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Read e-book Parables from the Past: Christian Devotions from History

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This book briefly explains how Christians have interpreted the parables in the past and draws some useful pointers on how to read and apply the parables. The book then proceeds to examine 19 parables, showing how they can be interpreted and applied. In the process, many new perspectives and insights are presented. The Stories of Jesus is very useful for personal Bible study and for teaching and preaching.

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Interpreting and Applying the Parables Categories: Interpreting and Applying the Parables by Robert Solomon. Andrews University, Scotland About a third of all the teachings of Jesus was in the form of parables. They are so apparently simple it is easy to think anyone could have produced them.

Refreshed Parables

The parables, traditionally totaled as 24 in number, are utterly unique. The parables are thus invitations, but they never are loud or gaudy. Even we, on the other side of the Resurrection, often struggle to see and to believe. It requires humility and childlike faith, and that can be as hard for us as it was for the Pharisees, who perceived that many of the parables were about them cf. One day a little farm boy, who had never left the farm, came with his father to town for the first time. Everything was new and different.

As he walked with his father down the unpaved main street, he heard a loud clang. And there the boy saw a huge man, a strong man, lifting a big, heavy hammer with a long handle and a large head on it high in the air, as if to chop down a tree, and then crashing it down on a glowing piece of metal on top of the anvil.

He hit the anvil so hard that it made the boy wince with every blow. His father explained to him that this was a blacksmith who made all kinds of metal pieces for wagons and carriages and plows and tools and horseshoes. But the little boy was fixed on one thing: They met each other with such a loud sound and with such a force that he thought surely this anvil could not last long.

Yeshua and the Parables

The big, strong blacksmith paused for a moment to catch his breath, and saw the boy standing in the doorway. The Bible is an anvil that has worn out a thousand hammers. In every generation, new, huge, heavy hammers are forged against the truth of the Bible. And strong men lift the hammers and pound on Scripture. Why has the Bible worn out a thousand hammers?

The significance and depth of Christ’s parables

Why does the Bible survive generation after generation as a living and powerful book in the lives of millions of people? The answer can be found in two observations: One is that God endures from generation to generation. And the other is that the Bible is the word of God. Before the mountains were born, or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. There are two reasons why I point this out. One is that I want to build my life on something that lasts.

And I think most of you would share this desire. I want to build my life on something durable — something like an anvil that breaks a thousand hammers. The other reason why I point out the indestructible toughness of the Bible is to contrast it with the incredibly short shelf life of the ever-changing remedies and treatments and schemes of hope in our day.

Schemes of hope that leave out of account God and Christ and sin and salvation and repentance and death and heaven and hell.

A Parable of the Anvil

They leave these great realities out of consideration as if they were non-realities or inconsequential, like unicorns and Cyclopses and flat-earth theories. These treatments and remedies and schemes of hope put themselves forward with great forcefulness. But how many people notice how short is the life of God-neglecting promises of hope? When was the last time you heard anybody talking about codependency?

Just twelve years ago this was all the rage. Wherever you turned, from books to talk shows to seminars, the diagnosis of our problems was the same: Past emotional pain and emptiness were the primal causes of our present misery and misbehavior. Psychotherapy with sensitive non-judgmental counselors and support groups with those who felt your pain and understood your woundedness. That was in its heyday of the eighties. But then something changed. These things slip up on you. And you suddenly realize: What ever became of codependency?

The new scheme is more biological and less psychological. In the place of the needy, hurting, wounded soul has now arisen the dysfunctional brain. And what are the new books today?


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