Imagine for a moment that you are deep in the jungle, far away from civilization as you know it. Seated around you in the flickering firelight is a group of natives—people who have no understanding or knowledge of your way of life. But they are fascinated with every detail concerning it.
“Tell us, Teacher!” they say again and again. “Explain to us. Teach us about your way of life. Help us to understand.” But how can you explain an electric light to one who has never seen a light bulb? How can you describe a car to one whose only way of travel has been a crude cart pulled by a water buffalo?
You find the solution in a parable. You compare the unknown light bulb to the wooden torches they hold in their hands. You liken a car to a cart which moves without any animal to pull it. And little by little, they form a picture in their minds. They begin to understand.
Jesus chose to teach by parables—a comparison between earthly things which men knew of and spiritual things with which they were not so familiar—so the people who heard Him and wanted to know the truth would understand. Our lessons this quarter have covered some of the illustrations He gave.