Jesus' Parables:
Grace & Judgment (Part 3)

By Neil Earle

Hello again brethren.

Remember, we are on a series about the Parables.

People generally know two things about Jesus – he was crucified and he spoke in parables. Let’s review from last time (answers at bottom).

The word Parable comes from a Greek word meaning ____________ . Jesus spoke about 51 parables when John’s Gospel is included (John 4:35). Gordon Fee sees the parables as primarily a ____________ for confronting people with the ____________ of ____________ . Jesus expected a response but knew that by not responding His opponents were ____________ and ____________ themselves (Matthew 13:15). According to Matthew ____________ the Pharisees knew he was talking about them.

Some see 5 categories of parables. These include ____________ parables, ____________ themes, ____________ vs. ____________ ; the Christian life or ____________ ; and ____________ . Others sees Ten Themes in the Parables enshrining life-and-death lessons Jesus wanted us to learn which help illustrate our Christian journey:

  1. “Now is the Hour” – The Bridegroom is here (Mark 2:19); the fields are already white to harvest, not several months in the future (John 4:35).
  2. God’s Extravagant Mercy – The two debtors – 10,000 talents was the highest number in the Greek (Luke 7:41-43); Publicans and harlots enter the Kingdom ahead of the smug, self-righteous Pharisees (Matthew 21:28).
  3. Blessed Assurance – The Sower “seems” to lose lots of seed but the ultimate return is staggering (Mark 4:3-8); the Publican’s repentance assures his justification (Luke 18:14).
  4. The Impending Catastrophe – the Rich Fool sleeps on a Volcano (Luke 12:16); When the tower fell, both guilty and innocent were caught in the trap (Luke 13:15).
  5. For Some It’s Too Late – the Wedding Garment is necessary (Matthew 22:12); the Rich Man versus Lazarus (Luke 16:31).
  6. The Call to Dramatic, Unexpected Change – the Unjust but Dynamic Steward (Luke 16:1-8); the child-like attitude, an acted parable (Matthew 18:4).
  7. Discipleship starts NOW – learning to forgive is an absolute (Matthew 18:23-25); go and do likewise (Luke ____________ ).
  8. Hard testing – Peter’s own Gethsemane (Mark 14:27-31); the stone rejected (Mark 8:31); the kernel that dies (John ____________ ).
  9. All’s Well that Ends Well – the budding tree (Luke 21:29-33); the coming Great Reversal when the lowly get the chief spot (Luke ____________ ).
  10. Coming Home – the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:24); Jesus serves at the Banquet (Luke 12:37).

Though judgment is a prominent feature of the parables, George Herbert’s “Love 3” shows, Yes, God will forgive us. What better news can there be than that! Go and spread the good news.


Fill in Blanks: comparison, vehicle, message of the Kingdom, hardened and blinded, Matthew 21:45, Kingdom, Salvation, Wisdom and Folly, Discipleship, Judgment.