Parable is a Verb
In chapter 4, Mark introduces us to the parables of Jesus. With the exception of 3:23ff, this is the first place where Jesus tells parables and begins to explain his use of them.
There are a seven verses in chapter 4 which refer to parables, a significant concentration of actual parables as well as several straightforward discussions of them. A quick glance at the rest of Mark indicates that this is the peak in the mountain range for Mark, at least for understanding this term and what Jesus is doing with it. While the word/theme will show up again, this seems to be where we get the most explanation and direction in Mark’s gospel.
One of the uses of the word in Greek that seems to be obscured by most english translations is in verse 30. The English says: “Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?”” But the word for “picture” (sometimes translated “compare”) is actually the verb form for the same word as parable. Which means, the verse might more woodenly be translated: “Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable whall we parable it?””
That has a nice hebraic ring to it, doesn’t it?