What is a parable? Looking at the sower and those “stony” places

Photographer| Wolfgang Staudt

A parable, according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary is specifically a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle” It originated from late Latin, parabola which is formed by para + ballein(to throw more at)

Why am I even discussing this? Briefly, I’d like to mention Jesus’s reason and method for sharing parables.

First, in Matthew 13:3, he tells the story of the sower. If you do not know about this powerful story, please look it up online or grab your bible and turn to the book of Matthew. In a nutshell, it is the story of someone who scatters seeds everywhere and some landed on the “wayside”, others landed on the “stony” places where there wasn’t much soil. And still others fell among the thorns to be choked up. The rest landed in good, rich soil(read more of the story to learn what the parable means)

Now, one thing I enjoy about my Lord Jesus Christ is that he tells you the “why” of something-  including stories. In Matthew 13:10 the disciples ask him why must he tell these stories in the first place? Jesus answers that “the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you” and in verses 12-23 he tells the disciples “people see yet do not see and hear yet do not hear” and he breaks down the parable for what it means.

What Jesus meant with his answer can be interpreted in various ways; however the story of the parable is pretty easy to understand once you have a good grasp on life’s idiosyncrasies. Jesus talks about the prophecies in Isaiah, perception and knowing the truth.

All of this to understand one parable.

At first I was going to break down the entire parable here in this post and see how much fun we can have creating our based on the format of Jesus’ parable, but for now I understand(and I hope you do too), that it doesn’t matter if your parable is really, really short, or just “medium-short”, as long as it illustrates some sort of moral attitude.

It’s a parable.

If you have not already, please head over to my Fringe Fiction page to read my really short parables -this will be updated periodically.


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