The parable reveals its secrets to believers who keep seeking to know the truth

Matt 13:11; Luk 15:1-2; Luk 11: 9-10

ROMANS-62-100205 - length: 60:06 - taught on Feb, 5 2010

Class Outline:

John Farley
February 5, 2010

The parable reveals its secrets to believers who keep seeking to know the truth

2TI 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

God’s plan throughout all the ages is that He might be glorified by the grace that He dispenses to undeserving creatures.

The change from a spiritually dead sinner headed for the Lake of Fire to a son of God and a partaker of the eternal glory is a demonstration of the surpassing riches of His grace.

JOH 1:16
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

The supreme divine objective is that infinite love may manifest itself in super-abounding grace.

We need to understand how our Father treats us in grace and we need to understand how we should treat others.
This is what we call grace orientation.

But what did Jesus mean by the word “father” when He used it to describe His Father in heaven?
He answered that question by telling us a story.

Parable comes from the Greek word paraballo = “to throw beside.”

Paraballo = to place one thing beside another for the sake of comparison.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus frequently employed parables as a teaching tool.

“A parable is a story that places one thing beside another for the purpose of teaching.”
“It puts the known next to the unknown so that we may learn.”

In particular, in the Bible, a parable is a comparison between a familiar fact and a spiritual truth.

A parable is:
A story ( narrative).
True to nature: the events must be possible or even likely to have occurred. Those that hear must believe that the event could have happened.
Containing encoded spiritual truth.

Usually Jesus drew the material for His parable stories from nature (mustard seeds, fig trees, leaven, lost sheep) or from everyday human situations (like judges and widows, laborers being hired for the day, weddings, virgins and so forth).

Our Lord taught in parables so that those who had believed would understand, and those who had rejected, even though they heard, would not understand.

To properly interpret a parable, it is necessary to study the historical context in which the parable was spoken.

Look for an introduction (in verses BEFORE the parable) or an application (in verses AFTER the parable) that may give insight.

In interpreting a parable, it is necessary to consider the question or problem that our Lord was dealing with.

Often the key to seeing the question or problem is to identify our Lord’s audience to whom He spoke the parable.

If the truth gleaned from the interpretation does not answer the question or problem, it is a false interpretation.

Only the interpretation which answers the question or problem can be accepted.

The parables were designed to teach truth concerning the kingdom program.

Two extremes to avoid:
- Seeking to find some spiritual truth in every little detail
- Saying that there is only ONE spiritual truth in each parable

Look for the CENTRAL truth of the parable, making sure that any other truths gleaned from the parable are in harmony with it.

Don’t use the parables to formulate new doctrine.

Since parables can conceal as well as reveal, certain elements may throw off those who have not trained their spiritual senses to the required level of discernment, HEB 5:14.

Don’t ever try to build or destroy a case for a doctrine solely on the evidence found in a parable.

MAT 11:19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they [the Pharisees] say, behold, a gluttonous man and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and prostitutes.

LUK 15:1 now all the tax collectors and the prostitutes kept on coming near him to listen to Him

John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

The tax collectors were the aristocracy of Rome.

1. It is very important to take note of the audience to whom Jesus first spoke the parable.

2. See whether Jesus actually gives the main point when He tells the story.

1. It is very important to take note of the audience to whom Jesus first spoke the parable.

2. See whether Jesus actually gives the main point when He tells the story.

You have the lost sheep, LUK 15:4-7,
the lost coin, LUK 15:8-10,
and then the lost sons, LUK 15:11-32.

The Lost Son, The Two Lost Sons, The Waiting Father, The Parable of Divine Mercy, God’s Love for the Lost, and The Lost Son and the Dutiful Son.

And we will see how dangerous it is for us to desire to be at our own disposal, and to live in a state of independence, and to be our own rulers!

His name is Kenneth Bailey and his work is titled “Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15”.

A metaphor has a topic, and image, and a point of similarity.

The parable is a metaphor come to life by means of a story.

If you want to understand the point of a story that was told in another culture, you need to understand the culture.

And here we have a big problem, because modern American culture is VERY different from ancient Middle Eastern culture.

“The cultural gulf between the West and the East is deeper and wider than the gulf between the first century in the Middle East and the contemporary conservative Middle Eastern village.”