two of my favorite parables that Jesus taught are “The Prodigal Son” and the “Hidden Treasure.” there is no doubt that i gravitate toward these two passages due to personal experience. i want to define a parable and explain its purpose. i will also share relevant testimonies and take some time to go through the scriptures.

HELPS Word-studies references Strong’s Greek Concordance 3850 for the word parable being parabolḗ. HELPS breaks this word down further into pará (3844), “close beside, with” and bállō (906), “to cast”) for a completed origin quote of, “a parable; a teaching aid cast alongside the truth being taught. This casts additional light by using an arresting or familiar analogy, (which is often fictitious or metaphorical, but not necessarily).” these lessons related everyday objects and situations to the truths of the Kingdom. Steve C. Singleton wrote, “For seekers, a parable caused them to think more deeply than they would otherwise and helped them to remember the lesson in a striking way. for people closed to Jesus, parables only hardened their hearts. both functions were part of Jesus’ purpose in telling parables.” we see a similar narrative in 2 Samuel 12:1-4 (KJV, Tyndale 1987) when Nathan delivers a periodic tale that evokes an emotional response from David that he would never forget.
written in Luke 15:11-32, “The Prodigal Son” tells of a young man that has succumbed to the illusion of lavish lifestyles and wasteful or reckless extravagance. over the years, i have heard many refer to themselves as prodigals, having left the Father’s house, coming to an awareness of their situation, and returning to the Father with repentance. i have turned my back on God and, as the story details, as i began my journey home, Jesus came running to meet me. this parable uses inheritance, an unclean pigpen, authoritative clothing, and a fatted calf to resonate with the audience. we learn that our poor decisions do not automatically separate us from the love of God and, through repentance, restoration to prominence and authority is available. there is even a lesson at the end for the faithful to rejoice with those who have decided to return to life everlasting!
Matthew 13:44 very quickly illustrates an important point. it reads, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” the Pulpit Commentary finds it probable that the delivery of this parable was to the disciples, as they alone would appreciate the value of what they had found. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers remarks, “Probably no parable in the whole series came more home to the imagination of the disciples than this. Every village had its story of men who had become suddenly rich by finding some hidden hoard that had been hastily concealed in time of war or tumult.” i attended an Apostolic Sunday school until about the age of twelve. upon my return, some nine years later, i had to know why this church was “right” and the church down the street was not. when the revelations of our apostolic doctrine began to open up to me, i “sold” all i had and jumped into this wonderful life without reservation. i had found a great treasure! relationships and distractions would not keep me from enjoying this great truth as an appetite for Biblical knowledge overwhelmed the man that i had become. i truly appreciate the value of the treasure of this field, and i am thankful that a merciful God allowed me to discover it in a way that would be life-changing on a personal level. i may not have listened to His voice had it been presented in another format or capacity, but making the connection is what parables are all about.
in conclusion, the Master Teacher was well aware of the human brain’s ability to attach information to an experience. simply stating a truth was not enough, but by relating ideas to practical and emotional exploits, Jesus solidified the concept in their “hearts.” the spoken word became a part of who they were. it seemed odd to speak in parables, but the effectiveness is evident when we read the gospels, written thirty years or more after Jesus had articulated the sermons. even today, preaching utilizes relevant stories to relate to truths found within the scriptures. parables are timeless, and i hope that one day we can all sit around the throne and listen to Jesus explain the mysteries of the universe with a story.       
Works Cited

HELPS Word-studies “3850. Parabole” referencing Strong’s Concordance, Helps Ministries, Inc.,

, 2011.

Steve C. Singleton “The parables of Jesus: Learning from the Master Teacher” Deeper Study blog, bible study, , 2/26/2016.

Josh Bond “Matthew 13:44” Elliott’s Commentary for English Readers,,

, also see Pulpit Commentary, 2011.


Leave a Reply