Jesus used parables to communicate truth in such a way so that His followers would think more about the truth being communicated while those who rejected Him could hear the truth without understanding the truth. The word parable means to place alongside of. A parable is a comparison story or statement that illustrates a specific truth when placed alongside that truth.
The Bible Skill for this session (Session 13) directs learners to define a parable, identify specific parables and common themes, and identify significant principles for interpreting a parable. Pack Item 10 (Parables of Jesus in Matthew) will help your group identify specific parables and common themes (usually about Christ and His Kingdom). The bigger question will be helping the group identify principles for interpreting parables.
Here are a seven questions to ask that may help when looking at a parable:
- What specific need or issue is being addressed by Jesus?
- What cultural issues are included in the parable?
- What one truth does the parable reveal to a believer?
- What one truth does the parable hide from an unbeliever?
- What does the parable reveal about Jesus and His Kingdom?
- What is the one central meaning of the parable?
- How did Jesus interpret the parable?
Dwayne McCrary is team leader for the teams that create the adult and young adult Explore the Bible resources.