Jesus' indirect conversation


I have 2 questions

  1. Why were Christ’s answers always indirect? Not only did He speak in parables, but he never came out and said “I am the Messiah”, but rather “I AM”, which is a bit more indirect.

  2. Was He more direct when speaking one on one?


Why? This is easily explained by Our Lord Himself in the following scriptures.
***Matthew 13:[10] Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
[11] And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
[12] For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
[13] This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
[14] With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand,
and you shall indeed see but never perceive.
[15] For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and their ears are heavy of hearing,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should perceive with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart,
and turn for me to heal them.’
[16] But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
[17] Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

[34] All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
[35] This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the

and then also…
Mark 4:**[10] And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables.
[11] And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables;
[12] so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.”

***See also the following references.Is 6:9; Jn 12:40; Acts 28:26; Rom 11:8.

Hopefully you begin to see that Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. We who understand do so because we are disposed in our hearts to do so and the Holy Spirit does the rest.

As for question #2, didn’t you go to Mass during Holy Week? We clearly participated in those Gospel readings where Jesus was asked outright if he was the son of God and He responded “You say that I am.” and the Jewish leaders went nuts because they knew that was a claim to divinity.

So hopefully this answers most of your issues. I suggest that you spend more time regularly reading your Bible the way Pope Francis has told us to do. It will make a world of difference in your faith.


Because most of His nature is too confusing if expressed directly.


Almost from the first moment of his ministry the Pharisees and Sadducees and Scribes disliked him. He spoke with authority and healed the sick and forgave sinners all outside their influence and without consulting any of them or being part of any of their schools/disciples. They didn’t like that because, in their minds, he undermined their influence on the people. Some were outright hostile and others quietly jealous and envious. This dislike grew into hatred and to their setting theological traps for him and denouncing his work as of the devil, etc.

Jesus knew their hearts, knew his words and actions showed them up a hypocrites (not all, of course, but enough of them and enough with power to try to end his mission before it was “his time” to suffer and die for us all). So, he was indirect, so they couldn’t accuse him of claiming to be the Messiah–something they didn’t want except on their terms and under their control.

Jesus ministered to the ordinary person of his people (his primary mission was to them as their Messiah, and later to the Gentiles after that mission was completed)–the ones who wanted to love and serve God without the heavy burdens and strictures the Pharisees were placing on them–again not all, but enough that it was a big problem. Finally, he declared openly who he was, and the result was his crucifixion, which he knew would happen if he were direct, knowing the times in which he lived and the hearts of the leaders of his day.


We can never know for sure the Mind of God; still, there are revelations that can lead us to understand why certain things must happen:

“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (St. John 12:47)

16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”

19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (Romans 10:16-21)

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (St. John 1:11-12)

The Coming of the Messiah was a double fulfillment: Israel would reject Him and the Gentiles would embrace Him.

It was necessary for Israel (with the exception of the Remnant) to stubbornly reject their Messiah so that the prophecies would come to fruition and the Kingdom of God be fully opened to all of mankind.

While Jesus may not have been overtly about being the Messiah we find His introduction to the world as follows:

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (St. Luke 4:16-21)

With this disclosure Jesus attests that *He *is the Messiah!

Maran atha!



I think that a lot of it has to do with challenging people to discover what it might mean to be the Messiah, or what it might mean to be the Son of God.
If he came right out and said I am God or I am the Messiah, that is that. The ‘science is settled’. It is the end of the discussion before it even begins.

Jesus instead beckons people to look at him, look at the person, look at the biography of Jesus, and discover who he is through the kind of ministry that he has to offer, to above all to enter into a personal relationship with him.

People already had and still have their preconceived notions of what it means to be a Messiah, or what it means to be God. Jesus instead gives us himself, and leaves the statement open, I am …, or even presents himself as a question of “Who am I”? “Who do the people say that I am”?

That is the question we need to ask ourselves. What does it even mean to be God, to be our Lord and Savior?

Now his biography is complete. We do know who the historic person of Jesus was.
But to have any personal relevance for the individual seeker at all, even still, Jesus is not our Lord and our God just because he says so. He only becomes our personal savior when we say so. We are free, now and always, to decide for ourselves what it means to be God.

As an exercise, we might imagine what it would mean to become God, to be perfection and goodness personified, what it might mean to create our own biography in the image of God.

If the ideal that we form in our own mind resembles the historic Jesus as recorded for us in Scripture, only then does our Christian journey begin.


Hi, Darryl!
I don’t think it is so much a challenge to our faculties as much as “zero ground” peremptory:

5 For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. (Philippians 2:5-7)

46 I am come a light into the world; that whosoever believeth in me, may not remain in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and keep them not, I do not judge him: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (St. John 12:46-48)

Now his biography is complete. We do know who the historic person of Jesus was.
But to have any personal relevance for the individual seeker at all, even still, Jesus is not our Lord and our God just because he says so. He only becomes our personal savior when we say so.
As an exercise, we might imagine what it would mean to become God, to be perfection and goodness personified, what it might mean to create our own biography in the image of God.

If the ideal that we form in our own mind resembles the historic Jesus as recorded for us in Scripture, only then does our Christian journey begin.

I fully concur with the highlighted statement; though, I must insist that it is not merely a matter of awareness or our faculties; rather, it is a combination of self and God:

44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day
66 And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. (St. John 6:44, 66)

16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. 17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. (St. John 14:16-17)


We are free, now and always, to decide for ourselves what it means to be God.

(Sorry, I took the liberty of separating this statement because I think it is important to address it on its own.)

I do not know your mind so I could easily have misunderstood your intent–if so, please accept my apologies.

I cannot disagree with your statement more strongly! We cannot define Who or What God is. It is God Himself Who defines Who He is:

10 You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know, and believe me, and understand that I myself am. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there shall be none. 11 I am, I am the Lord: and there is no saviour besides me. (Isaiah 43:10-11)

Still, since we are created in the image and likeness of God and God Has Willed that we have free will, we can decide for ourselves to accept God or to reject Him.

Maran atha!



It is very easy to misunderstand this. And it is true that any Supreme Being that exists at the whim of our own definition of who God is would not be a Supreme Being worthy of worship.

God by his very nature is beyond being subject to our definition. This point comes our very clearly in him giving himself the name of I AM upon Moses’ request for a name.

God, by his very nature, is beyond our labels. He is not created in our image, by our definitions, but we are in his.

Yet, we are not beyond the necessity to struggle with the question of who God is, to try to come to an understanding of what the term *‘God’ *means, of arriving at a definition of a Supreme Being, that which none greater can be conceived of, both in imagination and in reality.

Jesus does not tell us who such a being might be; instead he shows us himself who such a being is, in reality.

Suffice it to say that not everyone have been bowled off their feet with the understanding of the Supreme Being in the person of Jesus. For two of the three major Abrahamic religions, Jesus as God is even an abomination against the name of their Lord. The idea of God crucified to many does not manifest the glory and power of a supreme being, but is a blasphemous humiliation against the Highest One Himself.

And the muted, indirect answers of Jesus as to who he is actually invites people to struggle with exactly that theme, to struggle with the paradoxical theme of God demeaned, humiliated, scourged and crucified.

And yet, in the whole of human experience and imagination, is there anyone greater than the martyr, standing silently and firmly against the Powers and Principalities of this world, against the cruel, the unjust, the oppressive? Is there any being more Supreme or more powerful the man or woman who is greater and more powerful than even the infinite suffering that this world has to offer them, stronger than death itself even?

Only by defining who the Supreme Being must be, only by struggling upon what the life of Jesus means, can we possibly arrive at a faith which fully, experientially *knows *that Jesus is who God must really be. Anything other than Jesus would actually be a lesser vision of God.

So if the suffering Jesus is not God, then that would mean that mankind is greater than God, for the whole of the human experience leads us to understand that the man who
silently suffers is greater than the man who does not know what it means to suffer.

This is all an example of what it means to decide for ourselves who God must be, to imagine what kind of Being exists, that which none could be imagine as being greater.


Hi, Darryl!

Excellent post! :clapping::extrahappy:

…the only thing I would add is that God’s Omnipotence is reflected in His Love for His creatures as He places Himself in our stead on that trek to Calvary!

Maran atha!



It is nice to see that two people who answer the question from entirely different perspectives can come to complementary conclusions.


Hi, Darryl!
Though we come from different perspectives there is only One Truth and, when we allow it, the One and Only Holy Spirit can Guide us to Him!

Maran atha!



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