The parables of Jesus represent the essence of his teachings. If you were raised in a Christian tradition you will be quite familiar with a few of them. Here is your jumping off point from lost to found, from judgement to forgiveness, from tares to wheat, from hate to love, from duplicity to truth. These simple stories reveal the essence of God’s heart spoken in plain language whose morals can be understood by children.
God knows we live in difficult times and in a difficult place. He made promises to save us and help us. These parables are our first revelation of God’s heart to us. When you recognize yourself in the story, you are on your way to a better life.
The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32
I like the story of the prodigal son because it very closely reflects my experience with my heavenly father. My own father was neglectful and only my mother was a loving parent. When I became an adult, I wandered around in search of the truth and found only misery, shame, and heartache. This story demonstrates that my heavenly father awaited my return from a life of wasteful living. He took me back with open arms and forgave me for all my sins.
If you find yourself in the position of the Father awaiting the return of your son, God promises that all will be restored. One parable that helps you keep hope is The Unjust Judge and the Importunate Widow, a story about a woman who was persistent in asking for her case to be heard. Just keep asking God and keep hoping for your vindication.
The Ten Virgins – Matthew 25:1-13
As a boy scout I took to heart the motto ‘Be prepared’. If you are not diligent you could miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The parable of the ten virgins tells of preparedness. Today we would say to bring your battery charger so you can wait a long time. This story also refers to the return of Jesus Christ and how only those Christians who have committed themselves to the long wait for his return will be allowed to enter heaven.
The Patch and the Wineskins – Matthew 9:14-17
New wine was put into new wineskins because wineskins were made of animal hides and needed to be flexible in order to adjust their volume as the wine fermented and produced carbon dioxide. Old wineskins had turned into leather and were unable to take the pressure of the CO2. They would burst and spill the wine. Likewise, our new life as Christians must be contained in a new body. The power of God flows through born again Christians who have taken on their resurrection bodies as they learn to contain God’s power flowing through them in the world. This parable also reminds us to always be flexible and not get stuck in our attitudes, ways and beliefs.
This article was only a sampler to whet your appetite. It is now up to you to follow your heart and learn more about God, Jesus, and the Parables of Jesus. Here is a place to start.