Questions tagged [parables]

Questions regarding the short stories of Jesus known as the parables. They were common teaching devices in Jesus's era. Famous ones include the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, and the Pearl of Great Price.

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Is the wedding feast in the Matthew 22:2-14 parable remarkable because of its size?

The king made a wedding feast for his son; the food list is headed by "oxen," Greek "ταῦροί," which I believe is the plural form. Thus, more than one ox? (there were other fattened livestock, but I ...
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What did the man in Luke 14:15 mean by “the kingdom of God”?

Luke 14:15 - When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!" What would have been his ...
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Purpose of the Parables: Mark 4:10-12 and Matthew 13:10-16

Is a plausible reading of Mark 4:10-12 that Jesus teaches in parables to confuse those "on the outside" whereas in Matthew 13:10-16 Jesus claims to teach in parables in order to better instruct ...
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1answer
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Why did the father of the prodigal son put his best robe on his son? Luke 15:22

A pastor said he met someone from Ninive who asked him, “Do you know why the father of the prodigal son from the parable put his robe on his son?” He continued “because, otherwise, the villagers ...
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1answer
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Is Luke 12:35-40 a parallel of Matthew 25:1-13?

Luke 12:35-40 NASB 35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they ...
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What does the “prodigal son’s” demand for his inheritance in advance symbolize?

“And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them.” ‭...
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803 views

In the parable of the talents, Matthew 25 , how did the servants trade their talents?

What is Jesus referring to as trading in the parable of the talents?
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3answers
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Can oil only represent service?

Oil throughout the Bible represents service: How can oil represent salvation in: Mat_25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
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What do these two parables from the Gospel of Thomas mean exactly about the Kingdom of God?

Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [...
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5answers
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What is the “swept and tidy” house referred to in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24?

‘The lost Gospel of Q’ by Burton L. Mack, on pg 91, quotes Luke 11:24-26 seen below (compare Matthew 12:43-45) "When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through arid regions seeking rest ...
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1answer
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Is the younger son’s inheritance restored in Luke 15:31?

In Tim Keller’s book The Prodigal God, he stated on page 30 and 45 that beyond simply being restored to the family, the younger son also has his inheritance restored further diminishing the elder son’...
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In Luke 15:1-7 is the shepherd in the parable equated to the Pharisees and the scribes?

[Luk 15:1-7 NLT] (1) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. (2) This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with ...
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In Matthew 13:44, who is the man in the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price?

In Matthew 13:44 the kingdom of heaven is likened to a man finding treasure hidden in a field: KJV Mat 13:44  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a ...
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10answers
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What is signified by the man without wedding clothes in Matthew 22:11-13?

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:1-14 has a lot in common with the one in Luke 14:15-23. Both tell the story of a group invited to the banquet (presumably Jesus' opponents) who do not ...
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Who is the 'Faithful and wise servant' of Matthew 24:45?

Who is the faithful servant that is mentioned in Matthew 24:45 and the following verses? If "Food' is the Word / Truth, and a Faithful Servant is coming to give food at the proper time - could this be ...
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6answers
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Why would the tenants who killed the landowner's son expect an inheritance?

The parable of the tenants is repeated in three of the Gospels and has this line: “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his ...
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3answers
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Was the Unmerciful Servant literally expected to pay back his debt via torture and if so how?

At the end of The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant is this verse: In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. Matthew 18:34 The ...
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What is the meaning of the yields in the parable of the Sower?

After telling the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, Jesus begins by explaining the parable to his disciples. He concludes his explanation in verse 23 by saying But as for the seed sown on good ...
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When Should “Kingdom” be Interpreted as “The Sovereignty” or “The Kingdom” of God?

Question: Is the "Kingdom of God" a reference to "Sovereignty", or "a National State"? When should forms of the words "βασίλει*" be interpreted in senses of "Royal Authority" or "Kingdom Territory"? ...
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Do the birds who perch in the mustard tree have allegorical meaning?

In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed (NIV): He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. ...
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4answers
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How is Abraham offering Isaac a parable?

The word παραβολὴ (parable) is written outside the Gospels only in Hebrews: Which was a figure (παραβολὴ) for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not ...
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Why does the woman “hide” the leaven in the parable?

In the parable of the Leaven from Matthew 13:33, why do some translations say that the woman in the parable "hid" the leaven in the dough (as opposed to mixed in other translations)? Is there a ...
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The Parable of the Ten Virgins - proportion 5 to 5 - meaning

In the parable of the "ten virgins" in Matthew 25:1-13, they fall into two groups of five: 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. I know that the numbers in Jewish culture have special ...
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Does Luke 16:19-23 illustrate an immediate transition into either fellowship & joy (Abraham 's bosom) or eternal torment (Hades) after death?

Luke 16:19-31 (KJV) 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at ...
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Is it acceptable/appropriate to use a parable for a purpose other than its original intent? [closed]

Nearly every Christian I know likes the story of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32) Who wouldn't? It's a beautiful story of love and forgiveness, illustrating that God is always willing to take us back ...
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What part does Luke 16:16-18 play in its particular context?

In Luke 15, The Pharisees criticize Jesus for his welcoming and eating with sinners, and in response, Jesus begins discussing parables. The first two parables (or hypothetical questions) follow the ...
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Luke 12:41 - Does Jesus answer Peter's question?

In Luke 12:41, Peter asks Jesus: “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” Jesus does not answer directly, but responds with a question and a parable: 42 And the Lord said, “Who ...
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In Mark 4 what does Jesus mean by “the secret of the kingdom”?

In Mark 4, before explaining to his disciples the parable of the sower, Jesus tells them: [Mar 4:11 NIV] (11) He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on ...
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What is the meaning of Mark 4:24–25

I have surveyed more than 10 commentaries on this, some comment on these verses specifically, and the ones that do disagree somewhat. It is not clear to me if the meaning of these words is clear, or ...
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According to Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10 and Matthew 13:11-15 why did Christ speak in parables?

Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10 & Matt. 13:11-15 says that Christ spoke in parables so that the multitude in 'seeing they would not see' and 'hearing they would not hear', etc. ESV (Mark 4:11-12) ...
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4answers
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Is Jesus the Good Samaritan?

It seems clear that in at least some parables there is an analogical correspondence between some character in the parable and Jesus. For instance, in the parable of the tenants in Luke 20, most would ...
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5answers
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How exactly does parable of a tower and a war (Luke 14:28-33) mean that we should give up everything we have?

In the parable in Luke 14:28-32 I see advice to think first and give up risky plans. But the explanation in verse 33 says it means to give up one's earthly belongings, which is quite a different ...
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7answers
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In Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:20-21, what does the parable about the leaven in the flour say about the kingdom?

Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21. What does this mean? Matthew 13:33 (KJV): Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures ...
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Parable of Ten Virgins: is Jesus' message “stay awake”?

In Matthew 25 Jesus gives the parable of the Ten Virgins. The point of the parable appears to be that one should be prepared. All ten of the virgins fall asleep. But then in verse 13 Jesus appears to ...
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What is the significance of both the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan parable?

In the Good Samaritan parable (Luke 10:25-37), the first two people who see the beaten up man are a priest and a Levite. However, a priest is a member of the Levite tribe. So why include both since ...
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3answers
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Was the Prodigal Son truly repentant?

I have heard that the Prodigal Son was not truly repentant because in Luke 15:17-19 he was still making demands of his father such as "make me like one of your hired servants": ‘When he came to his ...
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Do the specific gifts the father gives to the prodigal son have any special significance?

What is the significance of the robe, ring & sandals in Luke 15:22? ‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on ...
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In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-12. Verses 8-9 (ESV) read: And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered,...
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Why is the lesson of the fig tree a “parable”?

Unless I have a misunderstanding about what a parable is, I feel that this is not a parable: Matthew 24:32 (KJV) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth ...
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How did a prisoner pay back debt?

How did a prisoner pay back debt in a 1st century prison? In Matthew 18:21-35 there is a prison that debtors go to payback their debts. Is this done by working there? Were some people there already ...
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8answers
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Meaning of the Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-23 recounts the Parable of the Sower. This is one that I've heard a number of times in a number of sermons and books. It must have some ambiguity as it's interpretation by pastors and ...
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What does Jesus mean in Luke 5:36-39? (new wine into old wineskins)

I was reading Luke 5, and could not understand verses 36-39. What did Jesus mean? Luke 5:36-39 (New King James Version) reads: 36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new ...
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1answer
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To what extent, if at all, should we look for one-to-one correlations between parables and real life?

The main theological debate concerning parables is whether or not to interpret them allegorically. To give an example of allegorization, here is Augustine's interpretation of the parable of the good ...
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Parable of the sower, the seed which fell on stony places?

In Matthew 13, concerning the parable of the sower, Matthew says: Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. ...
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Who are the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25?

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells this parable. When the Son of Man comes… All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates ...
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What does a mustard seed grow into?

Jesus said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that ...
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1answer
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The meaning of the phrase “mustard seed”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Jesus always use the mustard seed to signify the property of “smallness”? The phrase "mustard seed" is found in the New Testament several times. I am not sure, maybe it ...
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1answer
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Is Matthew 13:18-23 specific to Matthew's congregation?

Is there any textual evidence to suggest that the explanations to Jesus' parables such as the explanation given to the disciples regarding the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:18-23 were not Jesus' ...
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When is allegorization of scripture productive?

If I were to run into the story of the three little pigs accidentally used as a bookmark in my Bible I might draw these conclusions: Clearly the wolf is the Devil trying to devour sinners who are ...
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What is the meaning behind the parable of Children in the Marketplace in Luke 7:31-35?

Can you shed some light over the intended meaning of the parable of the Children in the Marketplace? Is there more context or any words in the parable that have special meaning? Also, are there any ...