Luke 8:10

Hi there!

Can someone please explain to me Luke 8:10
" and he said, 'To you is granted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God; for the rest it remains in parables, so that they may look but not perceive, listen but not understand."

Did Jesus voluntarily obscured his message so that most of the people won’t understand? Why didn’t he provide the explanation of the parabole (Luke 8:11 and following) to the greater public?

We tend to think that there was a clear division between those who heard His words in public and a well defined inner circle of disciples to whom He explained His meaning. I think that it was much more fluid than that. Many in the crowd were content to see His miracles and hear some nice vaguely spiritual words. Those who thirsted to know more could stay after the crowd was dismissed and seek further enlightenment. Jesus would explain Himself to those who wanted to learn but those who didn’t He left to go their own way, as He does today.

A Commentary on the New Testament, prepared in 1942 by the Catholic Biblical Association, on the parallel passage in Matthew 8:13-15, page 96, says in part:
The natural purpose of a parable is to make clearer the doctrine which it illuminates. But without the key to its moral it may often be obscure in itself. Christ therefore chose this form of teaching in order that the people who were not yet well disposed, might not grasp the full import of His teaching, while those who were well disposed, as the Apostles, might understand it. However, this is not to be considered so much as a punishment directly intended by God but rather as the natural consequence of the rejection of the sufficient light which all the Jews received from God.

Thanks for your answers… but it seems that the Apostles themselves did not understand the parable without Jesus’ subsequent explanation, otherwise Jesus would not have needed to give an explanation. So no one really understood Jesus’ parables without explanation. It’s just that some people got the explanation and others didn’t. Right?

Here is my 2 cents.
No Jesus did not obscure his message so that most would not understand. I believe that he used parables precisely because He wanted people to understand more fully - but that would take time and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. So for the time being… most did not fully comprehend.

We must remember that for the Jews of that time, their lives were governed by very clear “laws”. No parables these. The Laws was very straight up and clear. Yet we see Jesus lament about how the Jews followed these clear laws but without understanding them - or the reason behind them. In Jesus great indictment of the leadership of the time (Mt 23:13-32) He speaks of them insisting on the letter of the law while ignoring the “weightier matters” of mercy and justice.
In another place we hear Jesus undercut the “law” by declaring it is not what goes into a mans mouth that defiles him but what comes out of a mans mouth…(Mt 15:10-20)

The above is a long way around to say this. The purpose of Jesus Parables was less about obfuscating than about getting people to think on their own…
Of course some would likely “get it” pretty quickly…others would need further explanation…and many would just shrug their shoulders and wander off because, like “St Francis” said in his post above…many were content to witness the miracles and listen to the stories and then wander back to their homes.
But Jesus was planting seeds…


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