Jesus Teaches in Parables


Life Project Blog

Mark 4:1-20

Parallel Texts: Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 8:1-15

With the beginning of chapter four, we see a shift in Mark’s narrative into a battery of parables. Parables are interesting things, little stories that teach a moral lesson. They are not literal, and the stories themselves are not intended to be understood literally; they are instead, metaphors. The literal interpretation, for you literal fans, of a parable is that it is a metaphor… just so we are clear.

Teachers use parables to teach moral lessons in a non-threatening way, so that each listener may perceive the part of the parable that applies to his or her situation, without the teacher needing to point fingers at any certain individual, which enables the lesson to sink in more deeply than if it needed to be filtered through a defensive perimeter. Jesus made frequent use of parables, but He is certainly not alone in doing…

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