Why did Jesus teach in parables? Many commentators, such as Albert Barnes, state that it was for “clearness, intelligibility…and simplicity.” However, did Jesus want the crowds, Pharisees and teachers of the law to understand? Why or why not? What was the purpose of the parables and how can we understand them correctly? What can we learn about the church system from the parable of the mustard seed? Who are the birds that “nest in the branches (leadership) of the church?