15 February 2015

About Parables

Jesus Teaches His Disciples


A1 Objectives

B1 Explain why Jesus taught in parables.

B2 Describe the meaning of various parables.


A2 Scripture

B1 Matthew 13:1-23 The Sower

B2 Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Feast


A3 Notes

B1 What is a parable?

C1 Define

D1 The Greek word is parabolee and comes from two other Greek stems para= beside and ballein= throw.

D2 Thus a comparison of two things

D3 So it is a comparison between a truth and an illustration of that truth

C2 Types/classification (Adapted from Strong and McClintock from "The Cyclopedia")

D1 A hard to understand saying

E1 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. Psalm 49:4

E2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Psalm 78:2

E3 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. "This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" (John 6:53-60, NKJV)

D2 A little story that is fiction

E1 The LORD sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, "There were two men who lived in the same town; one was rich and the other poor. The rich man had many cattle and sheep, while the poor man had only one lamb, which he had bought. He took care of it, and it grew up in his home with his children. He would feed it some of his own food, let it drink from his cup, and hold it in his lap. The lamb was like a daughter to him. One day a visitor arrived at the rich man's home. The rich man didn't want to kill one of his own animals to fix a meal for him; instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal for his guest." David became very angry at the rich man and said, "I swear by the living LORD that the man who did this ought to die! For having done such a cruel thing, he must pay back four times as much as he took." "You are that man," Nathan said to David. "And this is what the LORD God of Israel says: 'I made you king of Israel and rescued you from Saul. (2 Samuel 12:1-7, GNB92)

E2 Then Amaziah sent messengers to King Jehoash of Israel, challenging him to fight. But King Jehoash sent back the following reply: "Once a thorn bush on the Lebanon Mountains sent a message to a cedar: 'Give your daughter in marriage to my son.' A wild animal passed by and trampled the bush down. Now Amaziah, you have defeated the Edomites, and you are filled with pride. Be satisfied with your fame and stay at home. Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and your people?" (2 Kings 14:8-10, GNB92)

E3 Most of the New Testament parables are this type.

D3 A longer speech/discourse that uses figurative language.

E1 Then the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." So he returned to him, and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab. And he took up his oracle and said: "Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, From the mountains of the east. 'Come, curse Jacob for me, And come, denounce Israel!' (Numbers 23:5-7, NKJV)

E2 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, (Job 27:1, KJV)

B2 Why speak in parables?

C1 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:13, EMTV)

C2 They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand. (Isaiah 44:18, NKJV)

D1 This is the illustration/parable of the stupid man who cuts down a tree. Part of the one tree is used in the fire to bake, while the other is used to carve out an idol that he will bow down to and pray, "Deliver me."

D2 The eyes are shut because that is the state of all humanity before God imitates salvation.

C3 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 12:1-2, NKJV)

D1 This means, again, that this is the nature state of humanity.

D2 Since it is so, God sends the prophet Ezekiel to show them by illustration what was going to happen to Jerusalem.

B3 Matthew 13:1-23 The Sower

C1 Kingdom of God Parables.

C2 This the Parable of the Sower

D1 Setting (Matthew 23:1-2)

E1 Capernaum

E2 Jesus leaves house

E3 Jesus goes to the sea shore

E4 There is such a large crowd that Jesus gets into a boat, then he sits to teach them.

E5 The people are on the sea shore listening.

D2 Speaks many parables to them.

C3 The Parable of the Sower

D1 A sower goes out to sow.

D2 He sows.

D3 The seeds

E1 Goes to wayside

E2 Goes on stony ground

E3 Goes among the thorns

E4 Goes on good soil.

C4 The disciples question and Jesus's answer

D1 The questions, "Why do you speak in parables?"

D2 The answer:

E1 Jesus wanted the disciples to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.

E2 Those who have will be given more.

E3 Those who have not will lose what they already have.

E4 Isaiah's prophecy has been fulfilled. (These people have fulfilled that prophecy).

E5 The disciples are blessed for they do see and hear (understand the meaning because Jesus interprets it).

E6 Many prophets and righteous people have wished to know these things and did not, but now you do.

B4 Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Feast

C1 Topic: The Kingdom of Heaven

C2 The parable

D1 A king plans and prepares a wedding feast for his son.

D2 Servants are sent to invite people to the wedding. Remember that these are the invited.

E1 At first no one wanted to come.

E2 The second time they made excuses and beat and/or killed the servants.

D3 The king became angry.

D4 The king sent soldiers who killed these murders.

D5 The king sent servants out again to those who did not deserve to come.

D6 These servants were successful.

D7 The wedding feast takes place.

D8 One person did not have wedding garments on.

D9 The king asks why he doesn't have wedding garments.

D10 This person had no answer.

D11 The King gives judgment.

D12 The servants take this person and throw him out into punishment.

C3 Jesus concludes with "...many are invited, few are chosen."


A4 Questions

B1 If Jesus used parables, should we?

B2 Is Jesus hiding the truth from people by speaking in parables?

B3 Has God hidden truth to some people? Why or why not?

C1 The Sermon on the Mount was preacher earlier in time. (Compare Appendix #1 of things done before the Parable of the Sower).

C2 Evidently the people did not repent, did not listen, did not do what Jesus said, so now truth is through parables.

C3 There was also John the Baptist who had preached plainly.

C4 "By resorting to parables, Jesus effectively separated the truth-seekers from the mere curious." (Writer of Answers Bible Curriculum Lesson Adult Year 3, Quarter 2).

C5 The mere curious would be those who didn't want to know the truth, and if they do, would not follow or obey it.

B4 What are the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven?

C1 How to be a citizen of that kingdom.

C2 The kingdom rules.

C3 Who the citizens are.

C4 When it will start (not the date but the events preceding).

B5 Matthew 13:12. If someone has nothing, how can something be taken away?

C1 The passage doesn't say they have nothing.

C2 They have physical life and an eternal soul.

B6 Can people grasp spiritual truth or does God have to intervene?

B7 What is truth?

B8 Does truth change over time or in different cultures?

B9 What is the most important truth?

B10 What does the phrase "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear" mean?

B11 Matthew 13:13. Why can't people see and hear? What are they supposed to be hearing/seeing?

B12 Matthew 13:15. Why are people dull of hearing?

B13 Does Jesus not want them to see and hear?

B14 Are we to base doctrine on parables? (No, we may on Jesus's interpretation but not on the parable itself (via Wilbur Pickering)). We must be careful when interpreting these parables using the allegorical method of interpretation and making the text say something it does not.

B15 What is, who is, a sower? (Anyone sharing the Gospel).

B16 What are the four soils? (The road side, stony ground, thorny ground, and good ground).

B17 What is the seed? (The word of the kingdom--the Gospel).

C1 In Luke 8:11 it is called the Word of God. ("This is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11, GNB92).

C2 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. (Acts 28:23, NKJV)

C3 "...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17, NKJV)

B18 "Hears the word..." (Matthew 13:19) The word hear is a continuous idea, so while hearing. What can we do to encourage hearing?

B19 Matthew 13:19. If someone does hear but doesn't understand, did we say something wrong? How is it that they can hear but not understand?

C1 The devil blinds them.

C2 The devil snatches it away. I take this to mean that a person's attention is drawn to something, anything, except the truth of the Gospel. It may be sleepiness, hunger, loud noises, argument, or something else that draws their attention away.

C3 Elon, "They don't want to hear, so the devil snatches it away." Ray Comfort often preaches but people ignore him and the message.

B20 How is the devil able to do this?

B21 Why don't some comprehend it? (Some have made up their mind already).

B22 What is the rocky/stony ground? (They hear gladly and receive it, but when any opposition comes they renounce). Is this the false convert?

B23 What are the thorns? (The worries and responsibilities of this life). How can we avoid this?

B24 What are four things about those seeds that fall into good ground? (They hear, they understand, they bear fruit and produce). Why some have a hundred fold and some thirty? Does God get angry at those who only have thirty?

B25 Who is the king and son? (God the Father and God the Son--Jesus)

B26 Is the king justified with punishing those who made excuses not to come? (Yes, because they were doing evil deeds--physical abuse, assault, and murder. These people were also practicing treason against their king).

B27 How do you think the son felt when people did not want to come?

B28 Who are the three groups? (Those who were indifferent, malignant, and receptive).

B29 What does the Scripture mean when Jesus says, "Many are called, but few chosen?"



#1 List of what Jesus taught plainly before The Sower

First cleansing of the Temple at Passover

Nicodemus interviews Jesus during Passover

The disciples baptize

John the Baptist's last witness of Jesus

John Imprisoned (thus Jesus departs Judea)

Jesus departs Judea for Galilee through Samaria

Samaritan woman at Jacob's well

Jesus in Galilee

Healing son of nobleman

The first rejection at Nazareth

Jesus moves from Nazareth to Capernaum

Draught of fish – Jesus calls four fishers of men

Demoniac in the synagogue

Peter's mother-in-law healed

Many healed the same evening

The first withdrawal – prayer

First tour of Galilee

The healing of a leper

Second withdrawal of Jesus – prayer

Healing of man with the palsy

Matthew's call; feast in his home

Fasting question

Parable of the wine skins and new wine

Feast of the Jews

Jesus heals at Bethesda Pool – His Deity Challenged

Disciples pluck corn on the Sabbath – Controversy with Pharisees

Healing of the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath

Multitudes healed by Jesus at Sea of Galilee

Choosing of the twelve – night prayer

Sermon on the Mount

Healing of the Centurion's servant

Raising of the son of the Widow of Nain

Message from John the Baptist – John's eulogy

Jesus upbraids Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida

Jesus anointed at Pharisee's house by sinful woman

Jesus on second tour of Galilee with companions

Demoniac delivered

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

Sign of Jonah – Scribes and Pharisees seek a sign

Unclean Spirit returns

Blessed if one keeps The Word

Eye is lamp of the body

Christ's mother and brethren seek to take Him home

Kingdom Parables by the Sea of Galilee:


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