Jesus often used stories to teach. In fact, he used them so much so that the disciples directly asked him, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” (Matt. 13:10). CT has featured a wide variety of articles that examine and reflect upon the meaning of Jesus’ compelling and convicting stories. Here are some of our best articles on the parables of Jesus.


Jesus’ Use of Parables

In these articles, Virginia Stem Owens discusses Jesus’ intentional use of surprising teaching techniques, and William Childs Robinson explores how the parables weave together to point listeners and readers to Jesus himself.


The Prodigal Son

The story of the Prodigal Son is one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, and it has been discussed extensively in the pages of CT. It is the third in Jesus’ parable trilogy of lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Here are some of our best offerings on the prodigal: our 1998 cover story about the “pursuing” father, Miroslav Volf’s candid discussion of how the parable relates to forgiveness, and Carolyn Arends’s brief reflection on the older brother.


The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan and its accompanying conversation about loving one’s neighbor is central to our understanding of the gospel and Christian virtue. Here, L. Nelson Bell uses the Good Samaritan (as well as the parable of the sheep and the goats) to discuss how faith is evidenced in loving action. In addition, John Piper examines a common misunderstanding of Jesus’ listeners to explore a contemporary misunderstanding of this parable: an overemphasis ...

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