What is the purpose of parables
The word describes a speech in pictures and comparisons. Jesus often used this linguistic form for his preaching. A good third of the words he has handed down are parables. In terms of content, they are about God and his kingdom. They show what God is like, how he treats people and what he expects from them. The parables want to convince the audience, encourage them to think along and to rethink; they challenge him to a decision. A total of four basic forms of parables can be distinguished.
(1) A parable in the narrower sense is a comparison that is designed in the form of a narrative. In it, Jesus makes everyday things such as sowing and reaping, baking bread or looking for a lost piece of money as an image of the reality of the kingdom of God. For example, the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4: 30-32) points to the contrast between the tiny seed and the large mustard plant. In this way it encourages us to trust that something as inconceivably great as the kingdom of God will actually grow from the inconspicuous beginnings that are already visible in the present. The use of the pictures makes what is meant immediately understandable and serves to ensure that the parables remain in the memory.
(2) The parable: It takes a unique, extraordinary case as a comparative value (e.g. The Workers in the Vineyard, Matthew 20: 1-15; The Prodigal Son, Luke 15: 11-32), which directly communicates the message clearly illustrated.
With the parable in the narrower sense (1) and with the parabola (2) it is important to find the point of comparison, i.e. the "crucial point". Not all individual moves should be interpreted.
(3) The allegory: In contrast to this, the individual components of the allegory are to be interpreted (e.g. in Mark 12: 1-12 the vineyard, the owner, the tenant, etc.).
(4) The example narration: It demonstrates the intended matter in a practical case that serves as an inviting or deterring example (e.g. The Good Samaritan, Luke 10: 29-37; From the rich peasant, Luke 12: 16-21; From the Pharisee and tax collector, Luke 18: 9-14).
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