Today, I was feeling discouraged, and God revealed something to me that was extremely encouraging. I've always looked at the parables of Jesus as mainly instructive, but today I realize that they are also meant to be equally encouraging, based simply on the fact that we can understand God and God's ways in our inner being, and amidst all the problems and difficulties of this fallen world. Jesus' parables help to distinguish us as spiritual souls in a material world:
"Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13: 10-13)
When His disciples asked why he spoke in parables, Jesus highlighted insights into, "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," and the ultimate gift and mystery is to know eternal relationship with God in the the kingdom of God, both now and in eternity. Parables help to remind us that we are actually experiencing the kingdom of God right now, despite our circumstances.
Jesus's answer about parables essentially shows us that he is speaking in a secret code that only people who know God can identify with. The subject of parables helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's as if His parables are a thin veil between the ordinary physical world and the extraordinary spiritual world, and only those with the inner indwelling Holy Spirit can pass in and out between these two worlds of understanding. This does not mean that there are no exceptions, when true Christians will fail to understand parables or spiritual principles, but this is the general situation. And so we can be extremely encouraged in Jesus' parables.
"Don't be discouraged when people misunderstand you, be encouraged that you understand God."
The Parable of the Tares contrasts how people with spiritual insight will live among those without it. And this parable encourages us, that we should not be surprised or discouraged when we try to present spiritual principles or values and others don't understand them or outright reject them. And people will sometimes reject us personally, simply because we embrace and request what we consider to be just, fair and helpful principles for relationships and for society. But when others reject us personally, God comforts us deeply. This is a part of the kingdom of God.