New Testament, Parables, Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Introduction

The parables have often caught my attention and, if dwelt on, usually cause me surprise. I often enter a parable with a presupposition, and leave with a different conclusion.

Welcome to Considering the Bible, and our newest series, looking at the Parables of the Lord. The following posts will consider the stories Jesus “laid down beside” our earthly experiences to explain a heavenly, spiritual existence He was re-introducing to the nation of Israel, and eventually the entire earth.

What is a “Parable”

I suppose it is incumbent upon me to explain the concept of a parable. The word “parable” comes from the root greek word παραβάλλω, paraballō.

This word is made up of two greek root words.

  • παρά (G3844)
    • to be with, to be beside..
  • βάλλω (G906)
    • cast, put, thrust, lie

Simply by putting these two terms together, we see that a parable is a story that is “cast down beside” something. Jesus provided short stories of general earthly truths that would illuminate His hearers (if they wanted to hear the message) of a heavenly or spiritual truth.

Why a Series on the Parables

I have never sought to methodically go through the parables in an intentional way, and this blog will give me the structure to attempt this study.

Each post will seek to address the following items

  • Who were the audience when Jesus spoke these words?
    • Was it a private teaching to only his inner circle, or to the population at large? This may have significant bearing on the intent of the message!
  • When did the Lord give this parable?
    • I suspect we may find some enlightenment with understanding when a parable was given by the Lord.
  • Where did the Lord teach the parable?
    • The location of the message may also give us insight as to the purpose of the parable.
  • Why did the Lord give this message?
    • Although we will seek to address this question specifically for each parable, our next post will look at this question in a general manner.
  • What was the message for the original audience?
    • If we get this, it may help with the next question!
  • What is the message for us today?
    • This is the crux of the matter, and only after understanding the intent of the message for the original hearers may we come to an accurate application for our lives. This is the goal!

A spreadsheet of the parables in chronological order is supplied at the beginning of this series. As the series progresses, updates may be required.

The parables, chronologically ordered, matching the spreadsheet noted above may also be downloaded for your information and study.

I am currently using the ESV for the text.

I do hope you will follow along as we Consider the Bible and the message we may find in the parables of the Lord



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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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5 thoughts on “Parable Surprises – Introduction

  1. The Bible, which takes place within, is written in a symbolic language, which reveals spiritual truths. Jesus said to clean the inside of the cup and the platter so that the outside of them will become clean. The cup is what we drink from. To drink is to think (in the mind). The platter is what we eat from. To eat is to accept (in the heart). If we purify the thoughts of our mind and the emotions/beliefs of our heart, the outside of them, our actions, will become pure. Godspeed

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  2. Great idea to do a study on Jesus’ parables
    It’s definitely important to check who is speaking to whom and in which situation. I like your goal to find out what is the message for us today. Looking forward to following your study. Blessings, Elfriede

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  3. Lovely! I always appreciate your work and the effort you put into sharing insights. Inter -parable relationship is part of your study. The lost sheep, coin, son (1/100, 1/10, 1/2) is an example of a cascading parable within a set of three parables. Looking forward to reading your work!!

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  4. Thank you for this post, and I will look forward to hearing your insights on the parables. Like you, I often come to them with a presupposition-so it’s good to have these challenged. I also completely agree that understanding the original audience helps to understand the point that Jesus is trying to make. We sometimes miss that, and so miss the point entirely. Again, I look forward to reading more

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