Just about everyone knows that Jesus taught with parables. If you were to say the world parable, folks would automatically think of Jesus.
The PURPOSE of the parables is explained in scripture.
“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:” (Matt 13:10-14).
We will notice that parables were part of PROPHECY which contributed to identifying Jesus as the Christ. “I will open my mouth in a parable:” (Psalm 78:2)
We will also notice that parables ASSIST people in understanding the lessons from Christ. We can easily identify the example in the parable to discover His teaching.
If you’ll look at the list of the parables you notice that Christ uses REAL life scenarios to explain His teachings. (ie. a sower)
Parables will ALLOW the seekers to see, but the BLIND not to see. Christ never keeps life saving truth from anyone, but some just don’t want it, hence they’re BLIND.
The meaning of the word parable is; to LAY along side. (cf. W.E. Vines). “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” (Mark 4:30)
Another way to describe a parable is as an EXTENDED metaphor or simile. It’s not intended to be mysterious, concealing, nor prevent the truth seeker from understanding.
Ultimately, a parable is a SPIRITUAL lesson using an understood physical scenario. Jesus uses a known thing to explain SPIRITUAL things.
“And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13)
On the following page is a list of all the parables (I think). Luke carries the most parables. While many people categorize them in different ways, I’ve identified seven. Prayer Parables, Kingdom Parables, Forgiveness Parables, Christ Parables, Parables of the Lost, Readiness Parables, and Stewardship Parables.