“… though they see, they do not see; and though they hear, they do not hear or understand”
The mood had changed over time. After initial enthusiasm, Jesus and the disciples were beginning to confront indifference and even organised opposition. Their situation resembled in some ways what disciples encounter today, at least in the Western world. After centuries of power and influence shared with secular regimes, the Church is losing ground. Many Church members are confused, wondering what is going on, and what has gone wrong. Has God’s Kingdom lost its vitality?
In an effort to engage with the indifferent, Jesus began to address them in parables. There was little to be gained by his giving answers to questions they were not asking. Generally, parables are stories drawn from life, which first engage and then confuse. They raise questions, and leave their hearers to reflect on their experience to find answers.