Jesus taught in parables. Parables aren’t just one thing, not just one type of story. Sometimes people make pronouncements about the nature of parables that are not born out by close examination.
Why did Jesus teach this way? To make information about the kingdom available to people who follow him while hiding it from those who are only casually interested, it seems.
We still have “great crowds” in the church today who are just casual about Jesus, not true followers or disciples. The whole truth is hidden from them. No amount of preaching or teaching will reach them until they make a move toward Jesus.
It is quite sobering to think about all the folks who have the gospel abundantly available, yet never really decide to be loyal to Jesus.
How much of the responsibility for the failure, which leads to judgment, is actually born by the church?