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by Gemane G. Getteh
V “Nowhere else in the world’s literature has such
immortality been conferred on anonymity.”
(London: SPCK, 1964), 124.
V Geriant V. Jones, The Art and Truth of the Parables
V Next to Revelation, the parables are the
most misinterpreted portions of scripture.
V …the wounded man stands for Adam; Jerusalem, the
heavenly city from which he has fallen; the thieves, the devil who strips Adam of his immortality and leads him to sin; the priest and Levite, the Old Testament Law and ministry which was unable to cleanse and save anyone; the good Samaritan who binds the wounds, Christ who forgives sin; oil and wine; hope and stimulus to work, the animal, the incarnation; the inn, the church; and the innkeeper, the apostle Paul. Augustine’s (AD 350-430) (Hom. 31.)
The Nature of Jesus’ Parables Their Importance
The number of Jesus’ parables varies between 45 and 60 depending how one classifies a parable, and the represent about one-third of His teaching. Therefore, it behooves us to study them diligently and above all respond to him through them.
The Nature of Jesus’ Parables The Meaning
V The term parable (mashal [OT], parabole„ „ [NT])
is used several ways in Scripture and in Jewish intertestamental literature. It can refer to V a proverb (1 Sam 24:13), V a satire or taunt (Ps 44:11), V a riddle (Ps 49:4), V a figurative saying (Mark 7:14-17), V an extended simile (Matt 13:33), V story parable (Matt 25:1-13), V an example parable (Matt 18:23-25), V and even an allegory (Judges 9:7-20; Mark 4:3-9, 13-20).
V See Robert H. Stein, A Basic Guide to Interpretin
the Bible: Playing by the Rules (Grand Rapids Baker, 1994), 137.
and V examples stories (Luke 10:30-37. V V Ú – .The Nature of Jesus’ Parables Their Classifications V simple simile (Matt 13:33. 18:9-14). V extended metaphor (Luke 15:11-32). 16:19-31. V extended simile (Matt 20:1-16). V simple metaphor (Matt 7:6). 12:17-21. Luke 13:20- 21).
function as universal types. and ideas. 63. pearls. including Lazarus in Luke 16 (the only character explicitly named). masters. peasants. young maidens. sons. fish. foil. Leland Ryken. crops. fisherman. conflict. water. Words of Life: A Literary Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker. treasures. and suspense. V They also evidence plot development. landowners. workers. wheat. V Stock images from the Semitic world crowd these stories—images of farmers. slaves. and kings and as such the characters. V . V Cf. 1987). settings.The Nature of Jesus’ Parables Their Realism V first century Palestinian characters.
A Survey of Jesus’ Parables Markan Parables The Bridegroom’s Unshrunk Cloth Friends New Wine Binding the Strong Soils ManLamp The Seed Growing Mustard Seed SecretlyTenants Wicked Budding Fig Tree Doorkeeper’s Watch Mark 2:19-20 2:21 2:22 3:20-29 4:1-20 4:21-25 4:26-29 4:30-32 12:1-12 13:28-32 13:34-36 Matthew 9:15 9:16 9:17 12:22-32 13:1-23 13:31-32 21:33-46 24:32-36 Luke 5:33-39 5:36 5:37-39 11:14-23 8:4-18 13:18-19 20:9-19 21:29-33 12:35-38 .
A Survey of Jesus’ Parables Matthean Parables Good and Bad Fruit Wheat and Tares Dragnet Hidden Treasure Merchant and Fine Wicked Slave Pearls in the Laborers The Two Sons Vineyard and The Wise The Sheep and Foolish Maidens Goats Matthew 7:15-20 13:24-30. 36-43 13:47-50 13:44 13:45-46 18:21-35 20:1-16 21:28-32 25:1-13 25:31-46 .
9-13) 12:13-21 13:6-9 14:28-30 14:31-33 15:1-7 15:8-10 15:11-32 16:1-13 16:19-31 17:7-10 18:1-8 18:9-14 .A Survey of Jesus’ Parables Lukan Parables The Two Debtors The Good Samaritan The Friend at Midnight The Rich Fool Barren Fig Tree The Tower Builder The Warrior King The Lost Sheep The Lost Coin The Prodigal Son (“two sons) The Unjust Steward The Rich Man and Lazarus The Lowly Servant The Unjust Judge The Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 7:40-50 10:25-37 11:5-8 (cf.
A Survey of Jesus’ Parables Parallels in Matt/Luke Wise and Foolish The Narrow Door/Gate Builders Leaven The Lost Sheep The Wedding Banquet The Thief in the Night Faithful and Unfaithful The Talents Steward Matthew 7:24-27 7:13-14 13:33 18:12-14 22:1-14 24:42-44 24:45-51 25:14-30 Luke 6:46-49 13:23-27 13:20-21 15:1-7 14:15-24 12:39-40 12:42-46 19:12-27 .
A Survey of Jesus’ Parables Johannine The True Parables The Good Shepherd Vine John (cf. Luke 10:1-18 15:1-8 15:1-7) . Matt18:12-14.
INTERPRETING THE PARABLES GUIDELINES FOR .
and suspense V read the parables in their original historical situation first V note the main characters/things in the parable and any parallels and or contrasts between them V V Ú . plot progress. general progression. structure.Guidelines for Interpreting Parables V note the literary setting of the parable in the gospel V note the wording.
Guidelines for Interpreting Parables V recognize that there are two audiences being addressed by the parables V avoid over-allegorizing and note carefully what occurs at the end of a parable as a (the) clue to the meaning of the parable V seek to place the teaching of the parable in the overall ministry of Jesus and his teaching as a whole V through continued prayer. discern the meaning of the parable for the original hearers and its significance for you . meditation. and seeking.
Matt 13:1-9.A Look at Some Parables The Parable of the Soils—Mark 4:1-34 (pars. 18-23. Luke 8:4-18) .
Literary Context • P e o p le A r e n ’ t L is te n in g ( 1 :4 5 ) •L e a d e r s A r e n ’ t L is te n in g •O n ly T r u e F a m ily L is te n s ( 3 :3 1 . 1 2 .. 9 . 2 4 . T e a c h in g a n d R is in g OPpa p obsle s : G r o w th o f K in g dr o me r M in is tr y F u th E a r ly a n d L a te r G a lile a n M in is tr y . 2 3 ..A v o ic e o f o n e c a llin g o u t… T h e tim e h a s c o m e ! L e t’ s k ill h im ( 3 :6 ) H e ’s p o sse sse d b y B e e lz e b u b 3 :2 2 T he Son of M an m u s t s u f fe r .3 4 ) •J e s u s h a s s a id : “ lis te n ” •(4 :3 . 3 3 ) H No Lamp on a Sta nd Growing See T 2 :1 ba e Sab h T ru e F a m ily 3 :3 5 4 :1 Soils th 4 :2 1 4 :2 6 4 :3 0 Mustard Se ed rsy trove Con r ono d 4 :3 5 6 :6 a ra itio n M ir a c le s .
. n (M ark 4:12) F earful H eart 4:18-19 4:16-17 W orrisom e H eart •M ostly E xternal •T roub le or P ersecution •M ostly In ternal •W orries/W ealth H ard H eart 4:15 •Satan T ake s A w ay G ood H eart 4:20 •30x •60x •100x T he Interp retation (4:13-20) •Person Q u ickly Falls A w ay •C ontrary D esires •W ord Is C hoked O ut T he Sow er T he Seed G od. the “secret. “the w ord of G od” [ ( L k]) . Jesus and A ll T hose W h o Preach the M essage T he W o rdcf.” [4:11]. “the w ord of th e kingdom ” [M t]..P ath •H ard Soil 4:3-4 R ocky Soil 4:5-6 •N ot M uch So il •Sprang U p T horns •S eed G rew U p 4:7 G ood Soil 4:8-9 Se ed G rew : C rop Produced Characters/Things & What They Stand For T he P arable (4:1-9) •B irds A te Seed •T horns C hoked It •Sun W ithered It P urpose S tatem ent so that[I[ a].
there was good soil Ú . V there was rocky soil where limestone lay immediately beneath a layer of topsoil.Historical Details V In Palestinian culture in the time of Jesus sowing probably preceded plowing V there were paths that were trampled down and hard. V there was soil overgrown by weeds and thorns (very common). V and thankfully.
” V Suspense V After the seed is planted. let him hear.General Progression. & Suspense V Opening/Closing V Notice that the parable opens with the command to “listen” and “see” (4:3a) and ends with an interesting and closely related idea: “He who has ears. then comes the wait… V Will there be a harvest? V Progress and Plot Conflict V no well developed “plot” V . Plot Conflict.
Luke 8:8. 29). V V . it always relates to our need to be careful how we listen to Jesus (Matt 11:15. 43. 11. let him hear!” V Coming only from the lips of Jesus in Scripture. 14:35. Mark 4:9.End Stress V tells us that what comes at the end of a parable is often very significant to the meaning of the parable as a whole V it provides a lens through which to correctly view the parable V In this parable the end stress is “He who has ears to hear.. Rev 2:7. 23. 17. 13:9.
V V V V Ú – . but one hundred represents a very good crop indeed. V The point is: some people really experience the blessing of the kingdom.Unclear Statements or Exaggeration V Crops totaling thirty or sixty or one hundred times what was sown were not uncommon.
They will not participate in the kingdom V the fact that at no time is the quality of the . V hard (or indifferent) hearts. the word). V Variations: V God sows his seed of the kingdom among a variety of people V the parable has much to say about the response to the message of the kingdom.Statement of General Theme and Variations V major theme: how a person listens and responds to the message of the kingdom (i. V superficial and fearful hearts V or worrisome and distracted hearts evidence less than saving faith in the gospel..e.
the crowd. family.Desired Response (Then and Now) V Jesus wanted the religious leaders. and the Twelve to listen very closely to what he was saying. V What does this mean for us? It certainly entails coming to him through the Bible with humble and contrite hearts and accepting whatever it is he wants to tell us. his followers. V V Ú – .
Luke 20:9-19) . Mark 12:1-12.A Look at Some Parables The Parable of the Tenants—Matthew 21:3344 (pars.
Hypocrisy Extent of Judgment Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and Ensuing Conflict .Jerusalem will be destroyed! The Son of Man will be betrayed… (20:17) xposed ocrisy E Woe! Woe! Woe! Woe! Woe! Certain son se hrist? o Wh h e C is t Woe! Woe! Two So ns: Dis obedien ce Wicked Te na nt s: Treac hery Judgme nt •Great Tribulation •Second Advent Literary Context Questio n sing ursed hal Ent r g Banqu y e t : Hy p ed e Clean Fig Tree C •Final Judgment •Eternal State Olivet Discourse Author it y T ri u m p 21:1 Initial Setting T e mp l 21:28 3 Parables We ddi n 22:15 4 Questions 23:1 7 ‘Woes’ 24:1 Certainty of Judgment Reason for Judgment:Unfaithfulness.Treachery.
V V Ú . V the son. Christ. Israel. V the servants. real life personages. V the tenants.Characters/Things and What They Stand For V Many of the various characters in the Parable of the Tenants stand for specific. V The landowner is God. the prophets. the religious leaders. V the vineyard.
Luke 20:15)? This question. winepress.Historical Details V general attitudes and practices of landowners in ancient Israel and the meaning of the wall. V the general tendencies of tenants in this situation V why does Matthew change the order of the events in 21:39 (cf. i. and Luke V Ú .e. Matthew. Mark. V the business practices of landowners and how they rented out their vineyards. Mark 12:8. presupposes Markan priority. – Markan priority refers to the literary relationship between the three synoptic gospels. of course.. and watchtower.
Suspense 21:33 Setting The Landowner •He planted a vineyard 21:35 Wall Winepress Watchtower The Tenants Intense Conflict •Servants Sent •More Servants Sent •Son Sent 21:40 Beat. Dan 2:34-35. •The Allusions 21:45 The Leaders’ Response : Isa 8:14. •So they tried to arrest him •But they were afraid. Stoned Threw him out. Plot Conflict. 44 They knew.. Killed.. Suspense Plot Conflict..General Progression. Killed... killed him Cl imax Jesus’ Response Q&A The Indictment 21:42 Q: What will the landowner do…? A: He will bring those wretches. General Progression. Stoned Beat. Have You Never Read? •The Text : Psalm 118:22-23 •The Verdict : The Kingdom will be taken.... .
Unclear Statements or Exaggeration What is the meaning of the expressions about stones in 21:44? This is an important passage. yet the imagery seems a bit confusing at first. .
falls on verse 40 and the rhetorical question Jesus asks V Therefore. and for their ultimate failure to receive the son and humbly submit to his authority V V . this parable is about the judgment of the religious leaders for being treacherous tenants. for the parable proper.End Stress V The climax to this story occurs in 21:39 V We note the irony in 21:41 when the religious authorities indict themselves: “he [the landowner] will bring those wretches to a wretched end!” V The principle of end stress. cruel and abusive.
But. V the parable includes the following truths: V God is incredibly gracious as exemplified in his care for the vineyard and patient as evidenced in his repeatedly sending servants even though they were brutally treated.Statement of General Theme and Variations V Theme: God will judge those leaders in his kingdom who are faithless toward him and treacherous toward his people. there will come a time when his patience will run out and judgment will fall. V (2) one’s response to Christ is key to one’s participation in the kingdom. V (3) God will raise up new leaders to shepherd his people when existing leaders abandon him. V .
V But the parable also speaks to those in the body who are not leaders per se. They too must remember that their response to Christ is key to their participation in his kingdom.Desired Response (Then and Now) V The parable speaks directly to leaders who shepherd God’s people. . V As leaders we must strive to stay close to the Lord and seek his will ahead of our own popularity and prestige. V We must carefully guard our hearts in respect to our love for Christ and his people and treat them as he commands us to.
Mark 4:12 and Luke 8:10 Matthew 13:10 Mark Luke Then the disciples came 4:10 When he was alone. you speak to them in asked him about the parables. and although they hear understand.” they do not hear nor do they understand. everything is others they are in parables. “You have been parables?” 13:11 He replied. those 8:9 Then his disciples asked to him and said. 8:10 He said. but for secrets of the kingdom of those outside.Summary of the Theology of the Parables: The Kingdom of God The Purpose of the Parables—A Look at Matthew 13:13. “Why do around him with the twelve him what this parable meant. so heaven. so they may not repent and be forgiven. 4:11 He said to them. and although not…:13 For this reason I may look but not see. and although they hear they may not speak to them in parables: understand. But to kingdom of God. “The given the opportunity to “You have been given the secret of the kingdom of God know the secrets of the opportunity to know the has been given to you. but they have in parables. although they see they do not they hear they may hear but not see. that although they see they 4:12 so that although they look they may not see. .
and evidencing unexpected and extreme grace. He summons people to believe as he graciously sows his kingdom seed.Summary of the Theology of the Parables: The Kingdom of God The Purpose of the Parables—A Look at Matthew 13:13. working patiently with people to move them toward response. he will judge men according to their response to his messiah and their faithfulness with the talents he has given them. bearing with them in their sin. however. In the end. misery. and waywardness. . Mark 4:12 and Luke 8:10 V The God Who Summons V The parables teach that God is sovereign in his world and in the salvation of men.
Any attitude. In this way there is joyful participation and an expectant hope that the kingdom will grow and more and more people will come to share in its fruit. V . Mark 4:12 and Luke 8:10 V The Proper Response to God’s Summons V The proper response to the gospel in the parables is total.Summary of the Theology of the Parables: The Kingdom of God The Purpose of the Parables—A Look at Matthew 13:13. activity or possession must be set aside in the interests of the kingdom. These stories call forth total faith leading to a total commitment of oneself to God.
Mark 4:12 and Luke 8:10 V The Fate of Those Who Do Not Respond Properly V All men are commanded to respond to God by producing the fruit of the kingdom.Summary of the Theology of the Parables: The Kingdom of God The Purpose of the Parables—A Look at Matthew 13:13. man’s stubborn refusal to submit to his kingship and therefore his rightful condemnation. V . For those who reject God’s king and his kingdom there will come a day of great distress and irrevocable suffering. The stress in the parables is on God’s justice in bringing about his wrath. and continued hope for people to repent.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: .
LESSON REVIEW: V Nature of the Parables. Survey of the Parables and Principles for Interpreting the Parables V The Parables V Literary Context V Character/Things and What They Stand For V Historical Details V General Progression. and Suspense V End Stress V Unclear Statements or Exaggeration V Statement of General Theme and Variations V Desired Response (Then and Now) V Theology of the Parables . Plot Conflict.
Getteh. 2008 .
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