View Full Version : Parables of Jesus

01-07-2010, 12:11 PM
Hi guys,

There's no doubt amongst the Christian community today about the intelliegence and good will of Jesus' parables. I decided to create a thread listing Jesus' parables, explaining the strong metaphorical meaning behind them and clearing up any issues. I shall start with a firm favourite of mine, the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?
22 Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.

25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'

27 The servant's master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

28 But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow- servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

29 His fellow- servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

30 But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.

33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow- servant just as I had on you?'

34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.
Here, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of forgiveness. He is essentially saying that when a fellow human being sins against you, it is very small in comparison in the sins you commit against God, and that if you don't forgive the little sin someone has comitted against you, God shall not forgive the sin you have comitted against Him.

Also, fellow Christians, which of Jesus' parables is your favourite? Cheers.

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01-13-2010, 07:39 PM
The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of my favourites:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

(Luke 10:25-37)
It tells me that we should look deeper than merely obeying the laws blindly (which the priest and the Levite did, not wanting to become ceremonially unclean by touching a bleeding man). Indeed, sometimes we can hide behind the law, and let it stop us from doing what we really should be doing.
We should look for the love God calls us to in every situation, and never be afraid to step out in his name!

01-14-2010, 03:10 AM
No doubt my favourite is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15:11-32(TNIV):

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
No matter how far we stray from God, God is waiting for us to come back to him so He can run to greet us with open arms to embrace us and celebrate our return! For we are not just God's servants, but His children whom he dearly, dearly loves - and His love endures forever.

01-14-2010, 09:25 PM
Both amazing parables. I've always liked the Rich Man and Lazarus:

19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell,[c] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced, even if someone were to rise from the dead.' "
It's essentially saying that if someone doesn't believe the prophets and Moses, they won't stand a chance of believing in the rising from death of someone, in this case Jesus.

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01-22-2010, 06:29 PM
One of my all time favourites:

1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
It just shows that God is always reliable, despite other humans not caring, and that He'll deliver justice wherever it's needed without you having to persistenly bother Him.

01-23-2010, 05:54 AM
Here's some contribution from me, if u don't mind..... Matthews:13....... but 1st my interpretation:-

There were 4 major books given through Prophets
3>Injeel (Gospel of Jesus)

Seeds of Zuboor feel on "side-ways". There are no signs of Zuboor left... fell in "side-way" couldn't grow at all...

Seeds of Torah fell on those who "they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand".... Grow for a while then withered... Faith did not develop deep roots in stony hearts..... This is re-confirmed in Matthews:13:15"For this people’s(jews) heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Seeds of Injeel(Gospel of Jesus) fell among "thorns" of Romans etc*** , who chocked it by supporting trinitarians over unitarians...... since trinitarians had care-of-the-world, they developed political contacts with Romans & true gospel-of-jesus became unfruitful.....

Seeds of Quran fell on fertile ground..... grew many folds.... "some hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold"...... Remember Angel appeared to Hagar when she left Abraham's house after being angry with Sarah..... Angels promised Hagar that her seed would grow many-folds like grains of sand & like stars of sky.....Same promise was made to Abraham BUT no such promise was made to Sarah..... So infact, promise to Abraham was to be fulfilled through Hagar; mother of ismail(the father of muslims)......

matthews:13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places(heart of bani-israel), where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth(no deep faith in hearts):
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns(oppression of Romans/jews & later of trinitarians*** ); and the thorns sprung up(trinitarians grew in political power & developed contacts with Romans while unitarians were religious minded NOT interested in political power), and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

*** Unitarian-Trinitarian Wars.... Summery

05-16-2010, 06:12 AM
Bumping some of old threads.

06-12-2010, 02:13 PM
The Parable of The Sower

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear."


"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

(Matthew 13: 3-9; 18-23)

06-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Similar to that parable is the Parable of the Weeds:

24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "
Matthew 13:24-29

The enemy is Satan. The man is God. The weeds are the evil people and the good seeds are the good people. This parable provides a sufficient explanation as to why evil exists in the world: God will let the weeds and the seeds grow until Harvest (Judgement Day), and will not pluck up the weeds before then in case something happens to the good seed.

Grace Seeker
06-15-2010, 09:30 PM
I've recently discovered a few new bits of cultural information that are not recorded in the parables but would have been well known by Jesus' original audience that really adds a new layer and depth of meaning to the famous parables of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan.

For instance, I learned that in taking his inheritance and leaving that the son was not just dissing his dad, but the entire community. And if the son had simply returned to town after such an event, it would have been the cultural obligation of the first person who saw him to take him to the well at the center of town and there break a pot at his feet. Such an act would have been the equivalent of saying that the son was no longer welcome in town. But, because the father saw him a long way off, and ran outside the town to greet his son and bring him back into town himself, where he welcomed him as his son, the entire town had to accept the will of the father in this regard. No one could make an accusation against the person who had been accepted by his father, even though they all knew that he had wronged his father. That just makes the grace of the moment come through even stronger for me. The father in this story subjects himself to the humility of the community as second time (the first when his son left) in order to spare his son that rightful punishment for his sins.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, I had forgotten the injunction of the Torah which forbade anyone other than family from touching a corpse. Indeed, to keep Torah, it was specifically spelled out that one had to maintain enough distance that one's shawdow would not fall across the corpse. Thus, for the priest and the levite who come down the path and see the man which, according to the text, was left for dead the proscripted demands of God's law actually require them to pass by on the other side. Those who first heard Jesus' story (and didn't yet know the punchline like we do), were probably not thinking how terrible that they left the man there, but how wonderful that they cared so much about keeping the law.

Then when the Samaritan comes into the story, you can just imagine them projecting all sorts of negative things onto the Samaritan. Things like "probably doesn't know enough to avoid a dead body", "he's a sinner, going to act like one too". The surprise is that the man is not dead, only left for dead. Because the others had so strictly kept the law, they had actually failed to keep the larger ideal of the law which is to help people in their time of need. They had been focused on themselves and their righteousness; they had missed doing the right thing. Only the Samaritan actually got it right this time, and he did so because he let love for neighbor lead him more than love for the law. A very difficult lesson for Jesus to teach to a Jewish lawyer. That he made his point is seen in the lawyer not asking him any more questions.

07-01-2010, 06:56 PM
I love Jesus' teachings. The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Good Shepherd are my favourites and go perfectly together:

Parable of the Lost Sheep
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.”

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent’"
The Good Shepherd:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep: 12 but he who serves for wages, and who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf seizes them and scatters the sheep. 13 Now he who serves for wages flees because he serves for wages, and is not himself concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know those that are mine, and am known of those that are mine, 15 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep which are not of this fold: those also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, one shepherd. 17 On this account the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment of my Father

07-01-2010, 07:05 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Because the others had so strictly kept the law, they had actually failed to keep the larger ideal of the law which is to help people in their time of need. They had been focused on themselves and their righteousness; they had missed doing the right thing. Only the Samaritan actually got it right this time, and he did so because he let love for neighbor lead him more than love for the law. A very difficult lesson for Jesus to teach to a Jewish lawyer. That he made his point is seen in the lawyer not asking him any more questions.
I never thought of it in this light. This teaching comes to mind when reading that:

"But the Pharisees, having heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, were gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, demanded, tempting him, and saying, 36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 And he said to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy understanding. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments the whole law and the prophets hang."

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