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Parables and the Gospel

of Luke‐Acts of the
✦ Cabrido, John, SDB. Hanep, Biblia.
Chapter 24.
✦ Hendrickx, Herman, From One Jesus to
Four Gospels.
✦ How to Read the New Testament.
✦ Bible
What is a Parable?
✦ Parable or “mashal” is basically a
comparison. (It belong to the larger
genre of similes and metaphors)

✦ A parable is a story drawn from life

or nature which draws the reader to
look at reality with a new
✦ Parables are not simply a story meant
to entertain.

✦ Jesus used parables to change visions

and renew hearts, and thereby bring
about the coming of the kingdom.
The Parables of Jesus
✦ The parables of Jesus are usually
brief. Brevity preserved the meaning
while leaving the parable open, with
deliberate vagueness.

➢ Matthew 13:44
➢ Matthew 13:45‐46
➢ Luke 15:11‐32 (The longest parable)
✦ Jesus’ parables are narratives steeped
in realism.

➢ These narrate actions in temporal

➢ The Characters they portray are those
familiar to Jesus’ hearers like shepherds,
housewives and farmers.
✦ Finally, his parables are “world‐events”

➢ On one hand, they convey only one major

meaning. Many times, the preliminary
meaning is sufficient to arrive at the
message intended by Jesus. (Example: the
parable of the sower ‐ Mark 4:13‐20)
➢ On the other hand, Jesus’ parables invite
their hearers to a metaphorical process.
Parables are provocative and iconoclastic.
They evoke a new vision of reality and
invite new way of life.
➢ Luke 15:11‐32
➢ Luke 12:16‐21
Interpreting the Parables
✦ Delimit the text. To delimit the text
means to determine the boundaries of
a certain tradition. Place and time
indicators, characters, literary form
and contents.
✦ The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk.
✦ The Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
(Matt. 18:23‐34)
✦ One Principal Truth. Look for the
main point of the Parable. Usually this
is Jesus’ intended meaning.
✦ The Parable of the Sower (Mk. 4:3‐9)
✦ Parable of the Dragnet (Matt. 13:47‐50)
✦ Palestinian context. Jesus’ parables
were contextualized stories. A deeper
understanding of the daily life, values
and customs in Palestine at the time
of Jesus is the single most helpful
resource to draw the meaning from his
✦ Determine the Audience. To whom is Jesus

✦ Text in context. Parables contribute to the

narrative development of the gospel story.
They highlight the evangelists’ theological
viewpoint, advance the understanding of
the kingdom, and manifest the growing
opposition to Jesus.
Some insights from the parable