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What is meant by the term parable?

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Introduction

Jamila-Alexandra Garduque-Hasan Beatrice Parables Coursework A 1 What is meant by the term parable? The word 'parable' is derived from the Greek word parobole meaning comparison, thus a parable is a story that compares various options that one is faced with. These stories make us realise that certain patterns of behaviour that embody Christian principles are superior to traditional ways of thinking and behaving. It is a very effective way of teaching, especially to the listeners who have a limited educational background, as the stories that Jesus used were formulated from the everyday experiences that the listeners could relate to. Not only are these parables excellent tools for teaching religious values, but they tend to be so memorable that even today they are among the most remembered words uttered by Jesus. The term 'Good Samaritan' has now become part of our everyday vocabulary, so universally recognised is the parable and the message it is conveying. Here in England the charity The Samaritans derive their name from the parable. Parables tend to make you realise that we are faced with moral dilemmas on an everyday basis giving us the opportunity of implementing our Christian principles in our everyday lives. They challenge us to deviate from self-centred behaviour so that our Christian principles can make a difference not only in our lives but in those of the others around us. Jesus explained to us that our faith is a vital component to allow us to understand the meaning in the parables and like in the one of 'the lost sheep' in the gospel of Luke, we're made to realise how important each one of us is to God. If the shepherd is willing to prioritise the lost sheep so as to bring it back to the flock, there can be no doubt of how much God would value our repentance. Parables are thus easy to understand, and unlike allegories, they do not need to be decoded to understand what the characters and events really mean. ...read more.

Middle

The discovery, or recognition, of God's natural laws is the first step toward the reign of God's laws in an individual's life. Of course, the kingdom of God, or the reign of God's laws, becomes a reality in a person's life only when a person chooses to live by these laws. The scribe was "not far" from the kingdom of God because the scribe recognized God's laws. The next step would be for the scribe to "enter" the kingdom of God by obeying these laws. When Jesus said that the kingdom of God is "at hand," he meant that we are "not far" from the kingdom when we recognize God's laws of love for God and love for neighbour. And the kingdom of God becomes a reality for us when we choose to follow God's laws as we live each day. The kingdom of God is truly "at hand" for anyone to discover. B Discuss the meaning and relevance of parables to the belief and life of Christians today For Christians, clearly the parable has continuing relevance, for the Christian faith is a missionary faith. The instruction of Jesus is to 'make disciples'. These disciples, converts to Christianity are seen many Christians to be the harvest of which the parable speaks. For other Christians, the harvest is the spreading of the Kingdom of God throughout the world - good news for poor people, the continuing struggle against injustice and oppression in its many forms, freedom from blindness, physical and spiritual. My own view is that you can't separate the converts from the Kingdom. Ultimately the freedom of the Gospel is transmitted through the Christian gospel itself - the Good News that God cares enough for His suffering creation to come and suffer in and with it. And that His suffering has brought about a defeat of evil in the lives of individuals which has and will continue to spread to nations. ...read more.

Conclusion

It dies not matter whether we are part of the flock two thousand years ago, or we are the flock of today, each one of us is as important to God. God regards us all as highly and would go to great lengths to find us and return us to the safety of his covenant. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he will reward those who diligently seek him. C "The parables are no longer relevant for life today." Do you agree? I personally believe that parables are relevant in every day and age. Generally the human patterns of behaviour do not and have not dramatically changed, that is also true for the human ways of reacting to certain situations. Throughout history stories have been a much loved part of society; lectures and sermons are not of as much interest and a parable is still an extremely effective way of captivating your audiences' attention. Another constructive quality of parables are that they compel you to think for yourself; when a person figures out for himself the meaning or relevance of something it encourages them and makes them feel good about themselves. People are also inclined to make a response; this furthers their understanding and heightens their awareness. I do also understand that many people might feel that in today's modern society, the parables of Jesus no longer have relevance as they may not deal with certain issues that can arise. Furthermore, people can have difficulties perceiving the relevance when the story is set in an unfamiliar instance; but that can easily be overcome as most parables can be set to modern instances. ...read more.

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