The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels


Running Head: Meaning and Use of Parables in Gospels

The meaning and use of Parables In the Gospels. Student: Tony R. Smith Course: Rels: 104 College: Regent U.

and the substance that shares the outcome of what he is sharing with each of us. and see the parables within the gospel just as a mere communication line from God. to live according to the kingdom of God. and a new outcome from the way it is expressing the Holy word of God. . you can see that no matter how many times you read the same scriptures. to understand the value of each meaning. there is always a new way of looking at it. so we may understand and know the truth without any form of doubt or misunderstanding. Parables are ways to instruct us in a more unique and clear view. But as you begin to study the bible. but the very nature of what God is saying to us and we must grow in a spiritual minded way. So in context.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 2 Abstract There are so many ways to understand why God allowed parables to be use within his words. we must not look at the word of God.

he can be serious all the time. without his life. Now a lot of people feel you don¶t have to have faith in God to know the bible. I know that God can have jokes at times.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 3 In viewing the study of the New Testament. but to grant us a better way to be able to know the father more deeply. but Christ didn¶t come to stop the law. and he allowed his only begotten son to die upon the cross so we may have salvation and everlasting life. and to express ideas about the existence of God. to be able to live according to his will and to have a deep sense of his words and wisdom. It creates a mini-drama in picture language that describes the reality being shown or taught. without the blood of Christ. ³John 3:16´ expressed it to a very deep degree. a personal relationship with the Lord. or even become equipped with the wisdom to break down the word of God. We must know and understand that a parable is a word-picture which uses an image or story to illustrate a truth or lesson. death and resurrection. we would not be able to have a relationship. one must be able to understand the truth purpose of what and why God has created us. In fact that is true. we would still be trying to live according by the law in order to receive grace. and seek the answer to many of his parables and why he allowed them to be use in order to teach us his ways. It helps the listener to discover the deeper meaning and underlying truth of the reality being portrayed. some feel you don¶t need to be a knowledgeable person to be able to teach. It defines the unknown by using the known. sharing with us. and to have a deep and true sense of faith. It shows a likeness between the image of an illustration and the object being portrayed. I also realize that in order to understand the word of God. to be forgiven and to be able to go the gates of heaven. his love and his mercy. and he surely knows how to get our attention when it truly necessary in order for us to be able to see the truth and know that he is real. but I know that you must be spiritual minded in order to even come to realization that there is a God. It can be a .

a beneath-the-surface lesson about God's truth and his kingdom. and homemakers. They commonly feature examples or illustrations. But beyond the literal meaning lies a deeper meaning -. wineskins and oil lamps. without using the parables? Could we have been able to see the truth. there is the literal meaning. How many us would have totally accept this truth and understanding if Jesus would have just expressed it this way. workers. But more commonly it is known as a short story told to bring out a lesson or moral. knowing that he must get his audience attention. For example. stewards. such as "the kingdom of God . because people then truly understand the meaning and value of what Christ was trying to say. In like manner. in Matthew 13:33 the parable of the leaven describes the simple transformation of dough into bread by the inclusion of the yeast. apparent to anyone who has experience with the subject matter. Today we have to do some homework to understand the social customs described. wedding parties and children's games. and how Jesus may have felt when teaching about the Lords kingdom. to question its truthfulness? These are the some questions I feel God was thinking. and be able . Now know that Jesus¶parable also has a double meaning.or like yeast" (Luke 13:19. And using these terms by in the ancient times of Jesus daily life was easier.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 4 figure of speech or comparison. judges. we are transformed by God's kingdom when we allow his word and Spirit to take root in our hearts. First. 21). money and treasure. and realize that if we allow the word of God to enter our lives we would be transformed? Or would we still find means to have doubt. Jesus used simple stories or images to convey important truths about God and his kingdom. and lessons pertaining to the way of life and happiness which God has for like a mustard seed . such as mustard seeds and fig trees.

then we. When reading the parables it is important to not get bogged down in the details of the story. there must be antecedent confusion. The larger context does speak of a God who wants people to turn to him. their hearts were closed to what Jesus was saying. We must be open to the fact that the parables at times have a hardening effect on the hearts of people. First. 2010). although unpopular.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 5 to grant them the image of seeing the kingdom of God within their minds. but often times for this to take place. listen but not hear or understand. If we approach them with the conviction that we already know the answer. and he uses each parable in the very form of life and experiences through his son Jesus Christ so we may know the very truth. ³To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God. for I have that God allowed parables to be used in order for us not be confused.Jesus told his disciples that not everyone would understand his parables. Blomberg once wrote that ³These words are perplexing and even unbelievable. Second. (Blomberg. and hearing they may not hear ³. ready to let them challenge us. but for others they are in parables. God can only reveal the secrets of his kingdom to the humble and trusting person who acknowledges the need for God and for his truth. and soul not just a bunch of words or lesson¶s being taught. It was not that they could not intellectually understand them. may look but not see. it is best not to take this verse in an absolute way.(Luke 8:10). Does God really not want people to repent and turn to him? Three considerations. He was aware that some who heard his parables refused to understand them. I believe differently. We must remember that this verse is part of a larger narrative where Jesus¶ point is made increasingly clearer. but rather. The parables of Jesus will enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart.Why? Did he want to confuse his listeners? Mr. the idea of the judgment of God cannot be dismissed. They had already made up their minds to not believe. so that seeing they may not see. too. The main .

which were told shortly before His sufferings on the Cross. Jesus meant for his parables to provoke a response. The Savior told the first group of parables soon after the Sermon on the Mount.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 6 point is what counts.´ Second.´ (Alexander (Mileant)1989). If we listen with faith and humility then each will understand as he or she is able to receive what Jesus wishes to speak to each of our hearts. Bishop Alexander express deeply within the book of ³In the Gospel Parables ³that are 3reasons why God allowed parables to be use.The second group of parables was told by the Lord by the end of the third year of His public ministry. Look for the main point and don't get bogged down in the details. In the third and last group of parables. the reward of the righteous and eternal life. In the Gospels. the Lord spoke about God¶s grace and man¶s responsibility before God. the deep spiritual truths He spoke about were hard for His listeners to understand´. His Second Coming. They can be classified according to the three periods of the Savior's public ministry. Each of these initial parables are giving actual and mere method of the conditions for dissemination and strengthening of the Kingdom of God.´ Third. in the time between the second and the third Passovers of His public ministry. . Each parable will typically present a single point. people who did not fully understand the Savior's teachings could interpret them in their own ways and disseminate the misinterpretation´. we can find 30 or more parables. Jesus would use these parables to challenge the hearer and invite us to reflect. but also demonstrate its applicability to one¶s private and social life. parables may prevail over direct instructions because they not only contain the universal Divine Law. A storyteller doesn't have to make every detail fit perfectly. or the Church amongst men. the Last Judgment.´ First.

(Cline.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 7 It¶s clear. why God allowed his only son to die for us. general interpretive methods. nor should it be based upon educational process only. scholars. and yet Christ was there to explain all that he was expressing. 2010) In knowing and seeking the answers behind each parable shouldn¶t be a stressful thing. then. Interpreting them has become a popular industry in Christian theology. though less time seems to be spent on understanding the nature of parables generally than in trying to discover ³true´ Christian meanings behind the stories. teachers and even students of the gospel. for even his life is somewhat a parable written so we as mere men and women to see complexity of why he has allowed all this to take place so that we as human can be given a chance to know the father on a personal level and in a personal way. heart and soul to seek the reason of life through the love and mercy of God. I wonder if the disciples had this much trouble relating to the parables that was being used. Even though some of these studies concerning the parable have cause much conflict among Christians. Within these steps. One has been the opposition of allegorical vs. that the idea of parables is critical to understanding the gospel texts. have argued that the details aren¶t important and a more faithful interpretation is one that focuses only on the general meaning of the parable as a whole. theologians have scrutinized the parables to discover specific allegorical parallels between each detail in the story and some larger spiritual truth. Others. 2010) . ³A number of problems and conflicts have afflicted Christian interpretations of the parables over the centuries. one must also know and find the true meaning of salvation. for in knowing the reason why God has allowed parables to be a form of his wisdom. Through most of Christian history. preacher.´(GettySullivan. however. can be understood by allowing the Holy Spirit to enter your life and allow your mind.

indeed. but whether this was the case or not is a point of little consequence."(Luke 24:45). for instance. often resort to talking animals.´ (Rushmore. The events in a parable around which is built a spiritual lesson either did occur or could have happened. and parables are stories that must be pondered. comprehend and think what others are blind too. that they might understand the scriptures. that some of the parables uttered by our Savior narrate real and not fictitious events. 2009) It is also written that ³A parable is draped in the background of possibility. ³Many writers have endeavored to distinguish between the parable and other figures of speech employed in God¶s Word.´(Rushmore. trees. and not knowing teaching of Christ as well as the wisdom words of God. to be able to ascertain with understanding the true soul and spiritual meaning of the Word.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 8 Now I realize that many individuals including scholars has taken some of the parables out of the their original context. The vast majority of people from believer to nom-believers seem to always take the position that they can see. ³The parable differs from the proverb in being a narrative. ³It has been supposed. Johnson. allegories are self-interpreting. . to explain or cause a theology conflict in order to prove the way they feel. and this alone is sometimes is the very demise that continue to lead them in a stage of misunderstanding. Fables. Proverbs are pithy sayings. from the fable in being true to nature. one of the most concise such attempts and yet sufficiently meaningful was penned by B. think or believe in God or if there is a God. 2009) The truth of the matter is if that each believer could simply open the bible and understand each scriptures. from the myth in being unreceptive. from the allegory in that it veils the spiritual truth. etc. then this warning would not have been written: "Then opened He their understanding.W.´ Parables use realistic earthly vehicles to convey spiritual and eternal lessons. perceive.

knowledge to understand why they must reframe from certain things. but he has allowed the very words of wisdom to come to life within my soul as well as within my mind. One reason I come to understand that parables are used so we may not have a very hard time knowing that God loves us. He also knew they we are very stubborn about things. and each stage we are met with are doorways for us to be able to build that personal relationship with the Father. the Son and the Holy Spirit. let alone be able to see the truth for what it is and not what we desire to be. .The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 9 We must not be willing to know it all. we must not be a person who feels that the word of God is only novels and written words from someone mind. In using parables. for not only does grant me the very nature of who he is. I am glad that God allowed parables to be use within the gospel. and it has caused us to be misled and misunderstand the changes he can do in our lives. I have no doubt God knew that as time move forward the lives of his children will change. and they must have the wisdom.

Proverbs. 1 No. 2010 from: Retrieved on June 26. Blomberg. Parables and Theology in the Gospels´. 1989. 2. Getty-Sullivan. L. M. 1´.shtml . 4.The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 10 References: 1. Feb.htm 3. A. Cline. ³Gospel Parables of Jesus-.A. Bishop Alexander (Mileant). Retrieved on June 22. History and Theology.Allegorical Teachings.gospelgazette. ³The Gospel Parables vol.. ³The Parables of Our LordVol. C. 2010 from: http://www. Collegeville. Retrieved on June 21. Rushmore.orthodoxphotos. 2005. January 2. Retrieved on June 25. 2010. March. 2010 from:http://www. ³Reflections on Christianity´April 23.´Parables of the Kingdom: Jesus and the Use of Parables in the Synoptic Tradition . 1´. 2010 from: 5. MN: Liturgical Press. 2007.about.

NIV Bible. 1997) .The Meaning and Use of Parables in the Gospels 11 6. (June 16. Tyndale House Publishers. Inc.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful