Matthew 13:34 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 13:34, NIV: Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.

Matthew 13:34, ESV: All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.

Matthew 13:34, KJV: All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

Matthew 13:34, NASB: All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak anything to them without a parable.

Matthew 13:34, NLT: Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.

Matthew 13:34, CSB: Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and he did not tell them anything without a parable,

What does Matthew 13:34 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Matthew has been clear that Jesus' teaching is directed at two separate audiences: His closest followers and "the crowds" (Matthew 13:10–11). Here Matthew repeats that, at this phase of His ministry, Jesus only taught the crowds in parables, somewhat obscuring His specific meaning about the stories and illustrations. This seems to mark a change in strategy, at least from Jesus' clear instruction in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). That contrast is not an accident, however.

Jesus previously answered a question from the disciples about why He was doing this. In short, their hearts are already dull (Matthew 13:12–16). Since the nation of Israel, as a whole, has refused to understand that He is the Messiah, they will not be given more clear revelation about the nature of the kingdom of heaven. Their own refusal to believe results in God's judgment, which takes the form of being made even more resistant.