Jesus used parables linking divine truth with – the shepherd, the builder, the sower, the traveler, and the homemaker. Familiar objects were associated with thoughts true and beautiful—thoughts of God’s loving interest in us.
Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men. So it was in Christ’s teaching: the unknown, illustrated by the known; divine truths by familiar earthly things.
The Bible says, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; … that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:34, 35.
Leading from the natural to the spiritual kingdom, Christ’s parables are links in the chain of truth that unites man with God, and earth with heaven.
Jesus plucked the beautiful lily, and placed it in the hands of children and youth; and gave the lesson, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow [in the simplicity of natural beauty]; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Then followed the sweet assurance and the important lesson, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
This was spoken to the multitude, among whom were men and women full of worries and perplexities. Jesus continued: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” Then spreading out His hands to the surrounding multitude, He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:28-33.
To minds that were open to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour’s teaching unfolded more and more. Jesus sought an avenue to every heart. By using a variety of illustrations, He appealed to different hearers. Their interest was aroused by figures drawn from the surroundings of their daily life. The humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and tenderness. Nature echoed the message.
Nature is God’s lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use. As the works of God are studied, the Holy Spirit flashes conviction into the mind. It is not the conviction that logical reasoning. In these lessons, direct from nature, there is a simplicity and purity that makes them of the highest value.