have had my webmaster look into any complaints, and frankly he has not found substance to the complaint. He’s pretty experienced guy and I do trust his insight. However, it may be that Windows sometimes falters. Your best search engine is Safari, should that be your complaint. Not that busy looking for attention, my articles have to stand on their own, even though developing further information within a single article is still pursued. Apologies for any problem you are experiencing, but in your comment you did not mention what the problem was.

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