Couples in Christ








The Parables of Jesus
Couples In Christ Study, Summer 2010

Jesus was a master story-teller.  He often used parables, or figures of speech, and always used them to communicate eternal truths.  Here are some types of parables, found in the New Testament, which He used:

1)          Simile                                Stated likeness.  �Shrewd as snakes� (Matt. 10:16).

                                                  Identified by the use of �like� or �as�. 

2)          Metaphor                     Implied likeness.  �I am the gate for the sheep.�  (John 10:7) 

3)          Similitude                    Transference from common knowledge.

                                                          Based on what is generally done rather than on what was actually done.  �The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour . . .� (Matt. 13:33)

4)          Story Specific       Verses what is generally done.  Uses a specific incident and calls attention to what one person did.  �There was a man who had two sons� (Luke 15:11).  Jesus used this method the most.

Jesus always based His stories on reality, making it easy for a willing listener to hear the truth.  The content of His stories was always familiar and in the range of possibility.  (An allegory, conversely, is a story that is not based on reality, depending on the ingenuity of the hearer to discern the truth.)  Approximately 1/3 of Jesus� teaching in the Gospels is in this form.   Jesus emphasized the importance of words (we should really listen to His words).  He used this teaching method for two reasons:

a.    To reveal truth to some (believers).

b.    To hide truth from others (non-believers).

He had a mixed audience.  This method allowed Him to instruct believers, while not adding more responsibility to unbelievers (they would have gained more truth/judgment). 

Each of us would be wise to weigh carefully what He says in His word (the Bible), and to follow through with what He says to do.  When He tells a good story, sit quietly before Him and listen!

The parables can generally be classified in five categories:

1)        The Cost of Discipleship

2)        Marks of Spiritual Growth                             

3)        Kingdom Insights

4)        Parables Concerning Jesus Christ

5)        Doctrinal Parables

We�ve selected seven of Jesus� parables.  The table below summarizes the theme and suggests a key application.


Parable Name



Key Application



The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:30-37

Living and thinking differently.

Following Jesus involves allowing Him to reprogram our approach to life.


The Ten Minas

Luke 19:11-27

Spiritual stewardship.

It matters to God how we invest our lives.


The Physician

Luke 4:23

Credibility is hard to come by on our home turf.

Nowhere will our lives be put under a glass more intensely than with our own family.


The Sower, the Seed, the Soils

Matt. 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-25,

Luke 8:15-18

The reception of the message of Jesus.

May be a disciple of Christ, or an evangelical observation.


The Persistent Friend

Luke 11:1-10

Persistent in matters that matter.

If it is important enough to pray about, it is important enough not to forget what we asked for.


The Mustard Seed

Matt. 13:31-32


Exercising your �measure of faith� will produce tremendous results!


The Watchful Owner and the Wise Servant

Matt. 24:42-51

Be alert! 

Be ready! 

Be faithful!

Keep an eye on what�s ahead, and then prepare for it.  In the meantime, be faithful.

Join us each week as we learn from the Master Teacher!

� 2010 Dan Kinnoin, All Rights Reserved

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