Bible Stories for Adults
The Forgiving Father
Welcome and Announcements
Next Week - The Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
Bible Words to Remember:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
What is a parable?
Jerome - "A shadow of truth cast before"
Sounds like a pleasant yarn, but keeps something up its sleeve which pops up & leaves you flat
Funk & Wagnalls
A "true-to-life" story used to make clear a heavenly meaning
What a parable is not:
Proverb (Proverbs 22:6)
Simile (Psalm 1:3-4)
Metaphor (John 6:35)
Allegory (John 15:1-8)
Fable (Judges 9:8-15)
Read an example of a short parable that sounds like a fable:
What truth pops up and knocks flat the self-righteous elders whom Jesus was addressing?
Parables must always be interpreted in the context of the lesson Jesus was trying to teach
Used only in Matthew (17), Mark (13), Luke (18) & Hebrews (2)
John uses paroimia
Hebrews uses for symbolic (9:9) and figuratively (11:19)
Translated in Septuagint as parabole
Not used in Old Testament for fables (2K 14:9), riddles (Jdg 14:14), stories, etc.
Used as concept describing wisdom or revelation
Septuagint translated as Paroimiai
Translated to Latin in the Vulgate by Jerome as Parabolai
Jesus' Parables (Matthew 13)
What did David foretell about the Messiah's manner of speaking?
How was this prophesy fulfilled by Jesus?
Why did Jesus speak in parables?
Were all of Jesus' parables stories?
Were all of Jesus' stories parables?
Between 25 and 79 of Jesus' parables are recorded in the Bible
Depends on the definition used for parable
What was Jesus' most common topic for comparison in a parable?
Were all of Jesus' parables descriptive of God or did some describe sinful man?
Did any parables teach us how to live as God's people?
Did Jesus' followers immediately understand His parables?
Did Jesus explain all of His parables, or were His disciples left to figure some out on their own?
Why were those who didn't follow Jesus unable to understand His parables?
Did any of Jesus' parables hit home with those outside of His followers?
Who Were the Pharisees? (Matthew 23)
Why had the people of Judah been exiled to Babylon?
What did the returned exiles do to show their commitment to God's law?
Nehemiah 9:38; 10:29
What sect evolved that worked to make sure people didn't disobey the law, even accidentally?
How did Jesus respond to the Pharisees' complaint that He didn't follow their rules?
What did Jesus say about the Pharisees' efforts to get people to heaven?
Matthew 23:4, 13
How did Jesus graphically point out how the Pharisees' detailed rules missed the main purpose?
For Home Study: Read Matthew 23 for further understanding of how Pharisees were misdirected
The Lost (Luke 15:1-7)
What major Pharisee rule did Jesus break that led to the parables in Luke 15?
Why was this so bad in the eyes of the Pharisees?
What had the Pharisees missed about God's relationship with sinners?
How did Jesus reply to the Pharisees' rebuke of His association with sinners?
What does a lost sheep have to do with a sinner?
Would a studied Pharisee recognize this connection?
The Search (Luke 15:8-10)
Did Jesus feel that the one parable was enough to get the Pharisees to understand?
NOTES: It would take months for a Palestinian woman to save ten drachmas
The coins were most likely her dowry and were worn on a string as a necklace
What does searching for a lost coin have to do with searching for lost sinners?
How intently would she look and how much would she rejoice upon finding it?
The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-19)
Were these two parables enough for the Pharisees to see God's desire to restore the lost sinner?
What did the younger son get as his share of the estate?
How responsible was the son with his inheritance?
How responsible had Israel been with her inheritance?
How bad did the son's situation become after he ran out of money?
Why was this considered by Jews to be the lowest depth to which he could sink?
How bad did Israel's situation become after her rebellious living?
What did the son decide after coming to his senses?
What did Israel decide after coming to her senses?
Lamentations 3:40-42; 5:21
The Forgiving Father (Luke 15:20-24)
How was the son received after returning from squandering a third of his father's estate?
What kind of reception can we expect after returning from squandering what our Father gives us?
Did the father accept the son's application for employment?
Was the father thinking of ways for the son to repay his evil?
Does God, our Father, have ways for us to repay our evil?
Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; 55:7
The Faithful Son (Luke 15:25-32)
How did the faithful and reliable older brother feel about the return of his brother?
Did the early Christians better understand God's grace and mercy to the penitent?
How did they respond when they learned that God had sent His Spirit to the Gentiles?
If those who stray are freely taken back, isn't it unfair for those who remain faithful?
How does the father in the parable summarize Jesus' key point of Luke 15?
Why didn't Jesus complete the story with how the elder brother responded?
Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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