Jesus spoke in parables oft to the multitude
His words are more important than our daily food,
Heaven and earth he said will one day suffer decay
But not one jot of his word will ever pass away.
These forty-six parables in Matthew, Mark and Luke
Should be critical learning matters in any institute,
Scenes from daily life such understanding brings
As Jesus fashions our minds to think on heavenly things.
None spoke like this man the greatest master teacher he
Who taught in myriads of ways so that his students could see
Object lessons from the word he shares with you and me,
Everyone an earthly story but teaching about eternity.
A new cloth patch placed on an old garment
Will invariably produce a much greater rent.
Storing new wine in old wineskins? Why that is worse
For the new wine will most certainly cause the old to burst.
And just as a city on a hill cannot ever be hidden
Hiding one’s light from view is strictly forbidden.
One man will build on the rock, another on sand
But it’s better to trust in God rather than trust in man.
The servant whose master forgives of the greater debt
Would surely show greater love to his benefactor yet.
Consider that no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bed
So that he ends up hiding the light by which another may be led.
I’d rather have a little barn with just a single stool
Than by Almighty God to be called a fool.
Far better to be a servant who’s working and watching
Than on the master’s return to be caught while napping.
He that is unfaithful questions his master’s return
But the faithful servant holds to what he has learned.
That unfruitful fig tree that is likely to be hewn
Just give it another year before axing it too soon.
Four types of soil and only one finally brought a yield
But the sower was generous as he sowed the precious seed.
Let the weeds and the wheat grow in the very same field
For at harvest time the Harvester will both of them reveal.
By itself the soil produces grain in the rain and the sun
And the ripened grain is reaped as soon as harvest time comes.
The kingdom is like a mustard seed planted in the ground
But becomes a towering tree whose immensity abounds.
Know that the kingdom of heaven is like yeast, Jesus said
That is mixed in the flower but works through the bread.
It is like a hidden treasure that a man found and bought
By selling all he possessed; what great pleasure it brought!
The kingdom is like a merchant a precious pearl having found
Sells all that he has so that he might own that pearl of renown.
Another time it’s represented as a great net cast into the lake,
The bad fish are cast in the fire; the good the fishermen take.
Every teacher of the law who is versed in kingdom knowledge
Relishes the treasures of old and treats the new as privileged.
One lost sheep is valued over that of the other ninety-nine
Thus will the shepherd search until that one sheep he finds.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gave his life for the flock
If today he is not your shepherd now is your time to take stock.
A servant doing his master’s will sees himself as unworthy
Recognizing all he has really done is what was only his duty
Don’t be the unmerciful servant; for much he had been forgiven
But could not forgive his fellow servant for the little he had taken.
Who really is my neighbour? The expert in the law did ask
Only to discover all to whom we can do good is the extent of our task.
A friend in need is a friend in deed even at the midnight hour,
One who boldly asks should be given what it is he truly wants to borrow.
When invited to a wedding feast don’t sit in the place of honour
That’s for the distinguished guest; the host will demand you sit lower.
Real estate, a new wife and oxen were reasons why they refused,
Invitees to a great banquet made excuse after excuse after excuse.
Any man who sets out to build a house should carefully count the cost
And salt is surely good for nothing if its saltiness it has lost.
There is joy up in heaven over one lost sheep the shepherd finds
Far more than the rejoicing over the other ninety and nine.
Or consider that woman who from her rare collection loses just one coin,
Think of the great celebration when to the ten that coin is rejoined.
“Give me what is mine,” demanded the heir and to a far country went
Only to return to “Father’s house” after he saw the need to repent.
Accused of mismanagement the unjust steward was called to give account
But was commended for his shrewdness after reducing the loan amounts.
The rich man living sumptuously ignored the beggar at his gate
But in hell requested Abraham, “Send Lazarus to help relieve my state.”
Some workers agreed to their pay as they came on at different stages
But the first ones became angry when the last received the same wages.
Some consider it as nagging but it got the attention of the judge,
The widow received her just demands when at first he wouldn’t budge.
Two went up to the temple to pray: a Publican and a Pharisee
The Pharisee did pray how good he was; the Publican begged for mercy.
A king who retuned from afar put the faithful stewards over his cities
But the servant who kept the investment was punished most severely.
Two sons were commissioned; the first said no but later changed his mind;
The second said yes but never did what it was that he was assigned.
These tenants seized the owner’s servants; finally they killed his son
But they were brought to a wretched end when all was said and done.
A guest who attended the banquet but refused a wedding garment
Was bound both hand and foot and then into outer darkness sent.
The fig tree is a valuable lesson reminding that summer is near
So the signs that point to the Lord’s coming tell that he will soon appear.
Far better to be a faithful servant awake, alert and watching
Than to be a wicked servant who when the Lord comes finds him napping.
Or consider the ten virgins: five were wise and five were foolish,
Five went in with the Bridegroom; the other five were left with just a wish.
It’s like a man leaving his servants and going to country far away
Then returning when they least expect it on that unexpected day
Five talents gained five more; two talents became four
But the slothful wicked servant’s talent did not even gain one more.
Goats on his left and sheep on his right when the Son of Man shall come;
The goats to everlasting punishment; the sheep will inherit God’s kingdom.
So end these forty-six parables instructive for you and me
Once we keep them in our mind and take them seriously,
They all speak of God’s coming kingdom that Jesus came to announce,
That day is fast approaching when all must give an account.
Christ the great Judge will preside; the books will be opened wide,
All and sundry will be present; not one of us will be able to hide.
We will answer for the things we’ve done, be they righteous or be they bad
And all who have rejected the Saviour for them that day will be very sad.
Stewart Russell © 2016