Task One

Task One: Story Telling: Parables

In my research I plan to find out what a parable is, why they wee used and if they are still relevant today.

By definition a parable is “a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth,religious principle, or moral lesson.”
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parable

Parables were told to tell a story of heavenly meaning to the disciples. Jesus would tell these stories because, he was fully aware that the truth is not always kind as we wish it to be and for this reason he would use story telling to soften the harsh truth to stop it having such a harsh impact on his followers delicate ears for they would hang off his every word.

The Parable of the Weeds

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’.  “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13:24-43

This parable was told to teach the disciples about the good and the evil and the consequences of taking an evil pathway in life. The man in the story who sowed the good seeds is the ‘Son of man’ and the field is to represent the world. The character who sowed the weeds is to symbolise the devil and his influence on the world and that he can also place people on earth but for the wrong reasons. When the weeds are harvisted it is the angels that have come to take the good up to heaven but they will also harvest the weeds and “They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”. This lesson is to teach us about the punishment you get if you are an evil person with nothing but bad intentions but if you strive for goodness and you obey the commandments then you shall go to heaven.

Though my research I have come across many different answers to my question of whether parables are still relevant to today and these are a few of my favourite’s that I have come across:

“True spiritual enlightenment lies not in going to Church every Sunday or believing in a specific set of dogmas, but rather in understanding how religious parables can be used to shed light on mankind’s greatest challenges, as well as providing a simple way to understand seemingly complex problems.

But that requires an open heart — and more than anything else — ears to listen.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adrian-brito/spirituality-religion-the_b_5162428.html

Clearly this a very emotive piece of writing but it does have a very interesting take on the parables and that is not to always discard them because your not religious but to keep an open mind to them because they can help you though very difficult situations and  can help you find a solution.

“Most, if not all, of the parables are relevant in todays world. However, modern-day problems of e.g. technology (tv) and so forth are not specifically addressed because there was no tv 2,000 years ago. None of the women were wearing miniskirts like todays women sometimes to, so there’s nothing in the Bible that mentions that immorality. Yet, people were told to be respectful, told to be kind to each other, to be patient, those things and more, are very relevant. The parable of the Good Samaritan, for example is still relevant in its meaning, not specifically the words “Samaritan” and so forth, still if someone sees a very poor man begging, the example of the Parable of the Good Samaritan would be: be kind, give him money, give him a place to sleep and clothes to wear, even later help him find a job. In that way, its’ also a parable that teaches NON-racism, don’t hate other races: as the story goes, the Samaritan was a race hated by the Jews, but Jesus gave the teaching that a Jew can help the Samaritans. OK? So, it’s still relevant, today. If you don’t know that parable, it might be a good idea to telephone a Christian Church, and ask them for more information.”

http://www.answers.com/Q/How_relevant_are_the_parables_in_today’s_world

This post on the parables is very engaging because, I find it quite a personal statement when this person talks about the miniskirts and how they are suggesting that the way some woman dress “Sometimes” is not “respectful”. But then how they go off to actually talk about the good Samaritan and how apparent that parable still is and how we still teach it in schools and how sometimes we see real Samaritans doing good deeds to help those in need of it. Whether it be small or large like giving a lift to a hitch-hiker or volunteering at an animal shelter.

In my research I have found out what a parable is and why they were used but I believe I have answered my question about if parables today because though my research I have found that yes parables are still relevant today because we are still teaching them and we are still choosing to listen to them. I have discovered that they are not always for religious people and that non-believers of a religion can still follow then and learn something from them.

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