• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Parables. Give an account of the content and teaching of the Good Samaritan and the Pharisee and The Tax Collector.

Extracts from this document...


Give an account of the content and teaching of the following parables: (i) the Good Samaritan (ii) the Pharisee and the tax collector. [35] Parables feature heavily in the Gospel of Luke; so heavily, in fact, that there are fifteen parables unique to the gospel. Two of these parables are The Good Samaritan and The Pharisee and The Tax Collector. In this essay, the content (that is, the story itself) and the teaching (what Christ intended us to learn) of these parables will be discussed. The story of the Good Samaritan was prompted by the questions of the 'expert in the law', 'What is it I am to do to be the possessor of eternal life?' and 'who is my neighbour?' Jesus answers the latter with a parable of a man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho who is robbed, beaten and left for dead. He is then passed, first by priest, and then a Levite before finally a Samaritan, who, filled with compassion, helps him and takes him to an inn to recover. The first thing to note about this parable is the road that the man was travelling on. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was notoriously dangerous; about seventeen miles long, it wound its way through a lonely desert area with caves that could be used by robbers as hide-outs. ...read more.


As in the Good Samaritan, the parable flips the audience's expectation: the Pharisee's prayer is one of self-righteousness and contempt; the tax collector's prayer, however, is one of humility, and it is he who, at the close of the parable, returns home justified. In order to truly understand the teaching of the parable it is necessary to study the two prayers separately, and then contrast them. The first detail to note is that the Pharisee, who represents the entirety of the Jewish leadership, stands to pray by/with himself; this could mean one of two things. It could be telling us that the Pharisee was quite literally by himself, separated from others in the temple. However, it may also indicate the focus of his prayer, rather than his isolation. While his prayer begins in a form as a 'thanksgiving' to God, it continues in a self-centred way with no reference to God. He glories in what he is ("I am not like other men"), what he does ("I fast twice a week"), and what he gives ("I give tithes of all that I possess"). Self is a prominent feature of his prayer (he uses the personal pronoun "I" five times) showing his great obsession with himself. From this, we can learn about pride; as Barclay says, 'no man who is proud can pray.' ...read more.


Here, we are told that we must be a neighbour to everyone; we must show mercy and compassion on everyone - mirroring the actions of Christ. Another theme is wealth, or the right use of wealth; this is displayed in the parable of The Rich Fool. The rich fool thought only of his own enjoyment in the use of his wealth. He failed to consider the source of his wealth or the fact that life consists of much more than material possessions. Vs. 20 suggests that life is on loan from God and that we are accountable to him for it. The third and final theme which will be discussed is that of prayer. One of the parables relating to prayer is that of the Unjust Judge. The judge acts on behalf of the widow so that she will not keep pestering him. However, the parable indicates that God is not like the unjust judge; rather, he will adjudicate the cause of his people quickly - Luke gives his readers confidence that God hears and responds to prayer. Another parable that teaches us something about prayer is that of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector - it emphasises the humility and repentance with which one should approach God. In conclusion, the term 'parable' is ambiguous in itself; however, once we get past this initial issue, the meaning of the parables in Luke is fairly clear, as he uses them to express the themes which are prominent throughout the rest of his gospel. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Give an account of the missionary outreach of the Celtic Church in Britain? ...

    Lightfoot said "it was not Augustine, but Aidan who was the true apostle of England." Aidan and his followers restored Christianity to the areas that had lapsed, and won over the new areas that predecessors were unable to conquer. Finian succeeded Aidan to the bishopric, and abbacy of Lindesfarne.

  2. 'The Jesus' parables of the Kingdom of God were about a future hope of ...

    include everyone and not be in the 'hot house' of the synagogue, where it would be quite claustrophobic. This can give insight to the idea that the Kingdom of God is inclusive to everyone, not just a certain group or division of people; God's people are all people and vice versa.

  1. The messages conveyed by "Jesus washes his disciples feet" and "The Good Samaritan".

    If the people of today do this, our world would be a much enhanced place of Jesus' followers showing everyone peace and harmony. We can live our lives as the followers of Jesus by travelling to him every day for your foot washing, so that it can remind ourselves of

  2. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    *The letter he gets from Roxane: "Farewell Roxane, because today I die--/I know that it will be today, My own dearly-- and my heart Still so heavy with love I have not told, And I die without telling you! No more Shall my eyes drink the sight of you like

  1. Examine and Consider critically the view of Scholars concerning the content and purpose of ...

    There are many themes hidden inside the prologue. Hoskyns and Davy (1947) described the Prologue as no only an introduction, but also a conclusion to the gospel (this idea is taken up by Barrett), i.e. we are introduced to themes at the beginning of the Gospel which will then reoccur

  2. Describe One Miracle Particular to Luke, and another of a different type.

    According to Kodell, "The Early Christian community saw this story as a call to faith in Jesus who is present in the church during stormy times." In this story, Jesus is angry with the apostles, as they should have known his great divine power, which shows that faith is a

  1. Jesus Did Not Intend For His Parables To Be Easily Understood - Discuss.

    They had a special meaning behind it and in order for Jesus' message to shine through he needed only the true believers to solve the puzzle.

  2. Covenants between Man and God in the Bible

    The New Covenant is an agreement between God and humankind which they freely enter. The prophet Jeremiah predicted that there would be a time when God would make a New Covenant with the nation of Israel (Student resource). The Old Covenant required obedience to the Mosaic Law and it required

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work