The Work of the Trinity in the Life of Jesus part 7: Parables

Not long ago, we looked at the teachings of Jesus and a little into the parables of Jesus and why he used them. Let’s take a closer look today at the parables.

The parables of Jesus were sometimes a mystery. Often, Jesus would have to explain his parables, and occasionally, he would explain them to only his disciples. This fulfilled at least two prophecies (Matt. 13:13-15, 35)[1], but the purposes of his parabolic teachings were more than fulfilling prophecy. In them we can find ourselves, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The gospels record 32 of Jesus’ parables.[2] Whether the gospel writers collectively compiled all of Jesus’ parables is unknown, considering that not all gospels record the same parables, and when they do, they may vary slightly.[3]

Many of the stories repeat such subject matters as agriculture, money, and masters and servants. These topics reflect the everyday life for many of Jesus’ followers,[4] which drew a listening ear and helped audiences understand the story, even if sometimes they did not understand the point. Listeners were well aware of the greed and hypocrisy surrounding them from not only the tax collectors and merchants, [5] but they might have also been keenly aware of the hypocrisy from the Pharisees. Jesus certainly was aware of the Pharisees’ deeds, and some of his most scathing parables were directed at them.

To this, the premise of the parables is how the kingdom of God works in contrast with the world. By using a parable, these elements can be said more poignantly. Take for example the three parables that comprise Luke 15, which some pastors and evangelists teach are each a reflection of a member of the Trinity.

The first parable is The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7), which, after being accused by the religious leaders of welcoming sinners, Jesus spoke as himself being the shepherd searching for his lost sheep. The second parable is The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10), which describes how the church, working through the Holy Spirit, searches for the lost and rejoices when they are found.

The last is The Parable of The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32), which reflects the Father’s longing to welcome his lost children back into his kingdom. Many pastors and evangelists like to point out the scene where the father ran to receive his son to illustrate the loving manner in which God receives us.

Each of these parables shows us God’s love for the lost, that we should have God’s desire to search for the lost and rejoice when they are found.

[2] Ibid. 109-111.

[3] Blomberg, Craig, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels ( Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic), 184-185.

[4] Jeffers, James, The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic), 189

[5] Ibid. 146

2 thoughts on “The Work of the Trinity in the Life of Jesus part 7: Parables

  1. Pingback: The Parable of the Shrewd Manager: A Closer Look | A Closer Look

  2. Pingback: The Work of the Trinity in the Life of Christ Part 8: Exorcisms | A Closer Look

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