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Parables of Jesus in Luke: Introduction
Gospel of Luke
Throughout His ministry, Jesus relied on story-telling through parables to make His precepts memorable. I have decided for my next series of devotionals to explore the parables that are unique to the Gospel of Luke, perhaps following on with other Gospels later on.
Luke contains 15 parables that are unique to that Gospel (some references show 11, others have 18). I’m using a list that is similar to the one in the photo, which is from a reference Bible. So what are parables? Parable comes from the Greek word Parabole, defined as a comparison or coming alongside something to compare. Let’s go to a general reference source that is well-known (Wikipedia) for a deeper definition and description:
The parables of Jesus are found in the Synoptic Gospels and some of the non-canonical gospels. They form approximately one third of his recorded teachings. Christians place great emphasis on these parables, which they generally regard as the words of Jesus.
Jesus's parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and all teach a lesson in our daily lives. Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, and central to the teachings of Jesus. Christian authors view them not as mere similitudes that serve the purpose of illustration, but as internal analogies in which nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world.
Many of Jesus's parables refer to simple everyday things, such as a woman baking bread (the parable of the Leaven), a man knocking on his neighbor's door at night (the parable of the Friend at Night), or the aftermath of a roadside mugging (the parable of the Good Samaritan); yet they deal with major religious themes, such as the growth of the Kingdom of God, the importance of prayer, and the meaning of love.
In Western civilization, these parables formed the prototype for the term parable and in the modern age, even among those who know little of the Bible, the parables of Jesus remain some of the best-known stories in the world.
The parables are some of the most indelible stories of faith. My plan is to look at the context of the parable (what were the circumstances that led to the teaching) and also examine the lesson(s) that Jesus is teaching. My next devotional will look at the first unique Luke parable: Luke 7:40-43, Unequal Debts.