Jesus and the Use of Parables Essay examples

1354 Words 6 Pages
Much of Jesus’ teaching was through parables, which he utilized as a method of illustrating insightful and divine truths. Biblical scholar Madeleine Boucher informs audiences that “the importance of the parables can hardly be overestimated (Boucher, 1977).” Rather than representing simple anecdotes, each parable displays a deeper meaning. Comprehending the Gospel Parables requires an understanding of the definition of a parables, Jesus’ reason for speaking in parables, and the purpose of parables. The parables of Jesus are mainly found in the three Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Boucher writes, “The parables are generally regarded by scholars as among the sayings which we can confidently ascribe to the historical Jesus; …show more content…
Vivid, but not detailed, each parable has “an element of surprise, a hook, designed to present something new and different to the listeners (Getty-Sullivan, 2007).” Biblical scholar, Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan states that this hook has often been called “the ‘twist’ or ‘gotcha’ aspect of a parable. People might be either attracted to or put off by this element of surprise, but a good parable does not leave its listeners indifferent.” Each parable should capture its audience’s attention, leaving them with a desire for transformation.
The world parable, meaning “to place beside, to cast alongside,” is used 48 times in the first three Gospels, twice in Hebrews verses 9:9 and 11:19 . A parable is often thought of as an extended simile; therefore, comparing the point of commonality between two unlike things to demonstrate and teach that point. According to C.H. Dodd, “At its simplest a parable is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its precise application to tease it into active thought (Dodd, 1961).” This tells us precisely four things about a parable: “it is a comparison, describing something new or unknown in terms of something very familiar, with an unexpected twist, designed to engage its hearers and prompt some reaction from them