In the introduction to his book, Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable, Dr. William H. Marty states the purpose for the book is to help readers understand Jesus’ parables–what Jesus intended to teach, and the response he expected–and then to suggest how we can apply Christ’s parables to our lives today. I found this book easy to digest and absorb without being simplistic. While we may be familiar with Jesus’ parables, there is always something new to consider in reading them.
In short, concise chapters for each parable, Dr. Marty does just that. He lists the Bible reference for the parable, gives his takeaway in one short sentence, explains the parable in its historical and cultural setting, and ends with questions for reflection related to the parable. The parables are organized into two broad categories. The nature of the kingdom, and the ethics of the kingdom.
Dr. Marty believes in reading a parable, we should first consider what the story meant to Jesus’ audience, not to those of us who live in twentieth century America. Good advice. He also states the purpose of Jesus’ parables was not to entertain, but to challenge and impress on his followers the need to change their mindset about how they related to God and others. More good advice.
You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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