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Yeshua in Context » Parables

Applying Messiah’s Kingdom Parables, Part 2

. . . birds came along and devoured it . . . it withered away . . . it yielded no grain . . .” -Mark 4:4, 6, 7. Parables are usually connected to a scripture text or several of them. They often explain something puzzling about God and his relation to his people, or something unstated or mysterious in a text. Yeshua understood a startling truth found in Isaiah 6, one that naturally leads any thoughtful reader to ask questions. Modern readers of the Sower parable (Mk 4; Mt 13; Lk 8) tend not to realize that the parable is commenting on a text. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Applying the Gospels, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Discipleship - Formation, Gospel Genres, Kingdom Future, Kingdom Present, Literary Features, Parables, Paradox, Teaching of Yeshua

Applying Messiah’s Kingdom Parables, Part 1

To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables. -Mark 4:11 “Kingdom” is not “afterlife” exactly and it is not “people of Israel” or “people of the Church.” The modern reader tends to inject meanings into Yeshua’s words that are not there. Looking in the words of Messiah for a message on how to qualify for a good afterlife, it is natural for many to see in the word “kingdom” a code word for “going to heaven.” This is a problem compounded by the fact that Matthew, the best-known gospel for many Bible readers, uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven” instead of “kingdom of God.” But, as many will rightly point out, “heaven” here stands for “God.” It is a euphemism, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Applying the Gospels, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Discipleship - Formation, Gospel Genres, Kingdom Future, Kingdom Present, Parables, Teaching of Yeshua

Parables, Gospel by Gospel

What parables are in three gospels? In two? In only one? The following list will help you think about how the parables are distributed and also to find them easily. PARABLES IN ALL THREE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS New Cloth – Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 New Wine – Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 Mustard Seed – Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 13 Sower – Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 8 Wicked Tenants – Mk 12, Mt 21, Lk 20 Fig Tree – Mk 13, Mt 24, Lk 21 PARABLES IN TWO SYNOPTIC GOSPELS House on the Rock – Mt 7, Lk 6 Leaven – Mt 13, Lk 13 Lost Sheep – Mt 18, Lk 15 PARABLE IN ONLY ONE GOSPEL Barren Fig Tree – Lk 13 Net – Mt 13 Good Samaritan – Lk 10 Pearl of Great Price – Mt 13 Great Banquet – … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Gospel Genres, Parables, Teaching of Yeshua

The Purpose of Parables

As part of a presentation I gave on September 18 at a “Studying the Jewish Gospels” event here in Atlanta, I developed an outline of “20 Ways to Read the Life of Yeshua.” Among my twenty pointers were things like, “Forget that you know the end of the story,” followed by examples in which onlookers and disciples can only be understood within the story as confused, as people who don’t know for a second that Yeshua is to be the dying savior and rising lord. And another of my pointers, which forms the basis for this post: “Understand the genre of parables in rabbinic literature.” And the golden text for learning about this subject: David Stern, Parables in Midrash (note: this is not the David Stern who is famous in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying the Gospels, Background to Gospels, Beginners, Community in Yeshua, Discipleship - Formation, Erasing Anti-Judaism, General, Gospel Genres, Literary Features, Parables, Study Tips, Teaching of Yeshua

Parables That Make it into All Three Gospels

Which of Yeshua’s many parables make it into all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke)? It’s an interesting list. Perhaps all three evangelists saw these as indispensable. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gospel Genres, Parables, Teaching of Yeshua