Parables. Probably you have heard these in your Sunday schools or read such when you have your daily devotions. Jesus Christ used these as His device to spread the word of God. Examples of parables include The Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son and The Good Samaritan.
The parables are very intimate to His listeners back then as He told stories that are set in the agricultural first century life. Grand things such as the Kingdom of God were alluded in the characters’ everyday lives, making these very effective in teaching His lessons. You must note that parables normally teach a lesson or two. Overthinking will only make you lose its central point.
There are about thirty seven parables found in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These cover broad themes such as seeking the Kingdom of God, forgiveness, love and the final destination of the human soul. Jesus normally used parables in response to someone asking Him questions about certain matters.
The Two Debtors (Luke 7:36-50)
Forgiveness is the greatest form of love you can give to someone who has greatly sinned. Jesus used the parable of two debtors to show that we must let off those who wronged us in one way or another just as He forgives us in our sin. The first century Israel deems you should not associate yourself with a sinful woman, hence, the Pharisee’s indifference. However, Jesus approached her despite the difference in their status.
On the other hand, this also reflects that we should exercise the basics of treating the guests in our house. In this parable, Simon the Pharisee did not provide water so Jesus may wash his dusty feet and did not kiss it (this was a normal greeting in Israel back then). Instead, the woman who the former labelled as a sinner did this for Him.
The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 8:19-34)
We hope you haven’t reached a point where you use your status as an active churchgoer to belittle our brothers. There are those who think they have a VIP seat on their journey to God’s Kingdom by simply boasting how they devoted themselves in the Church. That is, exactly what the parable of the Pharisee and Publican is all about.
Never confuse your religion with your relationship with God. In this parable, the Pharisee gives tithes, fasts more than normal and simply berates the Publican in his prayer. It goes on without saying that he also receives nothing, since he did not ask for anything. The Publican, on the other hand, simply begs for forgiveness and mercy for his sin.
The parable also teaches us how to pray. While you may show to everyone that you are praying, never make it to a point that you exaggerate your motions for the sake of getting their attention. God loves to hear prayers but He is not pleased with those who are obsessed with their virtues.
Jesus used everyday scenarios in His examples of parables so we can quickly apply its virtues in our lives. We do not need to act like the Pharisees and assert that we are right. More importantly, seeking the sinful, asking for mercy and forgiving the faults of others are the central teachings of these parables.