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The Parables of Jesus

This lesson looks at the short stories that Jesus told the people. These stories are called parables. At that time, many people could not read. People had to learn by listening. Jesus used parables to teach them a message about him or about God. The story looked like it was about common, ordinary things. However, if the people thought about the parable, they would find a much bigger lesson.

We use short stories to teach our little children. You would know stories from your home countries that were used to teach you.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Let us now look at some parables that Jesus told. Please turn to Matthew 13:44 in your Bible. Read the "Parable of the Hidden Treasure" in verses 44, 45 and 46.

See how Jesus starts each parable by saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like....."

If we want to learn more about that kingdom, we should study the parable. In verse 44, we see a man who finds something very valuable in a field. The man does not own the field, so he hides the treasure again. Then he sells everything he has so as he can get enough money to buy the field for himself. Then the man goes and gets the treasure, which is now his.

What is Jesus really saying? Being in his Kingdom is so wonderful, that we should give up everything we have to be there.

The Parable of the Pearl

The next parable, the "Parable of the Pearl" in verses 45 and 46, teaches the same. A merchant finds such a wonderful pearl, that he sells everything he has so that he can own that pearl.

The house built on solid rock

Please turn to Matthew 7:24 to 27 to read another parable. Jesus wants us to listen to what he says, and then do something about it. If we do, then we are like the man who built a house on solid rock. Such a house will not fall down, because it has good foundations. In the same way, our lives can have a good foundation if we follow the teachings of Jesus. If we do not follow Jesus, then we are like the man who built a house on the sand. When the rain and the winds came, that house fell down.

Other parables

Another parable teaches us that God our Father cares for each of us. If we follow His Son Jesus, and we wander away, God will bring us back to Him, just like the shepherd who searches for one lost sheep. The parable is in Matthew 18:12 to 14.

In Luke 12:13 to 21, Jesus tells us that having lots of money is not important. We have a life given to us by God, and only He knows what will happen in the future. Please read the parable.

In Luke 18 we find the "Parable of the Persistent Widow". A widow wanted a judge to help her. The judge did not want to help. This woman was not important to him. He would not be paid. But the woman kept calling the judge and pleading with him to do something. After some time, the judge said that he would help her, but only because she was wearing him out! Jesus tells us that God is not like that judge. If we cry out to Him, He will listen to us, and He will help us.

In verse 9 we see a parable that teaches us how we should pray to God. There were people then who thought that they were the best at following God. They did the right thing all the time. When a certain Pharisee prayed to God, he only prayed to himself, not God. But a tax collector, a person who was hated by all those around him, prayed to God asking for his sins to be forgiven. Verse 14 tells us that the tax collector received more out of his prayer than the Pharisee.

There are many parables Jesus told. Here are some you may like to read now or later on:

  1. Lamp Under a Bowl Matthew 5:14

  2. The Farmer (or "Sower") Matthew 13:1

  3. The Weeds Matthew 13:24

  4. The Mustard Seed and the Yeast. Matthew 13:31

  5. The Unmerciful Servant Matthew 18:21

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The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field. Matthew 13:44

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Last Updated: Sunday, 08 March 2015