The word denotes a speech in pictures and comparisons. Jesus often used this linguistic form for his preaching. A good third of the words he has passed down are parables. In terms of content, they are about God and His kingdom. They show what God is like, how he treats people and what he expects from them. The parables want to convince the listeners, make them think along and rethink; they challenge him to make a decision. In total, four basic forms of parables can be distinguished.
(1) A parable in the narrower sense is a comparison that is designed in the form of a narrative. In it, Jesus makes everyday things such as sowing and harvesting, baking bread or searching for a lost piece of money an image for the reality of the Kingdom of God. For example, the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32) points to the contrast between the tiny seed and the large mustard plant. So it encourages us to trust that from the inconspicuous beginnings that are already visible in the present, something as inconceivably great as the Kingdom of God actually grows. The use of the images makes the meaning immediately understandable and serves to ensure that the parables stick well in the memory.
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