“How Does One Best Mine The Eternal Truths in Parables?”
Another Patton Associates S-M-A-R-TBriefing™
Biblical parables are simple stories used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as shared by Jesus in the Gospels, or other biblical writers elsewhere in Scripture.
Because of their brevity and simplicity, Parables are piercing and powerful teaching tools.
Are Parables Supposed To Be Easily Understood?
Jesus’ parables were not intended to communicate a hidden meaning which only initiated insiders could discover by complicated, allegorical interpretation. So says a Biblical Archeology Society scholar in his article “Recovering the Original Meaning of Matthew’s Parables”.
The author’s interpretation seems to make sense based on the evidence he suggests.
However, contrary to the author’s thesis, please note he does not mention that Jesus’ inner circle of Disciples asked Him why He used Parables which were not easily understood to teach His truths. Jesus replied that He intended to be confusing for some so that He could reveal ancient, mysterious truths to true disciples, but hide them from the non-elect to His Kingdom. (Matthew 13:10-13 & 13:34-35)
The Good Samaritan Parable
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the best known of all Jesus’ Gospel stories. Yet, it has been interpreted in many different ways …including as a tale about universal healthcare. Another Biblical Archaeology Society scholar outlines these and other fascinating tidbits in her article, “Understanding the Good Samaritan Parable”.
While teaching via sermon applications may be worthwhile, the author feels that in order to grasp the full import of the Parable, one must understand the times and concerns of first-century Judea, where Jesus and his followers lived. To do this properly, she says, people must understand the relationship between Jews and Samaritans.
This is sometimes hinted at in modern interpretations of the parable, she explains, but rarely fully grasped by listeners or readers. She goes on to explain this relationship well.
Understanding The Bigger Context of All Parables
To better appreciate not only the context of Jesus’ parables, but also His Gospels, more easily, I recommend the ebook by Biblical Archaeology Review entitled: “The Galilee Jesus Knew”.
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Blessings in Jesus all …’till next we interact!
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