“While claiming full unity and equality with God, Jesus was very active as a teacher and healer. Through his parables, direct teaching on important topics, and miracles, Jesus used commonplace human situations to tell us about God’s interest in each of us, the way to make good choices in our life, and about the Kingdom” (Adult Learner’s Guide).
What is a parable? A parable is a short story or a brief tale that is told to illustrate a religious, moral, or philosophical idea. About one third of Jesus Christ’s recorded teachings are in the form of parables. Jesus frequently used parables as a means of illustrating profound, divine truths. Stories such as these are easily remembered, the characters are bold, and the symbolism is rich in meaning. Parables were a common form of teaching in Judaism. Before a certain point in His ministry, Jesus had employed many graphic analogies using common things that would be familiar to everyone (salt, bread, sheep, etc.) and their meaning was fairly clear in the context of His teaching (Stories for All Peoples).
The parables that Jesus told were not just for those whom he personally taught. His parables are part of his gospel and are therefore for all peoples throughout all nations and throughout all time. When he said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15) he had already presented the gospel in a form that suits that great commission. Furthermore, Jesus crafted his parables in such a way that they would remain effective even when carried far beyond his own teaching environment into the future. They became an important part of the scriptures, so that they could be retold all around the world and all through the centuries. They were truly lessons for the future, and have, through 2000 years, provided many individual seekers with insights that enable them to embrace the kingdom of heaven and eternal life (Stories for All Peoples).
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