Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

With the Chapter 13 of Mathew, the evangelist enters into a series of discourse using parables. The Gospel itself raises a question: They want to know why Jesus, when He speaks to the people, speaks only in parables: “Why do You talk to them in parables?” What is the reason for this difference? Parables enable deeper kind of listening, provoke reflection and can lead to transformation. Jesus wants to reveal the truth the sincere seekers who are receptive God’s revelation in an effective manner. Parables set up a new way of speaking to the people about God. People are impressed by the way in which Jesus taught.

The parable makes one think. It leads the person to enter into the story beginning from the experience of life. And through our experience it urges us to discover that God is present in our daily life. The parable is a participative form of teaching and educating. It does not change everything in one minute. It does not make one know; it makes one discover. The parable changes our perspective; it makes the person who listens a contemplative; it helps her to observe reality. This is the novelty of the teaching of the parables of Jesus, different from that of the doctors who taught that God manifests Himself only in the observance of the law. But those who listened did not always understand. Jesus had a great capacity for finding very simple images to compare the things of God with the things of life which people knew and experienced in the daily struggle to survive. This presupposes two things: to be in touch with the things of the life of the people, and to be in touch with the things of God, of the Kingdom of God. When we encounter Jesus’ teachings through parables, are we able to identify in them a new teaching, a teaching with authority, a different teaching from that of others? (v. 28).


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