“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:35)
Jesus taught using a technique known as parabolic analogy. In his presentation of truth to a multitude of widely varying intellect and temperament, he used “parables.” These analogies promote sympathy without arousing antagonism. They stimulate the imagination, challenge discrimination and provoke critical thinking. The parables of Jesus gracefully transcend time and are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago. Through the use of parables “he who has ears to hear” can take what he perceives to be of value. And we, as teachers, can be effective regardless of the circumstances of our ministry.
The Parables of Jesus foreshadow a reality we have come to understand through a Grand Parable whereby all that is true, beautiful, and good eventually directs our attention to the Father’s heart. In this parabolic analogy the Circle of Eternity serves as the directing arc and the focal point is the First Source and Center of all reality.
Jesus used a pedagogical approach to instruction that includes this teaching technique of parabolic analogy. To really understand the parables of Jesus, we need to understand more about why and how he employed them. We’ve inherited our present form and mixed use of the term through Middle English via Old French (parare – to provide & parabole – to compare), from Late Latin (parabilis – to provide & parabola – to compare), and stemming from the Greek (Paraballein – para for beside & ballien to throw).
In Hebrew “mashal” meant a similitude that was used in the Hebrew scriptures to denote a proverb, a prophetic utterance or an enigmatic saying. In the Christian tradition, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things was often achieved through an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Our modern understanding of “parabola” has led us to appreciate the “parabolic” qualities of Our Sovereign’s teachings.
Each of the stories is presented in a contemporary, composite form, without chapter and verse, for those who have “ears to hear.” This time, as you re-read these stories with eyes to see, look for the parabolic curve or directing arc and its ultimate focus. Pray for guidance. The Spirit of Truth is available and, as a world influence, is also universal. This promised helper is the well spring, the living water of Eternal Life, that will most certainly lead you, and all other believers, into all Truth.
The Parable of the Absent Landlord
The Parable of the Cornerstone
The Parable of the Door
The Parable of the Erring Child
The Parable of the Field
The Parable of the Fig Tree
The Parable of the Fish Net
The Parable of the Foolish Carpenter
The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
The Parable of the Good Shepherd
The Parable of the Great Supper
The Parable of the Harvest
The Parable of the Hired Laborers
The Parable of the Inheritance
The Parable of the Lamp
The Parable of the Leavened Bread
The Parable of the Living Bread
The Parable of the Midnight Request
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
The Parable of the Pearl
The Parable of the Reckoning
The Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Table
The Parable of the Vine
The Parable of the Wheat