1. WHAT reference is made in the Psalms to Christ’s use of parables?
“I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” Ps. 78:2.
NOTE.-A parable primarily means a comparison or similitude; specifically it is a short story or narrative drawn from life or nature, by means of which some important lesson is taught, or some moral drawn.
2. From what sources did Christ usually draw His parables?
From nature and from every day experiences.
3. For what are His parables noted?
“Our Saviour’s parables are distinguished above all others for clearness, purity, chasteness, intelligibility, importance of instruction, and simplicity. They are taken mostly from the affairs of common life, and are intelligible, therefore, to all men.” -Dr: Albert Barnes, on Matt. 13:3.
4. Following one of His parables, what did Christ say?
“Who hath ears to hear let him hear.” Matt. 13:9.
5. What question did the disciples then ask?
“And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?” Verse 10.
6. What reply did Christ make?
“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Verses 11-13.
NOTE.-Christ’s object, therefore, in using parables was to teach the mysteries, or truths, of the kingdom of heaven,-truths not necessarily difficult to understand, but which had long been hidden or obscured by sin, apostasy, and tradition,- in such a way that the spiritually minded and those desirous of learning the truth, might understand them, and the worldly-minded and unwilling would not. When asked the meaning of any parable, Christ readily explained it to His disciples. See Luke 8:9-15; Matt. 13:36-43; Mark 4:33,34.
7. After giving instruction by the use of parables, what question did Christ ask His disciples?
“Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yea, Lord.” Verse 51.
8. How extensively did Christ make use of parables?
“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them.” Verse 34.
NOTE.-Parables are simply stories. All, young and old, like to hear a story. Story-telling is one of the most successful means of awakening an interest, securing attention, and teaching, illustrating, and enforcing important truths. Christ, the greatest of all teachers, recognized this, and therefore made constant use of this method of instruction. See reading on “Preaching the Gospel” in Chapter 150 of this book.
9. How did Christ suggest that His disciples follow His example in teaching gospel truth?
“Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Verse 52.
NOTE.-Each parable is designed to teach someone great and important truth. The first twelve in the list here given are intended to teach the following lessons, respectively: (1) Good and evil in life and judgment. (2) Value of the gospel. (3) Seeking salvation. (4) The visible church of Christ. (5) Truths new and old. (6) Duty of forgiving others. (7) Call at various epochs. (8) Insincerity and repentance. (9) Need of righteousness. (10) Watchful and careful profession. (11) Use of abilities. (12) Final separation of good and bad.
I. Recorded in only one Gospel
The Tares – Gennesaret – Matt.13:24-30
The hid treasure – Gennesaret. – Matt. 13:44
The goodly pearl – Gennesaret – Matt. 13:45,46
The draw-net – Gennesaret – Matt. 13:47-50
Householder and treasure – Gennesaret – Matt. 13:52
The unmerciful servant – Capernaum – Matt. 18:23-35
Laborers in the vineyard – Jerusalem – Matt. 20:1-16
The two sons – Jerusalem – Matt. 21:28-32
Marriage of the king’s son – Mt. of Olives – Matt. 22:1-14
The ten virgins – Mt. of Olives – Matt. 25:1-13
The ten talents – Mt. of Olives – Matt. 25:14-30
The sheep and goats – Mt. of Olives – Matt. 25:31-46
The seed growing secretly – Gennesaret – Mark 4:26-29
Householder and servants – Gennesaret – Mark 13:34-37
The two debtors – Galilee – Luke 7:40-47
The good Samaritan – Jerusalem – Luke 10:25-37
The friend at midnight – Jerusalem – Luke 11:5-13
The rich fool – Jerusalem – Luke 12:16-21
The wedding-feast – Jerusalem – Luke 12:35-40
The wise steward – Jerusalem – Luke 12:42-48
The barren fig-tree – Jerusalem – Luke 13:6-9
The seat to take – Jerusalem – Luke 14:7-11
The great supper – Jerusalem – Luke 14:15-24
Tower; king going to war – Jerusalem – Luke 14: 28-33
The piece of money – Jerusalem – Luke 15:8-10
The prodigal son – Jerusalem – Luke 15:11-32
The unjust steward – Jerusalem – Luke 16:1-12
Rich man and Lazarus – Jerusalem – Luke 16:19-31
The unprofitable servant – Jerusalem – Luke 17:7-10
The importunate widow – Jerusalem – Luke 18:1-8
Pharisee and publican – Jerusalem – Luke 18:9-14
The pounds – Jerusalem – Luke 19:11-27
II. Recorded in two Gospels
House on rock and sand – Galilee – Matt. 7:24-27, Luke 6:47-49
The leaven in meal – Gennesaret – Matt. 13:33, Luke 13:20,21
The lost sheep – Jerusalem – Matt. 18:12-14, Luke 15:3-7
III. Recorded in three Gospels
New cloth on old garment – Capernaum – Matt. 9:16, Mark 2:21, Luke 5:36
New wine in old bottles – Capernaum – Matt. 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37
The sower – Gennesaret – Matt. 13:3-9, Mark 4:3-9, Luke 8:4-15
The mustard-seed Gennesaret – Matt. 13:31,32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18,19
The wicked husbandmen – Jerusalem – Matt. 21:33-43, Mark 12:1-9,
The fig-tree – Mt. of Olives – Matt. 24:32,33, Mark 13:28,29, Luke 21:29-31