Study 2 of 13 on Discipleship
“Most ancient cultures taught good living by telling stories. Yes….The facts mattered….But the facts were better remembered when illustrated well. What is interesting is that those illustrations weren’t remakes…the prodigal son, the prodigal son in Rome, the Corinthian prodigal son…the Grecian prodigal daughter…the good stories were always new to illustrate truth. Jesus’ parables illustrated truth…and each was unique. How do we tell stories of truth today? Are they intriguing illustrative lessons? Or are they tired, repackaged, stories…where the scenes are changed to protect our laziness? Look at Jesus! His methods were new, relevant, contemporary, relevant, and true…did I say relevant? Jesus taught godly living by telling stories…the facts mattered and they were remembered well because they illustrated truth well…both in words and actions.” –Falvo Fowler
2 Sam. 12:1–7, Isa. 28:24–28, Matt. 7:24–27, 13:1–30, Luke 20:9–19.
“Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” (Matthew13:34,35 NIV).
1. What is a parable to you? Define it personally.
• What are some of your favourite stories and why do you like them?
2. Parables weren’t just a Jesus method, right? They were part of the culture that he utilized for discipleship.
• What parables can you remember from the Old Testament?
• What truths did they teach?
• What methods exist today for us to use to teach truth?
4. How does the parable of the wise and foolish builders contribute to our understanding of Christian discipleship?
5. What metaphors in Luke 14:27-33 illuminate our understanding of discipleship?
6. Matthew 13 is full of metaphors. Let’s look at the sower and the seed and the wheat and weeds… What lessons of discipleship can Christians today derive from the metaphors from back then?
7. Parable of the two sons, the parable of the banquet, the parable of the tenants…what principles from these parables pertain to discipleship today?
8. Ellen White writes “Parable use was popular and commanded the respect and attention, not only of Jews, but of the people of other nations..”
• What methods can we use today to reach beyond our church and relate to those around us?
(Paolo Benini, from Italy, contributed to the questions this week)