Parables of Jesus

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on January 13, 2019
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Jesus often used parables when he taught. They are little stories about relatable situations and characters that illustrate a point. The goal with Jesus’ parables is not to decipher every little nuance and symbol but to get the main point. Jesus told dozens of parables, but today we will focus on just three.

The Rich Fool
Luke 12:16-34 This man wanted security and ease of life. He had worked hard, expanded, and made smart financial moves until his harvest was huge. In one sense, he had done everything the right way, except for one critical issue: he ignored God. For the rich man, his problem was not financial success, but making that an ultimate aim above God.

The Unforgiving Servant
Matthew 18:23-35
The forgiven servant can’t see the big picture; he can see only the wrong done to him. He’s swept up in his emotions, seizing and choking the one who owed him a mere 100 denarii when he was forgiven 10,000 talents.

1 talent = 20 years wages. Assuming minimum wage of $10 per hour at 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, after 20 years, that means 1 talent = $416,000 today. This guy owed 10,000 talents = $4,160,000,000. This is an absurd number! He is owed 100 denarii = 100 days wages. Assuming $10 an hour, 8 hours a day, that’s $8,000 dollars. So, he’s forgiven $4 billion and loses it over $8 grand!

The Good Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37
The Samaritans hated the Jews and vice versa. They both had powerful reasons to despise the other, going back for centuries. Although the priest and the Levite would have been the most expected to help someone in need, it is the Samaritan who helps the injured man. At great cost to himself, he cares for his religious, ethnic, and political enemy. This is how Jesus wants his followers to apply the commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In this way, Jesus confronts tribalism head on, excluding it as an option for his followers.



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