Week 10: The Parables of Jesus

Jesus spoke to a wide variety of people.  Some of His listeners were devoted followers, some were arch enemies, some were confused onlookers, some were hurting souls and some, like us, would only read His words centuries later. But all of them could relate to a good story. This week we are going to explore the parables of Jesus, the world’s greatest storyteller.

47 thoughts on “Week 10: The Parables of Jesus”

      1. Samaritans were people from Samaria. These people were part Jewish, but the Jews did not accept them as true Jews. Samaritans and Jews disliked each other.

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      2. From Essential Jesus, Initially the expert wasn’t interested in spiritual things, his intent was ‘to test Jesus’ (v25)… but Jesus knew that beneath the man’s desire to show off was a deeper need; he wasn’t sure of his relationship with God (v29).

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      3. From Essential Jesus, The Levite and the priest (both religious expects of the time) failed to do what the Scriptures taught or what God wanted. In contrast the Samaritan (the mixed-race outcast of the time) obeyed the Scriptures and pleased God.

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    1. vv36, 37: Then Jesus said, “Which one of these three men do you think was a neighbour to the man who was attacked by the robbers?”
      The expert on the law answered, “The one who showed him mercy.”
      Jesus said to him, “Then go and do what he did.”

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    1. From Essential Jesus, Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus engaged with those who didn’t agree with Him; He ate with them and prayed for them (Matthew 5:44). But He also got angry with them for caring more about their petty rules than for a needy person.

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      1. God’s intent is for all people to get into His Kingdom.
        The banquet host goes to extraordinary lengths to make it possible for everyone to attend (verses 17, 21, 23).

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      2. God’s Kingdom is not just for the wealthy and talented or those who have got their act together.
        The banquet host also makes a special effort to include the down-and-outs: ‘the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’ (verses 21).

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      3. It is possible to reject God’s invitation.
        The fictional excuses (vv 18-20, 24) may sound silly, but they communicate an important truth: there’s never a good reason for rejecting God’s invitation.

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    2. vv 13, 14: Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then you will be blessed, because they have nothing and cannot pay you back. But you will be repaid when the good people rise from the dead.

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    1. From Essential Jesus Day 49, Sinners were the focus of Jesus’ ministry, a point that confounded the religious leaders (Luke 15:2). They thought that religion should be reserved only for good people like themselves. But Jesus demonstrated that true religion was for ‘bad’ people; and that all of us are sinners (Romans 3:23).
      Jesus told these three parables to illustrate what He meant.

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    2. Acton Commentary: The stories should be read together, and understood as Jesus’ answers to the complaint of the Pharisees that He ‘welcomes sinners and even eats with them’ (Luke 15:2).
      In each story the one who has lost something is understood as filling the role of God, who has ‘lost’ something dear to Him. The sheep, the coin, and the son represent God’s people who have gone astray. These lost ones are the ‘sinners’ whom Jesus welcomes. While those who lose things in these stories primarily represent God, the actions of these characters also shed light on how human beings are to conduct themselves as God’s image-bearers.

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      1. From Essential Jesus Day 49, That’s a picture of how God feels about sinners. He knows they’re lost and He really wants to find them. That’s good news for us.

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    3. In the Parable of the Lost Coin, Jesus describes a case in which a woman loses one of her ten silver coins. She takes quick action, lighting a lamp, sweeping the house and searching ‘carefully until she finds it’ (Luke 15:8 NIV). In this case, that which is lost is a ‘coin’, a Greek drachma worth about one day’s wages. The coin is impersona and inanimate. It doesn’t even know that it is lost. It can’t help itself get found. The woman is the one who ‘loses’ the coin. The coin is passive, receiving the action of the story. The woman loses the coin, lights a lamp, sweeps the house, searches carefully and finds the coin; the coin is lost and found.

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    4. In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, a shepherd ‘has a hundred sheep and loses one of them’ (v4). Again we see the focus of the action on the shepherd. The sheep presumably wandered off, but it is after all only an animal, and so is impersonal. Even though animals are active in some sense, the action is ultimately attributed to the shepherd. The shepherd loses one of the sheep, leaves the ninety-nine, goes after the lost sheep, finds it, and puts it on his shoulders and goes home.

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    5. In the Parable of the Lost Son (vv 11-32), the first son decided it would be better to return to work as a servant in his father’s house than stay as he was. The second son ‘would not go into the feast’ because he told his father ‘I have served you like a slave for many years and have always obeyed your commands’ He thought serving his Father ‘like a slave’ would please his father. Both sons wanted to act like a slave to their father. But the father wouldn’t let either son act like a slave. He wanted sons.

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    6. From Essential Jesus Day 49, But there’s a catch. To experience that joyful reunion with God, you’ve got to admit that without Him you are lost. You must come to grips with your own sin. That’s something the older brother (and the religious leaders, too) were unwilling to do (vv25-30).
      But it’s a necessary first step to a relationship with God.

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      1. From Essential Jesus Day 50, Effective prayer doesn’t always sound like it comes from the 9.30 Service. Often it involves insisting, pleading and begging with God.

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      2. From Essential Jesus Day 50, It’s important to note, however, that the woman’s cause is consistent with God’s priorities.; she’s praying for justice (v3), not a new BMW.

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