For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. Matthew 13:13 HCSB

A parable is a brief story or illustration used to make an analogy and convey a message. I have several sermons where I use an object to teach a spiritual principle. In one sermon I use several different lights. In another I use a collection of watches. As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” People remember about 60% of what is taught if an object lesson or some type of visual is used in addition to lecture.

Jesus is explaining to His disciples why He taught with parables. Often the disciples did not understand what Jesus was teaching and would later ask Him to explain what was meant by His teachings. Jesus explained that He used parables so people could better understand what He was teaching. This particular verse is a play on words that means they see but do not grasp what they have really seen. They hear but do not grasp the significance of what they have heard.

Challenge: Use parables or stories to teach spiritual principles to your children. Watch for teachable moments when you can teach a spiritual truth to your child. If you are a Bible teacher, use visuals and parables to teach your lesson. In so doing, you will be a much more effective Bible study leader.

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