We often speak of the power of a good story. They draw the listener in, move the heart, and can change a course of action. Jesus often spoke in stories, known as parables, to challenge people then, and for all time, to think and act differently than the world around us.
Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable, by Dr. William H Marty is a wonderful collection of the parables of Jesus. Each chapter provides a summary of the parable, information on the historical setting and context, along with the Scriptures themselves. At the end of each study, there are questions which are excellent for individual study or group discussion.
Dr. Marley divided the parables into two categories:
- The Nature of the Kingdom. Here he seeks to explain things which had already come but would come to completion at the end of the age.
- The Ethics of the Kingdom. In this section, the parables will answer the question, “How should we be living now?”
Each reading is short making it easy to grasp and yet deep in meaning to provoke further thought and study.
Each parable begins with a section called the “author’s takeaway”. In a short sentence, Dr. Marley summarizes the overarching theme of the parable. Some of my favorite takeaways were:
- “Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between the good and the bad.” (from page 38)
- “Don’t ever miss an opportunity.” (from page 75)
- “Don’t assess your worth by how much you possess but by how much you give away.” (from page 89)
- “Always do your best, even when no one is watching.” (from page 111)
- “Life is not measured by how much you possess but by what you do with your stuff.” (from page 198)
While I did a quick reading through the book, I now intend to go back and do the deeper work of studying the parables. The parables were not meant to be entertaining stories. They are stories which should impress those who read the words to change how they relate to God and respond to those around them.
**I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.Â If you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small percent at no additional cost to you.