Showing posts with label Parables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parables. Show all posts

29 December 2020

A Few Thoughts About Parables

The Parable of the Sower

Luke 8:1-10 WEL

1 It came about afterwards, that he went throughout every city and village, announcing and preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, [as well as]

2 Certain women, who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses, Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons were cast out,

3 And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who assisted him from their assets.

4 When many people had come together and had come to him from every city, he spoke a parable.

5 “A seed planter went out to plant seed, and as he planted seed some fell by the roadside. It was trodden on and the birds of the air ate it.

6 “Some fell on a rock, and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it didn’t have enough moisture.

7 “Some fell among thorns. The thorns sprouted up with it and choked it out.

8 “Others fell on good ground, sprouted, and bare seed—a hundred times more.” After he had said these things, he called out, “He, who has ears to hear, must hear.”

9 His disciples asked him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

10 He said, “It is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to others in parables, so that seeing, they might not see and hearing, they might not understand.

Why did Jesus speak in parables?

B1 Jesus had been ministering over 2 years. The people had heard Him and seen resurrections from dead, people healed of physical illness and demonic possession, the weather controlled, people feed from small amounts of food, etc. Some had believed; most did not.

B2 Those who did believe are His sheep (read all of John chapter 10 but especially John 10:14-27). The nonbelievers are not His sheep. Even though all Jews were part of the chosen nation and chosen people.

B3 The nonbelieving Jews are being punished. They still hear but do not understand. They could have asked but did not.

C1 Compare Matthew 21:45

C2 Clarke writes: The chief priests - perceived that he spoke of them - The most wholesome advice passes for an affront with those who have shut their hearts against the truth. When that which should lead to repentance only kindles the flame of malice and revenge, there is but little hope of the salvation of such persons.

B4 The believing Jews did not understand either, but they ask Him to explain the parable, at least most of the time. In our passage above, they do ask.

Didn’t Jesus want people to understand His teachings?

B1 Yes, but most did not choose to believe.

C1 Refuse to believe, even though they could have. John 3:36 NIV Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them.

C2 Unbelievers chose to disbelieve. 2 Thessalonians 2:12 NLT Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

B2 God opens their heart to believe.

C1 Example. The word was preached, and God initiated grace for people to believe. Acts 16:14 NIV One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.

C2 People did spiritual help to understand. 1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

C3 The Holy Spirit does that for all people, someplace and sometime in their life. John 16:8 GW He will come to convict the world of sin, to show the world what has God's approval, and to convince the world that God judges it.

Why are they hard to understand?

B1 Jesus did this on purpose. Those who seek an answer, asked Him.

B2 For us it is more difficult. Some are explained, as the Parable of the Sower and some are not.

How can we understand them?

B1 Read them in context.

B2 Interpret them in the plain, normal sense, not in the allegorical sense.

B3 Under who Jesus is speaking to, their beliefs, their culture, and the situation.

B4 Search for cross references of the same terms. Compare the 11 verses that have the word leaven to help understand the Parable of Leaven in Matthew 13:33.

List of parables. Various lists have from lower 30s to uppers 40s. Some explanations are partial. I didn’t include parallel passages. Study to be approved. All that Jesus did teaches a truth, a principle.


Taught In

Explained In


Matthew 13:1-9

Matthew 13:18-23

Wheat and Tares

Matthew 13:24-30

Matthew 13:36-43

Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32


Matthew 13:33

Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44

Pearl of Great Value

Matthew 13:45-46


Matthew 13:47-48

Matthew 13:49-50

What Defiles

Matthew 15:10-14

Matthew 15:15-20

The Two Sons

Matthew 21:28-30

Matthew 21:31-32

Wicked Tenants

Matthew 21:33-41

The Cornerstone

Matthew 21:42-44

Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:1-14

Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13


Matthew 25:14-28

Matthew 25:29-30


Mark 3:22-25

Luke 3:26-30

The Light Under Basket

Mark 4:21-25

Luke 8:17

Growing Seed

Mark 4:26-29

New and Old

Luke 5:36-39

Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-35

Luke 10:29, 36-37

Rich Fool

Luke 12:16-20

Luke 12:13-15, 21

Barren Fig Tree

Luke 13:6-9

Narrow Door

Luke 13:22-27

Luke 13:28

Guests at Honor

Luke 14:7-10

Luke 14:11

Banquet Invitations

Luke 14:12-24

Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-6

Luke 15:7

Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-9

Luke 15:10

Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32

Possibly Luke 15:10

Dishonest Manager

Luke 16:1-9

Luke 16:10-13

Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-5

Luke 18:6-8

Pharisee and Tax Collector

Luke 18:9-13

Luke 18:14

Ten Minas

Luke 19:11-25, 27

Luke 19:26

Sprouting Leaves

Luke 21:29-30

Luke 21:31

Other illustrations, etc. could be added to this list as many do; see Luke 7:40-48.

Another list can be found here.

Another helpful article Parable by Kitto

The principal is to believe the Scriptures, see the basic principle, and live it.

25 January 2019

Parable of the 10 Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13 NKJV - Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. 
The Jews are the virgins. 
Both groups revered the Torah. 
Both groups stated they love Yahweh. 
Both groups thought they were blameless. Paul stated, before he believed, that he was Philippians 3:6 NKJV - ...concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. [Emphasis is mine] 
One group believed. 
One group did not believe. 
One group was wise. 
One group was foolish. 
Finally, the day arrived. It was the threshold.  
Those who believed God entered the city. 
Those who did not believe God did not enter. 
Those who did not believe realized too late. 
The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’s day for the most part did not believe. 
They died. They realized they had made the wrong decision, regarding that Jesus, Yeshua, was Messiah. Now it was too late. 
Hebrews 9:27 NKJV - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. 
Matthew 24:44 NKJV - Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 
Matthew 25:13 NKJV - Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. 
Hebrews 3:16-4:2 NIV - Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NLT - As God's partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God's kindness and then ignore it. For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you. Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation.

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: