Bible Book List
Dictionary of Bible Themes – 2357 Jesus Christ, parables of
2357 Jesus Christ, parables of

2357 Jesus Christ, parables of

A central feature of Jesus Christ’s teaching was the use of extended similies and short stories about the kingdom of God, based on human experience. Christ used them frequently to call for a response to his message.

Parables are a central feature of Jesus Christ’s teaching

Mt 13:34-35 See also Ps 78:2; Mk 4:33-34

Different characteristics of Jesus Christ’s parables

They vary in complexity and length Mt 7:6; Mt 13:18-23 pp Mk 4:13-20 pp Lk 8:11-15; Mt 13:37-45,52

They vary in their use of metaphors, word pictures, objects and actions Mt 5:13-16; Mt 13:44; Mt 18:2-3; Mt 21:18-22 pp Mk 11:12-14 pp Mk 11:20-24; Lk 15:8-10

They have different levels of meaning Often the full impact of a parable may be lost if the Jewish context is not understood: Lk 10:30-37; Lk 15:11-32

They draw on human experience Mt 13:33 pp Lk 13:20-21; Mt 18:12-14 pp Lk 15:4-7; Lk 7:41-43

The themes of Jesus Christ’s parables

The kingdom of God Mk 4:30 pp Lk 13:18 See also Mt 13:31-32 pp Mk 4:31-32 pp Lk 13:19-21; Mt 13:44-45; Mk 4:26-29

Relationship with God Lk 15:20 See also Mt 7:9-11 pp Lk 11:11-13; Mt 18:12-14 pp Lk 15:4-7; Lk 18:7-8

Right behaviour Lk 10:37 See also Mt 7:24-27 pp Lk 6:47-49; Lk 13:6-9; Lk 15:27

The time of the end Mt 25:34 See also Mt 25:1,14-19 pp Lk 19:11-15; Mk 13:35; Lk 12:35-36,40 pp Mt 24:44; Lk 16:22-23

Jesus Christ speaks about himself Mt 21:37 pp Mk 12:6 pp Lk 20:13 See also Mt 22:2; Mt 25:10 The “I am” sayings of Jesus Christ are brief picture parables: Jn 6:35; Jn 8:12; Jn 10:14; Jn 15:1

Understanding Jesus Christ’s parables

Further explanation is sometimes needed Mt 13:36 See also Mt 13:18 pp Mk 4:13 pp Lk 8:11; Mt 15:15 pp Mk 7:17

The meaning is sometimes hidden Lk 8:9-10 pp Mt 13:11-16 pp Mk 4:11-12 The meaning of Jesus Christ’s parables was concealed only from those whose hearts and minds were closed. See also Isa 6:9-10

Responses to Jesus Christ’s parables

The parables demand action Mt 5:14-16 See also Mt 4:24; Mt 7:5-6; Mt 13:43,45-46; Mt 25:13,40,45; Lk 12:21,32-33

Positive responses Mt 13:16 See also Mt 7:28-29; Mt 13:51

Rejection of Jesus Christ and his parables Lk 20:19 pp Mt 21:45-46 pp Mk 12:12 See also Lk 16:14

Examples of Jesus Christ’s parables

Mt 13:1-23 pp Mk 4:1-20 pp Lk 8:4-15 parable of the sower; Mt 13:47-52 parable of the net; Mt 18:12-14 pp Lk 15:4-7 parable of the lost sheep; Lk 10:25-37 parable of the good Samaritan; Lk 15:11-32 parable of the lost son; Lk 18:9-14 parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector

See also

2363Christ, preaching & teaching
2375kingdom of God
2565Christ, second coming
9105last things