Jesus teaching in parables

Jesus teaching in parables, Jesus used parables to teach. A parable is a Greek word. It means comparing or ‘putting side by side’ in order to understand.

A parable is defined as a short story or description, which teaches something or answers some questions. It is an allegory – an earthly story with a hidden or heavenly meaning.

a. Use of parables. Jesus used parables in his teachings in order to explain unfamiliar messages in a language that his hearers could understand. Other reasons were because Jesus wanted to / Jesus teaching in parables :

1) Provoke critical thinking

2) Make the audience understand issues from a different point of view

3) Explain the nature of the kingdom of God by giving real life examples.

4) Explain the nature of God. The parables brought out the attributes of an invisible God. For example, the parable of the prodigal son who had been lost.

5) Attract the attention of his audiences so that they could listen and understand.

6) Make people understand how they should relate to one another. Read the parable of the good Samaritan

7) Teach God’s love to mankind. The parable of the lost sheep, lost coin.Separate / identify those who were sincere in seeking the kingdom of God from the onlookers.

9) Challenge the imagination of his hearers since entry to God’s kingdom was a personal decision.

10) Make an indirect attack on his opponents like the Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees.

11) Teach his disciples that they should be persistent and never be discouraged.

12) Make his teachings interesting and easy to understand.

1. The parable of the sower Lk 8:4 – 15

Jesus told this parable to the crowd that followed him. He said that a farmer went out to sow corn. He scattered seeds in the field.

As he did so, some of them fell on the path, and they were trampled on and eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on the rock ground.

When they germinated, they withered because they lacked moisture. Some seed fell among thorns bushes. They grew with bushes, which choked them as they grew.

Some other seeds fell on fertile soil. They grew up in fertile soil and their yield was100 seed for each seed sown.

Meaning or interpretation of the parable

Jesus gave the meaning of the parable to his disciples. He said that the seed is the word of God.

i. Seed that fell on the path represents people who hear the word of God, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts so that they do not believe. Such listeners are like the seeds that fell on the path.

They hear the word but soon after the devil takes away the message to stop them from believing and being saved.

ii. Seed that fell on the rocky ground are people who receive the word with joy but it does not stay with them.

They believe for a while but when faced with trials and temptations they stop believing and fall away.

iii. Seed that fell on the thorny bushes stands for people who receive the word. However, they fail to follow their beliefs because of interference by life’s worries, riches and pressures of the world.

They fail to mature as believers.

iv. Seed that fell on the good soil are those people with a noble and good heart. They hear the word, and retain it in their hearts. Such people persevere and produce good harvest.

v. Interpretation. The different types of soil in this parable refer to different kinds of Hearts of people.

The farmer is Jesus, God or Preacher. We learn that:

One should not despair and

It’s important to receive the word of God, practice it and persevere so as to bear fruits.

2. The parable of a lamp under a bowl (Lk.8: 16 – 18).

Jesus taught that no one lights a lamp, then covers it with a bowl or hide it under a bed. When one lights a lamp, they put it on the lamp stand so as to illuminate a room and for people to see the light. For whatever is hidden or covered up shall be revealed.

In this parable Jesus is the light. The disciples had a duty to pass on to others messages they had learnt from Jesus. They should not keep messages to themselves.

Interpretation. From this parable of a lamp under a bowl, we learn that:

i A Christian has a duty to share the knowledge of God with others

ii One cannot be a Christian if this knowledge is hidden

iii Those who do not share may loose their beliefs.

3. Jesus mother and brothers. Luke 8:19 – 21

The mother of Jesus and brothers came to see him. Someone told Jesus that they were there. He told the crowd. “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey “. Accepters and believers are the members of the family of Jesus.

Lesson Revision Questions

1. Give reasons why Jesus used parables

2. Identify various methods used by Christians in spreading the gospel today

3. Discuss the reasons why Jesus faced opposition fro the Jewish leaders.

Mighty Works Of Jesus

Learning outcomes. By the end of this lesson

a. Organise in categories miracles performed by Jesus

b. Narrate each miracle

c. Discuss the significance of the miracle and lessons to learn

Jesus continued to do miracles; and teach. His work is referred to as the mighty works of Jesus in various

books. Miracles can be defined as acts of power whose purpose is to establish the kingdom of God.

Miracles can also mean extraordinary events that go against the laws of nature.

a. Categories / types of miracles

Jesus performed four types of miracles. These were:

1) Nature miracles – miracles that dealt with nature e.g. calming of the storm

2) Raising of the dead e.g. Jairus daughter

3) Healing miracles – healing Simon’s mother in law of fever, healing of the woman with the flow of blood.

4) Exorcism miracles – casting out of evil spirits e.g. the Gerasene demonic

i) The calming of the storm

One day, Jesus entered a boat with his disciples to go across Lake Galilee. As they sailed Jesus was asleep in the ship. Suddenly, there was a strong wind and the boat began to sink.

The disciples woke him up saying, “ Master, we are about to die”. Jesus woke up and gave an order to the winds and the raging waters.

They obeyed and there was calm. He then said to his disciples ‘where is your faith?’ Disciples were afraid and amazed and wondered, “Who is this man?” Winds and waves obey him.

This miracle teaches Christians to have faith and to depend on Jesus when they face raging temptations and persecutions. Jesus has power over nature.

ii) Jesus Heals a Man with demons (Lk8: 26 – 39)

Jesus and his disciples sailed to Gerasa town across Lake Galilee. On arrival a man who had demons in him for a long time met Jesus.

He lived naked in tombs, and wilderness. On seeing Jesus, he cried out, threw himself down at the feet of Jesus and shouted; “Jesus son of the Most High God! What do you want with me?” ” I beseech thee, torment me not’. Jesus had ordered the demons to go out of him.

Jesus asked him “what is your name?” He replied Legion or Mob. This was because the man had been possessed by many demons.

The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the deep but to let them go into some pigs (swine) that were feeding by. Jesus allowed them and the devils went out of the man, into the pigs.

The herd ran down the cliff into the lake and drowned. The herders run to the city and spread the news. The multitude found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed, and in his right mind.

The multitude asked Jesus to leave their country region. The healed man wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus declined and told him to go and tell others of the great things that God had done for him.

The man went to town and told all “what Jesus had done for him”.

This miracle teaches Christians that:

1. The mission of Jesus’ was universal.

2. Jesus mission is to teach all the people irrespective of their race, tribe or geographical location. The demon man was healed in a Gentile area.

3. Jesus has power over evil

4. Powers of evil (demons) are real

5. Human life is more valuable than man’s material things

6. The demons – evil spirits identified Jesus as the Son of the most High

7. Christians need to fight the power of evil

SAQ. What were the causes of mental illness and spirit possession in traditional African society and in

modern society?

iii) Jairus daughter is raised. Lk.8: 40 – 42, 49 – 56

Jairus was an official in the local synagogue. He begged Jesus to come to his house and heal his only daughter who was 12 was dying.

iv) Woman with the flow of blood is Healed (Lk. 8:43 – 48)

When Jesus was on route to Jairus house, great crowds followed him and pressed him on either side.

Amongst them was a woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for 12 years. She consulted doctors and spent all her savings on physicians. But she was not cured. The society considered the woman unclean. It blamed her for her illness. She herself was embarrassed by her condition.

This woman walked behind Jesus and she touched the hem of the garment of Jesus. Her bleeding stopped at once.

Jesus asked, who touched me? Everyone denied it. Peter replied the multitude was around Jesus and it was difficult to know who had touched him.

Jesus persisted someone touched him. The woman who had touched Jesus the woman came forward, and fell at his feet and confessed to all her sickness and explained why she touched Jesus and how she was healed at once.

Jesus said to her “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace”.

Jairus daughter is raised. Lk.8: 40 – 42, 49 – 56

As Jesus was talking to her, Jairus was told that his little girl was dead. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore. Jesus told Jairus not to fear but to believe and she will be well.

When he got to the house he went into the room with Peter, John and James and the parents of the girl. People around were weeping and wailing.

But Jesus told them not to weep. She is not dead but asleep. They scorned and laughed at him for saying that she is asleep because they knew she was dead.

Jesus took the girl by hand and called out “Get up, my child” – ‘little girl arise’. She immediately got up and Jesus ordered the parent to give her food. He commanded them not to tell what had happened.

Teachings from these two miracles

The miracle of raising Jairus daughter teaches Christians that Jesus is compassionate and the author of


He has power over death, resurrection and life.

In the miracle of healing the Woman with the flow of blood:

a. Jesus made her healing public. This was probably because He wanted to acknowledge the woman’s faith in the public. Jesus made it clear that her faith made her whole.

b. Jesus wanted to challenge the cultural practices that kept women in bandage and could not participate in public life.

c. Jesus made her healing public so that the community can receive her back and shall not isolate her again.

From this miracle of healing this woman, Christians learn that one; Jesus is the healer. He has power over all sicknesses even those without cure. Two, Christians should have faith in Jesus Christ.

Lesson Revision Questions

1. Narrate the healing of the Gerasene demoniac Lk 8: 26-39

2. What lessons can Christians learn fro the healing of the demoniac man above?

3. What do the miracles of Jesus teach us about him?

4. Compare the raising of Jairus daughter and the healing of the woman with the flow of blood


A comparison of the raising of Jairus daughter and the healing of the woman with flow of blood

(i) Jairus daughter was 12 years old and the woman sick with the flow of blood had suffered for 12 years.

(ii) Jesus referred to both of them as daughter

(iii) Their situation – death and flow of blood did not have a cure

(iv) The public witnessed the miracle of the woman with the flow of blood.

(v) Jesus commanded Jairus to keep secret raising of his daughter

Commissioning Of The Twelve Disciples Luke 9:1 – 10

Introduction. Commission means to officially ask someone to do something.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

a Describe the commissioning of the twelve disciples.

b Explain the story of the feeding of the 5000

c Describe the transfiguration of Jesus

d Explain the teachings of Jesus on faith and humility.

a. The commissioning of the twelve disciples

The twelve disciples or followers accompanied Jesus wherever he went. They were regarded as apostles.

An apostle comes from a Greek word ‘Apostols’ which means ‘send out’ one who is sent or a ‘missionary’.

The commissioning of the 12 disciples meant that they were given four main duties, power and authority to:

a) Exorcise or cast out demons

b) Cure diseases

c) Heal the sick

d) Preach the Kingdom of God and proclaim the arrival of God’s

Instructions. They were told to:

i) Take nothing for the journey

ii) Initiate attack on the forces of evil

iii) Depend entirely on God to take care of them

iv) Take no stick, no beggars’ bag, no food, no money and not even an extra shirt for their journey

v) Whatever house they entered they were to stay there until they leave the town.

vi) If they were not welcomed, they were to leave that town and shake the dust off their feet as a warning to that city or town.

With these instructions, the disciples left and travelled to all villages preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere. King Herod was perplexed by the work of the disciples and he desired to see Jesus.

b. Feeding of the five thousand. (Luke chapter 9. Verses 11-17)

After reading these verses, about feeding of the five thousand (5000) people we learn that

1. Jesus is concerned about people’s physical needs

2. Jesus demonstrated that he is the bread of life

3. Jesus has divine power

4. The Church has the duty of continuing to feed its followers both spiritually and physically.

5. The feeding of the 5000 people points to the Messianic banquet

6. Christians must learn to share whatever they have with one another

7. From this miracle, Jesus expected his disciples to appreciate their responsibility. Their work was not only to preach and heal but also feed the hungry. Feeding was both physical and spiritual.

The personality of Jesus and his identity Lk. 9:18 – 27

When Jesus was alone with his disciples, he asked them who people say he is.

The disciples told him that some say he is John the Baptist, others say he is Elijah and others say he is one of the old prophets who have risen again.

Jesus asked them who they, disciples say he is. Peter replied that he is Christ of God.

Jesus then told them not to tell people who he is for he Son of man has first to suffer many things be rejected by the elders chief, priests and scribes, be killed and be raised the third day.

Jesus announced to the disciples of his passion (great sufferings) Jesus is the Christ (anointed) of God – Messiah as well as the son of man.

A divine nature and a human nature. Jesus went on ahead to tell his disciples that they should deny themselves (self – denial) take up their cross daily and be ready to lose their lives for Jesus.

However, great is the reward for the faithful.