If you are regularly reading the Bible, you might notice the difference between the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament is like a grand epic, where you visualize the highs and lows of Israel as a nation and its inconsistent relationship with Him. You witness a lot of people, and you covered thousands of years. Expecting the same with the New Testament, you started flipping the pages but was welcomed with Jesus telling parables in the Bible and their meaning.
Of course, the New Testament feels grounded in terms of storytelling. Aside from its overall message of forgiveness, Jesus used parables to remind people that they have to live righteously. He told stories about everyday people – a stark contrast from the jaw-dropping plotline of the Old Testament. These allow us to put ourselves in the shoes of these characters over a given parable. Our sense of morality is universal so even non-Christians can relate with the teachings of the parables. However, it is better if they will appreciate these in spiritual aspect.
Where to Start?
As you see, parables serve as allusions to God’s spiritual guidance over us. Perhaps it is Jesus’ humility because all of His parables are daily events that point to a certain lesson in the end. You might as well wonder where to start. The thing is, any parable is fine but it is better to stick first with the most loved ones.
The Prodigal Son (Luke 11:15-32) is one of the most known parables in the Bible. A story about a son who turned away from his family to waste his share of fortune, it reflects our nature to indulge in sin and take the grace of God for granted. His life went south and he experienced being treated like an animal. No unrighteous deed goes unpunished and we often learn the cost of sinning in the hard way. Needless to say, the story ended in a positive note because his father still accepted his return in the end. Jesus Christ is like that – His arms are open for those who want salvation.
Contrary to popular belief, you may also find parables in the Old Testament. In fact, the book of Proverbs and Sirach have them albeit these are mostly in prose format.
Some Friendly Reminders
Do not to overthink when you interpret these parables during your quiet time. Some of the details there are just ornaments and do not ask for deeper spiritual meaning. This is because a parable was told in the most realistic manner. Hence, there will be unnecessary details that do not add to the overall lesson it tries to evoke. The Prodigal Son, for instance, is not keen with the exact type of food he ate before he found salvation.
You should also read other parts of the Scripture to learn more about parables in the Bible and their meaning. These are designed not to contradict but to amplify teachings already written somewhere in the Bible. After you appreciated the lessons these parables offer, it is for the best for you to share its wonders to others.
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 4:23