Thursday, January 29, 2015

Parables

For a class assignment in my New Testament class, I'm studying parables. Why did Jesus use parables, which ones apply to me, how did people view them as he taught... ? Here are some questions I answered, and I invite you to think on these things on your own. Study the Bible Dictionary, especially, and see what it has to say about parables. I learned a lot and my testimony of Christ's teachings grew. The following may feel like homework, but at least skim and get the gist of it and study for yourself.

Matthew 13:24–48. The Lord Often Taught with Parables

  1. In the Bible Dictionary, read the first three paragraphs under the entry “Parables” (pp. 740–41).
  2. Read the following parables: parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24–30); parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Matthew 13:31–33); parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44–46); parable of the gospel net (Matthew 13:47–50). Next to each of the following questions match the name of the parable that best answers that question.
    • What describes the future growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Gospel Net
    • Why does the Church send out so many missionaries? The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
    • How do you explain the remarkable growth of the Church, considering that it is fairly new compared to most world religions and started small in the American frontier? Gospel Net
    • Why are some members of the Church willing to sacrifice so much worldly wealth and recognition in order to maintain membership in the Church? Pearl of Great Price
    • Why do some Church members choose to leave the Church? Tares
  3. Address the following questions:
    • Considering the parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (see Mattthew 13:44–46), what sacrifices would you be willing to make to obtain the treasure of the gospel? What sacrifices have you or those you know already made for the gospel? I’ve thought about this and I immediately thought: I’d give up everything. But then I thought of more specific things in my life that would be hard to give up and I considered each one. Would I give up (this seems sad, but it really is something I love) TV/movies? Or social media? Would I sacrifice all my spare time? Yes. The worldly part of myself would think, “Noooo!” But I still think the decision would be easy.
    • What does the net represent in the parable of the net cast into the sea? (See Matthew 13:47). What does it mean to be gathered into the net? What is represented by the action of gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away? (See Matthew 13:48–50). The net being cast into the sea represents the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s missionary work! The gospel will be spread throughout the world and to be “gathered into the net” is to accept the gospel and be part of God’s Kingdom. The action of gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away is like the judgment of God.
I encourage you all to study the scriptures and other resources that the church has put forth. Really knowing the gospel is a blessing and we should all strive to be closer to the Lord in this way.

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