Chipo is 10 years old and lives in southern Zambia. Her parents didn’t practice any faith, but when her neighbors invited her to attend church with them, she went. She loved learning about God and went to church whenever she could.
But Chipo’s father became angry when he learned that Chipo was attending the Adventist church. “Stay away from that church,” he warned her, “Or I will punish you. But Chipo loved Jesus and wanted to worship Him. So when her [...]
Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Teaching in Parables, pp. 17-27, in Christ’s Object Lessons.
“Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. . . .
“Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in [...]
[Thought questions for Discipling Through Metaphor January 8, 2014]
Introduction. This week’s lesson may tweak your creative instincts searching for the connection between the topic for each day and the material presented. The first gap opens with Monday’s lesson, “Architectural Wisdom” which includes a brief paragraph about construction but nothing on architecture. Tuesday’s lesson, “Agricultural Analogies” hits the target with parables Jesus shared on the reception of the word by different types of soils, and [...]
After the record of Christ’s ministry is completed, the telling of parables seems to have disappeared from Scripture. What explains this phenomenon? Certainly the largest remaining segment of the New Testament centers around Paul. Fourteen New Testament books have been attributed to Paul, and nearly half of Luke’s historical narrative in Acts revolves almost exclusively around Paul, as well. Though he didn’t use stories in the way that Jesus did, Paul still made considerable use of metaphors, similes, and other [...]
Whenever the subject of the prodigal son comes up, we picture a young person who has lost his way. We use this story, and rightly so, to show the dangers of a life of aimless, godless living. For many mothers and fathers this story gives hope to the day that their own “prodigal” child returns home. If it could happen for the young man in this biblical account, surely it could happen for us. Amen, somebody.
While all of the above [...]
Christ’s ministry was revolutionary but without the common weapons. His tools were infinitely more powerful than were swords or knives. Life-changing words, frequently expressed through parables and metaphors, became His not-so-secret weapons in the fight against evil.
Christ’s tactics and strategies caught many leaders off guard; they were ill-equipped to counter the power of His appeal with the masses. Many of His parables contained messages that worked against the leaders. The religious leaders rightly saw [...]
Seven miles had never appeared as long as they did that day. Just a few days before, the two friends had expected that their journey home would be joyful and full of good memories. But instead of recounting tales of fellowship and feasts, they were downcast and sad. Unexpected tragedy had replaced all celebration. Now their futures, once full of hope, had become overshadowed with uncertainty and doubt.
As they walk together that fateful day, they are joined by a Stranger [...]
Key Thought : Should we, as Christians, take advantage of personal stories in the form of movies, TV, books, magazines, and personal testimonies to help others understand God?.
Teaching plan for Discipling Through Metaphor January 6, 2014]
1. Have a volunteer read 2 Samuel 12:1-7.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How do you correct a king, boss, or spouse while protecting your relationship and staying out of trouble? Do [...]
Read Matthew 13:1-30. What was Jesus teaching His audience about discipleship? What lessons can modern Christians derive from these metaphors?
Christ’s parable of the sower is familiar to many readers. The setting for the story was commonplace for an agrarian society, something to which Jesus’ listeners could easily relate. The connection with discipleship is obvious. Essentially Jesus is challenging His listeners to evaluate their standing as disciples. Rather than confronting each individual specifically, He speaks [...]
Read Matthew 7:24-27. What do these verses contribute to our understanding of Christian discipleship? Why do you think Jesus used this example from nature to teach such a crucial truth?
Modern literate societies take literacy for granted. However, even today, numerous nonliterate societies exist. Throughout ancient history literacy was the exception rather than the rule. Ruling classes, literary specialists (scribes), obtained their power through their skill in reading. Thus, Jesus framed His messages within forms [...]
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-7, Isaiah 28:24-28, Jeremiah 13:12-14, and Ezekiel 15:1-7. How do these parables and allegories expand our understanding of God’s relationship with humankind? Which objects or settings utilized by these prophets later appear in Christ’s parables?
As we can see, Nathan tells a parable in order to disguise the real purpose of his visit. David implicates himself as the transgressor, thereby pronouncing his own sentence. Using a literary device (a parable), Nathan accomplished [...]