Gospel of Luke Essay

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Parables are narrative stories with a literal and spiritual meaning spoken to change hearts and minds concerning the kingdom of God. Parables are defined as, “In Hebrew, mashal, which signifies both a significant short story and an enigma. It is a case of a comparison taken from the realities of daily life to express the mystery of the reign of God” (The New American Bible). These stories are memorable and important in Jesus teachings. Parables have few characters and are short in length. They express important messages about the kingdom of God with common every day experiences; “such as sheep and shepherding, lost coins, farming, seed, and fertile ground, or rich/poor man” (Sames, 2004, p. 3). Familiar people and events are used throughout each parable. According to Sames (2004), “They have an unexpected twist that makes us stop and think” (p. 3). The parables do not explain much about the past and sometimes leave the reader asking, “What happened next?” A lot of times the ending of the parable is missing and Jesus expects us to give that ending. It is important to learn the lesson being taught by these parables. By using parables, Jesus is able to teach his disciples by using the simple words. The parable of the Prodigal Son is found in Luke 15:11-32. Before the parable, Jesus is being criticized by the Pharisees and the scribes for receiving sinners and eating with them. Luke 15: 1-2 says, “Then drew near to him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” This parable of the prodigal son follows two other parables refer to as the “Lost” parables of Luke. The first parable is about the lost sheep in Luke 15:3, and the second is about the lost coin in Luke 15:8. The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, all tell the same message: the lost should be found

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