Bible Summary. The Gospels of the New Testament provides us with the parables of Jesus. The majority of the parables of Jesus come from the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. A Bible parable is “A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels”. In Matthew 13, the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables. Jesus answered that those who love the truth will understand the parables, and those that do not love the truth will not understand his parables. From Jesus’ answer to his disciples, it is important that we understand and reflect on the parables of Jesus Christ. More importantly is that we take action on our understanding of the parables.
Parables of the Bible
Many of the parables have similar themes. Key Bible themes include giving us an understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 13 has several Kingdom of Heaven parables. Another Biblical theme from the parables is dealing with loss and redemption. Example parable of this theme is the Prodigal Son. Another key theme from the parables is preparing for the day of reckoning. Example parable of this theme is The Wise and Foolish Virgins. Other parables standalone dealing with such themes as forgiveness, love, and prayer. See below for a complete listing of the parables of Jesus Christ.
1. New Cloth on an Old Coat. A parable concerning salvation. The old and new cannot mix (Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21, Luke 5:36).
2. New Wine in Old Wineskins. A parable concerning salvation. The old and new cannot mix (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37).
3. Lamp on a Stand. A parable concerning how truth and light must shine and be free of evil and darkness (Matthew 5:14, Mark 4:21-22, Luke 8:16, Luke 11:33).
4. Wise and Foolish Builders. A parable concerning the importance of doing the will of the Father. (Matthew 7:24-27).
5. Moneylender Forgives Unequal Debts. A parable concerning God’s forgiveness and how little or much we can love God (Luke 7:41-43).
6. The Rich Fool. A parable warning not to place material things above God (Luke 12:16-21).
7. The Watchful Servant. A parable concerning being blessed for those who are watchful in preventing evil and focusing on Christ’s coming (Luke 12:35-40, Mark 13:35-37).
8. The Faithful Servant. A parable concerning being faithful servant where much is given and much is required. (Luke 12:42-48, Matthew 24:45-51).
9. Unfruitful Fig Tree. A parable concerning the importance in being fruitful (Luke 13:6-9).
10. Sower and Four Types of Soil. A parable comparing how people receive the word of God where some bear no fruit and others much. (Matthew 13:3-8, Mark 4:3-8, Luke 8:5-8).
11. Wheat and Tares (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable about end-time judgment of the good and evil (Matthew 13:24-30).
12. Growing Seed (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable that describes how we may not know how the word of God grows in a man’s heart, but be certain the harvest and judgment will come(Mark 4:26-29).
13. Mustard Seed (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable describing the kingdom of heaven as having small beginning and becoming the greatest, a refuge to many (Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19).
14. Yeast (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable describing the kingdom of heaven as a phenomenon that affects the whole and not just a part (Matthew 13:33).
15. Hidden Treasure (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable describing joy and commitment of those who find the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:44).
16. Valuable Pearl (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable describing a person that knows the value of the kingdom of heaven and seeks it above all else (Matthew 13:45-46).
17. Fishing Net (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable about end-time judgment of the good and evil (Matthew 13:47).
18. Owner of a House (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable about the kingdom of heaven consisting of both new and old truths from God (Matthew 13:52).
19. Lost Sheep. A parable describing how God’s outlook concerning the lost and their redemption (Matthew 18:12-13, Luke 15:4-7).
20. The Good Shepherd. A parable that describes Jesus as the Savior in terms of the good shepherd (John 10:1-18).
21. Master and His Servant. A parable that provides a parallel between our relationship with God and servant’s relationship with his master ().
22. Unmerciful Servant (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable teaching us to forgive others as God is ready to forgive us (Matthew 18:23-34).
23. Good Samaritan. A parable describing how God expects us to be neighborly to anyone that is in need and we have an opportunity to help (Luke 10:30-37).
24. Friend in Need. A parable showing the parallel of boldly asking a friend for something and being bold in bringing our prayers before God (Luke 11:5-8).
25. Lowest Seat at the Feast. A parable concerning being humble, selfless, and giving with no thought of return in kind with avoiding pride at all costs (Luke 14:7-14).
26. Invitation to a Great Banquet. A parable that illustrates that God will reject those who do not appreciate Him and He will seek those that appreciate Him (Luke 14:16-24).
27. Cost of Discipleship. A parable that illustrates that we must understand the cost of discipleship and the impossibility of being saved unless we forsake all (Luke 14:28-33).
28. Lost Coin. A parable illustrating the joy of God in a lost sinner repenting and being found in God (Luke 15:8-10).
29. Prodigal Son. A parable describing a sinner’s life that leads to repentance, the Father’s love of the sinner, the Father’s joy in the sinner’s repentance, and the brother’s murmuring who hates the sinner (Luke 15:11).
30. The Unjust Steward. A parable that illustrates to be right with God takes more than being wise and being blameless (Luke 16:1-8).
31. Rich Man and Lazarus. A story warning us to prepare for the afterlife as it will determine how we spend eternity (Luke 16:19-31).
32. Workers in the Vineyard (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable that illustrates the need for humility before God and of being content with rewards to come (Matthew 20:1-16).
33. Persistent Widow and Crooked Judge. A parable showing the parallel of the unjust judge granting the request of the persistent widow and we being bold in bringing our prayers before God (Luke 18:2-8).
34. Pharisee and Tax Collector. A parable illustrating how wrong it is to trust in ourselves for our righteousness and despising others (Luke 18:10-14).
35. The Ruler Gives Charge to His Servants. A parable illustrating the need to have diligence over what God has given us until Jesus’ coming (Luke 19:12-27, Matthew 25:14-30 – The Talents).
36. Two Sons. A parable that illustrates sinners who first reject the truth and then repent and do the will of God versus the hypocrites who say yes to God and do not (Matthew 21:28-32).
37. Wicked Tenants. A parable concerning the responsibility of advancing the kingdom of God or all will be taken away from the wicked (Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 12:1-11, Luke 20:9-18).
38. Invitation to a Wedding Banquet. A parable that illustrates that God calls everyone, some reject his calling while others respond to his calling, but few are chosen by God (Matthew 22:2-14).
39. Signs of the Future from a Fig Tree. A parable that illustrates the nearness of Christ’s coming (Matthew 24:32-35, Mark 13:28-29, Luke 21:29-31).
40. Wise and Foolish Virgins (Kingdom of Heaven). A parable illustrating the diligence we must have in waiting for the return of Christ (Matthew 25:1-13).
41. Sheep and Goats will be Separated. A parable that illustrates the coming of the two judgments, one for the wicked and one for the righteous (Matthew 25:31-46).