The Return of the Prodigal Son
Rembrandt van Rijn

Introdution to Parables

Site introducing the parables:

Encyclopedia Britannica article entitled "Fable, Parable, and Allegory",5716,119369+4+110449,00.html

PARABLES are stories that point beyond themselves. Using every-day happenings they answer questions, point out a moral or teach a religious lesson.

1. Lk 10.25-37: The Good Samaritan: Consider the occasion that makes Jesus tell this parable, the attitude of the person who has questioned him, and the strategy by which Jesus proceeds in answering the question. What do we learn from all this?
2. Lk 15: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, The Lost Son: All these parables emphasize that God rejoices over the repentance and rehabilitation of a person who has done something wrong = the sinner. The "Lost Son" is often called the 'Prodigal Son' or simply 'Prodigal'. The parable of the Prodigal Son teaches two lessons; what are these lessons?
3. Lk 16.19-31: The Rich Man and Lazarus: The Rich Man is also called 'Dives' (Latin). In addition to telling us that the poor will be rewarded in heaven what other things does this parable teach?
4. Lk 18.9-17: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Publican): Why can we say that this story is an attack on pride and self-righteousness?
5. All these parables can be taken as illustrations to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. Point out in what way they do this.

WORDS AND CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER: Parable, Prodigal, Dives, Pauper, pharisee, Good Samaritan, tax collector, lost sheep, Lazarus.


Brief discussion of the parable genre:

Site with analysis of five of Jesus parables:
     The Prodigal Son:
     The Good Samaritan:

Series of twelve sermons on the parables of Jesus by Ray C. Stedman: