Anyone who sets out to read the words of Jesus will soon encounter his Parables. At SCC, we are teaching through Mark’s Gospel and have spoken about this on Sundays. Parables aren’t something that we are accustomed to in our culture. Think about your educational experience, and try to remember anything you were taught in a parable. It is not a method used in our educational system. So we have to understand, at least in part, what parables are, before we read this type of teaching. A parable often is to teach one major point, but sometimes this varies. They are similar to riddles, allegories, and fables, but different also. If you try to assign a meaning to every aspect of a parable, you will often miss the whole point of the parable. So when we attempt to interpret and understand a parable, we have to make sure we are considering the context as well as the particular story. Often Jesus uses a parable to teach the same thing he has been teaching in a different way, or to highlight a different aspect. Parables are meant to be discussed and debated, they are meant to evoke a conversation on their meaning and application. Determining what a parable means is only part of the task, once we settle on a meaning, if we don’t apply it to our lives, we’ve misunderstood it.
There is certainly much more we could say about Parables. But, this will help you get started reading them. And, that’s the point now isn’t it? Read your Bible and you will understand the Bible more.