The parables

Jesus then told the parable of the sower for the whole crowd.  Some of the seeds were on a path, some on the rocks, and some among the thorns.  However, some of these seeds were on good soil.  They were to listen to this parable, his disciples asked him what this parable meant.  Thus, Jesus explained the parable so that they could understand it.  The seeds were the word of God.   The seeds on the path are those who do not believe.  The seeds on the rock have no roots.  The seeds among the thorns were choked.  Finally, the good soil bears fruit.  Jesus then told the parable of the lamp.  The lit lamp was on a stand, so that there would be no more secrets.  They were to give more to those who already have a lot.

The relatives of Jesus, his mother and brothers, wanted to see Jesus.  However, Jesus said that a true family member hears and does the word.  Then Jesus set out at sea to get to the other side.  However, a storm on the lake came up, but Jesus calmed the sea.  They were amazed at Jesus.  

When they got to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, a demoniac from the tombs met them at Gerasenes.  This demoniac did not want Jesus to torment him.  This man was possessed with a legion of demons.  These demons did not want to go into the abyss.  Instead Jesus sent them into a herd of swine who then went into the lake or sea.  The swine herdsmen told everyone what happened to their flock of pigs.  The possessed man was fine since he was healed.  They asked Jesus to leave them.  The cured demoniac wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told him to proclaim the works of Jesus in his home area.

The crowds waited for Jesus.  Jairus sent Jesus an invitation to come to his house to cure his daughter.  However, there was a woman with flowing blood who touched the garment of Jesus.  Jesus realized that someone had touched him, since power had left him.  She was immediately cured because her faith healed her.  Meanwhile the daughter of Jairus died, but Jesus told him not to fear.  The favorite apostles of Jesus went with him.  Jesus said that she was only sleeping.  They laughed at Jesus, but then Jesus told the little girl to get up and give her something to eat.  The astonished parents were silent.

The parables (Mt 13:3-13:3)

“Jesus told them

Many things

In parable sayings.”

 

αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων.

 

A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:2.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Matthew.  Jesus told them many things in parables (αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

The scribes (Sir 39:1-39:5)

“How different is

The one who devotes himself

To the study

Of the law of the Most High.

He seeks out the wisdom

Of all the ancients.

He is concerned with prophecies.

He preserves the sayings

Of the famous.

He penetrates the subtleties

Of the parables.

He seeks out the hidden meanings

Of proverbs.

He is at home

With the obscurities of parables.

He serves among the great men.

He appears before rulers.

He travels in foreign lands.

He learns what is good and evil

In the human lot.

He sets his heart to rise early.

He seeks the Lord who made him.

He petitions the Most High.

He opens his mouth in prayer.

He asks pardon for his sins.”

Sirach is more interested in the scholarly scribes. This seems like a defense of his own life, and what he is doing. He devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High God. He seeks the wisdom of the ancients and the current prophecies. He preserves the ancient sayings or writings. He penetrates and finds the hidden meanings of the parables and the proverbs. He serves among and appears before the rulers. He even travels in foreign lands so that he can learn about good and evil among all humans. He rises early to seek the Lord. He prays with petitions and penitence to the Most High God. In other words, he is a great righteous man, fully dedicated to the law of God and living it out in his daily life. He is Sirach!