Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

A Parable Index

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If you’re in the Digging Deep study, you’ve been thinking, for the past few weeks, about the greatest stories ever told: the parables of Jesus. We didn’t have to immortalize these stories. They originated in the mind of immortality. They are from the very mind of God spoken by the lips of the Messiah. We’ve named them, though. We love “The Prodigal Son” We learn spiritual preparedness from “The Ten Virgins” and lessons of grace from “The Unjust Steward.” I hope you’ve made your list of the parables and the lesson learned from each of them.

As we conclude the study I want to share this list of the parables classified from by Ron Graham. It has been helpful to me. Thanks to so many of you who have been so encouraging about the study. As I travel, I meet more and more women who are digging. Last week I was in a place where sisters are meeting together for the purpose of discussing the study. It’s a blessing. Get Ready for Acts!

Introduction to the Parables That Jesus Told

Seven Themes
This lesson sets out the seven main concepts which Jesus teaches in his parables.

Great Mistakes
This lesson is about how the parables highlight the great and terrible mistakes that people make.

What is a Parable
This lesson explains the nature of a parable, and how it should be interpreted.

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
This lesson explains Christ’s reasons for using parables.

Stories For All Peoples
This lesson points out the remarkable fact that the parables Jesus told are understood by people of all classes and cultures.

Parables on Themes 1 and 2
The Kindness and the Severity of God

Parables in the Sermon on the Mount
Word pictures in Matthew chapters 5 through 7.

The Unforgiving Slave
The Unforgiving Slave (Mt. 18:21-35) refused to forgive little though he was forgiven of much; consequently his debt was reinstated. This parable illustrates both the goodness and severity of God.

The Lost is Found
In the parables of the Lost Sheep,  Lost Coin and Lost Son (Lk. 15:4-32), there was great rejoicing when the lost was found. These parables illustrate the goodness of God.

The God Who Cares and Answers Prayers
The parables of the Friends at Midnight and the Persistent Widow (Lk. 11:5-13, Lk. 18:1-8), further illustrate the compassion and kindness of God and show the need to seek it.

Seeking or Rejecting Grace
The parables of the Workers in the Vineyard and the Marriage of the King’s Son (Mt 20:1-16, Mt 22:1-14) further illustrate God’s mercy and grace. (See also the Vine and Branches Jn. 15:1-5)

The Banquet Parables
The parables of the Embarrassed Guest, the Luncheon for the Poor and the Slighted Invitation (Lk. 14:7-24) also show God’s goodness, but emphasize that we should respond with humility.

Invited and Compelled
The parable of the Slighted Invitation (Lk. 14:16-24) is about people invited to a dinner. When they refused the invitation, other people were found and compelled to attend. What is this saying about grace and choice?

Parables on Theme 3,
Obedience, Fruitfulness, and Stewardship

Two builders, Two Sons
The parables of the Two Builders and the Two Sons (Mt. 7:24-27, Mt. 21:28-32) illustrate theme 3 of the parables– namely true obedience to God’s Word, and not mere lip service.

Bearing Fruit
The parables of the Vine and the Branches, the Barren Fig Tree, and the Sower of Seed (Jn. 15:1-6, Lk. 13:6-9, Lk. 8:5-15) illustrate theme 3 of the parables, namely obedience to God. These three parables highlight the need for fruitfulness.

Stewards of God’s Grace
The parables of the Talents, the Wicked Tenant Farmers, and the Unrighteous Steward (Mt. 25:14-30, Mt. 21:33-46, Lk. 16:1-13), also illustrate theme 3 of the parables, namely obedience to God. These three parables highlight the need for stewardship.

Parables on Themes 4 and 5
The value and universality of the kingdom of God

Seven Short Kingdom Parables
The parables of the Hidden treasure, Pearl of Great Price, Yeast, Mustard seed, Household Treasures, Sprouting seed, and the Dragnet, (Mt.13, Mk. 4, Lk. 13) picture the very great value of the kingdom of God, and its universal nature

The Parable of the Tares
The parable about the Tares in the Field (Mt. 13:24-30, Mt.13:36-43), where good seed was sown, concentrates on the last three themes of the parables. The kingdom is a spiritual and worldwide kingdom in which God’s people are recognized by their good hearts.

The Good Samaritan
The parable about the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:25-37) also encompasses the last three themes, but particularly shows that God looks on the heart; not the outward person, and that God recognizes justice, mercy, and kindness.

Parables on Themes 6 and 7
The Weak Made Strong, God Looks on the Heart

Hearts Awry
The parables about the Two Debtors, the Pharisee and Tax Collector, and the Whited Tombs (Lk. 7:36-47 Lk.18:9-14, Mt. 23:27-28) illustrate how the Pharisees looked down upon others and promoted themselves as righteous, yet their own hearts lacked humility, justice, and love.

Two Rich Men
The parables about the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Rich Fool (Lk. 12:13-21, Lk. 16:19-31), illustrate the latter themes of the parables and also the great mistake of letting worldly riches prevent readiness for life after death.

Other Parables About The Great Mistakes

Empty House, Empty Lamps
The parables of the Empty House and the Foolish Virgins (Mt. 12:43-45, Mt. 25:1-13) are about failure to respond to God’s kind invitation, to see the sin in oneself, and to get ready for judgment.

Dividing the World into Two
The parables of the Two Gates and the Sheep and Goats (Mt. 7:13-14, Mt. 25:31-46) show how we must choose now which of the two multitudes we will be among in eternity.

The Sheepfold Parables
The parables of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Gate (Jh. 10:1-30) contrast the Shepherd to a stranger, a thief, or a hireling, and show how we must ensure that we follow him and not them.

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