The Parables of Jesus such as the Good Shepherd, the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan are just some of the stories that sparkle with simple and comforting revelations about God's Kingdom.
Jesus Christ was the Master Storyteller.
He used Parables to teach people about God and His Kingdom where love,justice, peace and goodwill prevailed.
He wanted to teach people to seek realities beyond themselves and their physical horizon so that people might live their lives to the full.
His Parables in the New Testament of the Holy Bible are ethical lessons that have touched people's lives for over 2,000 years with their moving and beautiful stories that lead to spiritual enlightenment.
By talking about familiar situations, Jesus introduced God's Kingdom into the minds of His listeners using everyday concepts to excite His audience through human characters and images of plants, vines, seeds and sowers.
The Kingdom of God is invisible unless a person has the " spiritual eyes of faith to "see it."
The Parables were meant to “awaken” the spiritual blind to spiritual realities they couldn't "see" with their physical eyes.
Those realities are:
*Jesus Christ is our Savior
*There is an eternal, Heavenly Kingdom
The Parables of Jesus are lessons of discovery about the inner spiritual self.
When our "eyes spiritually awaken," our lives have meaning, a purpose and an eternal destiny.
The Parables of Jesus are present today in the lives of those who believe in the Power and the Glory of God in an ever, increasingly secular world.
God's Power Can:
*Influence people through love and compassion
*Guide the conscience to what is right and what is wrong
*Govern what is important in life through values
*Provide the positive choices to live a wholesome existence.
"One thing I seek - to live in the Presence of the Lord - all the days of my life and, to behold God's Beauty".
- King David
In the Parables of Jesus we read that He is the Good Shepherd Who came to lead His flock to greener pastures.
He called on people to share in His Mission to shepherd God's people, starting with His Twelve Apostles to carry on with authority His Gospel and to baptize them in the new Christian faith.
“My sheep hear My Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (10:27).
Jesus referred to His followers as sheep because He wants them to be gentle - not wolves in a pagan world.
The Good Shepherd looks after His scattered flock when He is with them.
He will rescue His stray flock from where they are scattered on the days of darkness and lead them back to the Evergreen Pastures of God.
“I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for His sheep.”
- John 10:11-16
Jesus came into this world to “seek and to save that which is lost.”
The Parable of the Lost Sheep reveals that the Kingdom of God is open to all, even those who have strayed from God's straight Path that leads to the ultimate, Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus uses the example of a shepherd (God) who has a hundred sheep and one goes missing.
The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine safe sheep to search high and low for the lost one because every one of His flock is precious to Him!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Hebrews 13:8
The Parables of Jesus identify the Kingdom of God with the compassion of the Good Samaritan.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan found in the Gospel of Luke teaches us who our neighbor is and how to become good neighbors ourselves.
It proclaims the Second Great Commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
When other people need our help, like the traveler on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, it shows when our love for our neighbor is really tested.
Jesus used this Parable to show that compassion should be for all people.
Through helping another person in need, we are living out the Vision of God.
This is the Christian ethic of love that comes with the Blessing of God.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
- Matthew 7:12
The Parable of the Prodigal Son highlights the importance of repentance and forgiveness.
Its messages teaches that no matter how far we may stray from God, He will always take us back.
God's Love is unconditional, no matter what we have done.
In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the father forgives his wasteful son who has become destitute when he returns and welcomes him home.
God also waits to welcome back sinners who repent and ask for forgiveness.
From the Prodigal Son we learn:
"The farther you wander, the farther away you'll be." Luke 15:13-16.
"It's never too late to turn back if you are willing to repent." Luke 15:17-19.
"God will always forgive." Luke 15:20-21.
The powerful Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most famous stories from the Bible, of all time.
"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
- Luke 15:20
Matthew 13:1–23, Mark 4:1–20, Luke 8:4–15 and the extra-canonical Gospel of Thomas.
The Parable of the Sower (also called Parable of the Soils) tells the story of a farmer who sows seed indiscriminately.
Some seed fall on the path with no soil, some on rocky ground with little soil, some on soil with thorns, and some on good soil.
1. In the first, the seed is blown away.
2. In the second and third, the seed fails to produce a crop.
3. When the seed falls on good soil, it yields a bountiful harvest.
From the Parable of the Sower, we learn that:
*The farmer represents God.
*The seed is His Message.
*The various soils represent people's responses.
Just as a planted seed starts to grow, the Word of God starts to grow within to take us back to our spiritual paths.
"It sets my feet firmly on the Path that takes me nearer to Thee."
The Parable of the Sower gives enlightenment to God's Laws of Life that:
*Sets boundaries - it avoids all that is harmful
*Guide us to right thinking and right action
*Provide standards on which to base decisions that affect life
"And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it."
- Mark 4:4
The Parable of the Lost Coin teaches us that God's Love is for all of His people.
In the Parable of the Lost Coin, a woman loses one of her ten silver coins that was a part of her dowry.
The lost coin does not represent the whole of her wealth, but still has significant value to her.
The lady represents God.
The coins represent people.
The lost coin symbolizes a lost soul that God will look endlessly to find.
He rejoices upon its return.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
- John 3:16
Jesus gave us more than thirty Parables in the Bible which comprise a substantial part of His recorded Preaching.
The total number of actual Parables by Jesus could be more than fifty.
They all offer brilliant insights into the Mind of God Who speaks to us through His Holy Spirit.
Jesus told His Stories in a way that people would remember and retell His Message of how God Works.
Each single Parable has a powerful message that teaches how each one of us can judge his or her own life, face our trials, and move forward with faith.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (Jesus Christ)
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