Thematic Bible: Parables of


Thematic Bible



And he told them this story: "A certain rich man's lands yielded heavily. And he said to himself, 'What am I going to do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' Then he said, 'This is what I will do; I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and in them I will store all my grain and my goods. read more.
And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have great wealth stored up for years to come. Now take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself." ' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you. Then who will have all you have prepared?'


"Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were foolish and five were sensible. For the foolish ones brought their lamps but brought no oil with them, read more.
but the sensible ones with their lamps brought oil in their flasks. As the bridegroom was slow in coming, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But in the middle of the night there was a shout 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out and meet him!' Then all the bridesmaids awoke, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the sensible ones answered, 'There may not be enough for us and you. You had better go to the dealers and buy yourselves some.' But while they were gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and the ones that were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was closed. Afterward the other bridesmaids came and said, 'Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!' But he answered, 'I tell you, I do not know you!' So you must be on the watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour.


And he told them many things in figures, and said to them, "A sower went out to sow, and as he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the path and the birds came and ate it up, and some fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil and it sprang up at once, because the soil was not deep, read more.
but when the sun came up it was scorched and withered up, because it had no root. And some of it fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it out. And some fell on good soil, and yielded some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty-fold. Let him who has ears listen!"

"A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the path and was trodden on, and the wild birds ate it up. And some of it fell upon the rock, and when it sprang up it withered, because it had no moisture. And some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. read more.
And some fell on good soil, and grew up and yielded a hundred fold!" As he said this he called out, "Let him who has ears to hear with, listen!"

"You must listen closely then to the figure of the sower. When anyone hears the teaching of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and robs him of the seed that has been sown in his mind. That is what was sown along the path. And what was sown upon the rocky soil means the man who hears the message and at once accepts it joyfully, read more.
but it takes no real root in him, and lasts only a little while, and when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, he gives it up at once. And what was sown among the thorns means the man who listens to the message, and then the worries of the time and the pleasure of being rich choke the message out, and it yields nothing. And what was sown in good ground means the man who listens to the message and understands it, and yields one a hundred, and another sixty, and another thirty-fold."

Then he began again to teach by the seashore. And a crowd gathered around him so great that he got into a boat and sat in it, a little way from the shore, while all the people were on the land close to the water. He taught them many lessons in figures, and said to them in the course of his teaching, "Listen: A sower went out to sow, read more.
and as he was sowing, some of the seed chanced to fall by the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, and where there was not much soil, and it sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, but when the sun came up, it was scorched, and withered up, because it had no root. Some of the seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it out, and it yielded no grain. And some fell on good soil, and came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold." And he said, "Let him who has ears be sure to listen!"

What the sower sows is the message. The ones by the path are those into whose hearts the message falls, and as soon as they hear it Satan comes and carries off the message that has been sown in their hearts. It is so too with the ones sown on the rocky ground; they gladly accept the message as soon as they hear it, read more.
but it takes no real root in them and they last only a little while; then when trouble or persecution comes because of the message they give it up at once. It is different with those sown among the thorns. They are people who listen to the message, but the worries of the time and the pleasure of being rich and passions for other things creep in and choke the message out and it yields nothing. And the ones sown in good ground are the people who listen to the message and welcome it and yield thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.

This is what the figure means. The seed is God's message. The ones by the path are those who hear, and then the devil comes and carries off the message from their hearts, so that they may not believe it and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who receive the message joyfully when they first hear it, but it takes no real root. They believe for a little while, and then in the time of trial they draw back. read more.
And what falls among the thorns means those who listen and pass on, and the worries and wealth and pleasures of life stifle them and they yield nothing. But the seed in the good soil means those who listen to the message and keep it in good, true hearts, and yield unfailingly.


Another figure which he used in speaking to them was this: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the largest of plants and grows into a tree, so that the wild birds come and roost in its branches."

He said, therefore, "What is the Kingdom of God like, and to what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and dropped in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds roosted on its branches."

"How can we find any comparison," he said, "for the reign of God, or what figure can we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown in the ground, though it is the smallest of all the seeds in the world, yet once sown, comes up and grows to be the largest of all the plants, and produces branches so large that the wild birds can roost under the shelter of it."


Then he began to speak to them in figures. "A man once planted a vineyard and fenced it in and hewed out a wine-vat and built a watch tower, and he leased it to tenants and left the neighborhood. At the proper time he sent a slave to the tenants to get from them a share of the vintage. And they took him and beat him and sent him back empty-handed. read more.
And again he sent another slave to them. And they beat him over the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another; and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed. He still had one left to send, a dearly loved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But the tenants said to one another, 'This is his heir! Come on, let us kill him, and the property will belong to us!' So they took him and killed him, and threw his body outside of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come back and put the tenants to death and give the vineyard to others. Did you never read this passage of Scripture: " 'That stone which the builders rejected Has become the cornerstone; This came from the Lord And seems marvelous to us'?" And they tried to have him arrested, but they were afraid of the people, for they knew that the illustration was aimed at them. And they left him and went away.

"Listen to another figure. There was a land owner who planted a vineyard and fenced it in, and hewed out a wine-vat in it, and built a watch-tower, and leased it to tenants, and left the neighborhood. When the time for the vintage approached he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share. But the tenants took his slaves and beat one and killed another and stoned a third. read more.
Again he sent other slaves and more of them than he had sent at first, and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw his son, they said to one another. 'This is his heir! Come on, let us kill him, and get his inheritance!' So they took him and drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. When the owner of the vineyard comes back, therefore, what will he do to these tenants?" They said to him, "He will put the wretches to a miserable death, and let the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the vintage when it is due." Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, " 'That stone which the builders rejected Has become the cornerstone; This came from the Lord, And seems marvelous to us'? "That, I tell you, is why the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people that will produce its proper fruit. Whoever falls on that stone will be shattered, but whoever it falls upon will be pulverized."

Then he went on to give the people this illustration: "A man once planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went away for along absence. And at the proper time he sent a slave to the tenants to have them give him a share of the vintage, but the tenants beat him, and sent him back empty-handed. And again he sent another slave, and they beat him also and mistreated him and sent him back empty-handed. read more.
And again he sent a third, but they wounded him too, and threw him outside. Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What can I do? I will send them my dear son; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they argued with one another, 'This is his heir! Let us kill him, so that the property will belong to us!' So they drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and put those tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this they said, "Heaven forbid!" He looked at them and said, "Then what does this saying of Scripture mean, "'That stone which the builders rejected Has become the cornerstone'? Whoever falls on that stone will be shattered, but whoever it falls upon will be pulverized."


"Everyone, therefore, who listens to this teaching of mine and acts upon it, will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, and the rivers rose, and the winds blew, and beat about that house, and it did not go down, for its foundations were on rock. And anyone who listens to this teaching of mine and does not act upon it, will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. read more.
And the rain fell, and the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat about that house, and it went down, and its downfall was complete."

If anyone comes to me and listens to this teaching of mine and acts upon it, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man who was building a house, who dug deep and laid his foundation upon the rock, and when there was a flood the torrent burst upon that house and could not shake it, because it was well built. But the man who listens to it, and does not act upon it, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation. The torrent burst upon it, and it collapsed at once, and the wreck of that house was complete."


So in speaking to them he used this figure: "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep, and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go in search of the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he finds it, he puts it on his shoulders with joy, read more.
and when he reaches home, he calls in his friends and neighbors, and says to them, 'Congratulate me, for I have found my lost sheep!' I tell you, in just that way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinful person who repents, than over ninety-nine upright people who do not need any repentance.

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills, and go in search of the one that is astray? And if he happens to find it, I tell you he rejoices more over it than he does over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just that way, it is the will of my Father in heaven that not a single one of these children be lost.


"Let the fig tree teach you the lesson. As soon as its branches grow soft and put forth leaves, you know that summer is coming.

"Let the fig tree teach you the lesson. As soon as its branches grow soft and put forth leaves you know that summer is coming. So when you see these things happening, you must know that he is just at the door.


Another figure which he used with them was this: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and buried in a bushel of flour until it had all risen."

And he went on, "To what can I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a bushel of flour, till it all rose."


Another figure which he used in speaking to them was this: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while people were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. And when the wheat came up and ripened, the weeds appeared too. read more.
And the owner's slaves came to him and said, 'Was not the seed good that you sowed in your field, sir? So where did these weeds come from?' He said to them, 'This is some enemy's doing.' And they said to him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?' But he said, 'No, for in gathering up the weeds you may uproot the wheat. Let them both grow together until harvest time, and when we harvest I will direct the reapers to gather up the weeds first and tie them up in bundles to burn, but get the wheat into my barn.' "

Then he left the crowds and went into his house. And his disciples came up to him and said, "Explain to us the figure of the weeds in the field." He answered, "The sower who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed is the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the wicked. read more.
The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned, this is what will happen at the close of the age; the Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather up out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and the wrongdoers and throw them into the blazing furnace; there they will wail and grind their teeth. Then the upright will shine out like the sun, in their Father's kingdom. Let him who has ears listen!


And he said, "A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the property.' So he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered up all he had, and went away to a distant country, and there he squandered his property by fast living. read more.
After he had spent it all, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. And he went and hired himself out to a resident of the country, and he sent him into his fields to tend pigs. And he was ready to fill himself with the pods the pigs were eating, and no one would give him anything. When he came to himself he said, 'How many hired men my father has, who have more than enough to eat, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will get up, and go to my father, and say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your eyes; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired men!" ' And he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and pitied him, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your eyes; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired men!' But his father said to his slaves, 'Make haste and get out the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and get the calf we are fattening, and kill it, and let us feast and celebrate, for my son here was dead, and he has come to life; he was lost, and he is found!' So they began to celebrate. But his elder son was in the field. When he came in and approached the house, he heard music and dancing, and he called one of the servants to him and asked him what it meant. He said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf he has been fattening, because he has gotten him back alive and well.' But he was angry and would not go into the house. And his father came out and urged him. And he said to his father, 'Here I have served you all these years, and have never disobeyed an order of yours, and you have never given me a kid, so that I could entertain my friends. But when your son here came, who has eaten up your property with women of the street, for him you killed the calf you have been fattening!' But he said to him, 'My child, you have been with me all the time, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because your brother was dead, and has come to life, and was lost and is found!' "


You must be ready with your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to come home from a wedding, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. Blessed are the slaves whom their master will find on the watch when he comes. I tell you, he will gird up his robe and make them take their places at table, and go around and wait on them. read more.
Whether he comes late at night or early in the morning and finds them on the watch, they are blessed. But you may be sure of this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have been on the watch, and would not have let his house be broken into. You must be ready too, for the Son of Man is coming at a time when you do not expect him."


"There was once a rich man, who used to dress in purple and fine linen, and to live in luxury every day. And a beggar named Lazarus was put down at his gate covered with sores and eager to satisfy his hunger with what was thrown away from the rich man's table. Why, the very dogs came and licked his sores. read more.
And it came about that the beggar died and was carried away by the angels to the companionship of Abraham, and the rich man too died and was buried. And in Hades he looked up, tormented as he was, and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus beside him. And he called to him and said, 'Father Abraham! take pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in torment, here in the flames!' And Abraham said, 'My child, remember that you received your blessings in your lifetime, and Lazarus had his misfortunes in his; and now he is being comforted here, while you are in anguish. Besides there is a great chasm set between you and us, so that those who want to go over from this side to you cannot, and they cannot cross from your side to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers; let him warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torture.' Abraham answered, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.' But he said, 'No! Father Abraham, but if someone will go to them from the dead, they will repent!' He answered, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!' "


"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dealer in search of fine pearls. He found one costly pearl, and went and sold everything he had, and bought it.


For this reason the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king, who resolved to settle accounts with his slaves. And when he set about doing so, a man was brought in who owed him ten million dollars. And as he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all he had, in payment of the debt. read more.
So the slave threw himself down before him and implored him, 'Give me time, and I will pay you all of it.' And his master's heart was touched, and he let the slave go and canceled the debt. But when the slave went out he met a fellow-slave of his who owed him twenty dollars, and he caught him by the throat and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow-slave threw himself down before him, and begged him, 'Give me time, and I will pay you.' But he refused and went and had him put in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went to their master and reported the whole matter to him. Then his master called him in and said to him, 'You wicked slave! I canceled all that debt of yours when you entreated me. Ought you not to have taken pity on your fellow-slave, as I did on you?' So his master in his anger handed him over to the jailers, until he should pay all he owed him. That is what my heavenly Father will do to you, if you do not each forgive your brothers from your hearts!"


"I tell you, any man who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs over at some other place, is a thief and robber. But the man who enters by the door is the shepherd of the flock. The watchman opens the door to him, and the sheep obey his voice, and he calls to his own sheep and leads them out. read more.
When he gets his own flock all out, he goes in front of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger but will run away from him, because they do not know the voices of strangers." This was the figure Jesus used in speaking to them, but they did not understand what he meant by it. So Jesus said again, "I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep would not obey them. I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will pass in and out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come to let them have life, and to let them have it in abundance. I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd will give his life for his sheep. A hired man who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, when he sees a wolf coming, will leave the sheep and run away, and the wolf will carry them off and scatter the flock. For he is only a hired man, and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I am giving my life for my sheep. I have other sheep too that do not belong to this fold. I must lead them too, and they will obey my voice, and they will all become one flock, with one shepherd.


One of the other guests heard this, and said to him, "Blessed is the man who shall be at the banquet in the Kingdom of God!" He said to him, "A man once gave a great dinner, and invited a large number to it, and when the dinner hour came, he sent around his slave, to say to those who were invited, 'Come! for it is now ready!' read more.
And they all immediately began to excuse themselves. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land, and I must go and look at it. Please have me excused.' Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to examine them. Please have me excused.' Another said, 'I have married, and so I cannot come.' So the slave went back, and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house was angry and said to his slave, 'Hurry out into the streets and squares of the city, and bring the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame in here!' And the slave said, 'What you ordered, sir, has been done, and there is still room.' And the master said to the slave, 'Go out on the roads, and among the hedges, and make them come so that my house may be full. For I tell you that none of those men who were invited shall have any of my dinner!' "


"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was let down into the sea, and inclosed fish of all kinds. When it was full, they dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted the good fish into baskets and threw the bad away. That is what will happen at the close of the age. The angels will go out and remove the wicked from among the upright, read more.
and throw them into the blazing furnace. There they will wail and grind their teeth.


just as a man when he leaves home to go on a journey, and puts his slaves in charge, each with his duties, gives orders to the watchman to keep watch. So you must be on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming??n the evening or at midnight or toward daybreak or early in the morning??36 for fear he should come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you I mean for all??e on the watch!"


Jesus replied, "A man was on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers, and they stripped him and beat him and went off leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be going that way, and when he saw him, he went by on the other side of the road. And a Levite also came to the place, and when he saw him, he went by on the other side. read more.
But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon him, and when he saw him he pitied him, and he went up to him and dressed his wounds with oil and wine and bound them up. And he put him on his own mule and brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out a dollar and gave it to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend I will refund to you on my way back.' Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" He said, "The man who took pity on him." Jesus said to him, "Go and do so yourself!"


And he told them this story: "A certain rich man's lands yielded heavily. And he said to himself, 'What am I going to do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' Then he said, 'This is what I will do; I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and in them I will store all my grain and my goods. read more.
And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have great wealth stored up for years to come. Now take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself." ' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you. Then who will have all you have prepared?' That is the way with the man who lays up money for himself, and is not rich with God."


But what do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'My son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. Then the man went to the second son, and told him the same thing. And he answered, 'I will not!' But afterward he changed his mind and went. read more.
Which of the two did what his father wanted?" They said, "The second one." Jesus said to them, "I tell you, the tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you with a way of uprightness, and you would not believe him. The tax-collectors and prostitutes believed him, but even after seeing that, you would not change your minds and believe him!


"For it is just like a man who was going on a journey, and called in his slaves, and put his property in their hands. He gave one five thousand dollars, and another two thousand, and another one thousand; to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The man who had received the five thousand dollars immediately went into business with the money, and made five thousand more. read more.
In the same way the man who had received the two thousand made two thousand more. But the man who had received the one thousand went away and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. Long afterward, their master came back and settled accounts with them. And the man who had received the five thousand dollars came up bringing him five thousand more, and said, 'Sir, you put five thousand dollars in my hands; here I have made five thousand more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my excellent, faithful slave! you have been faithful about a small amount; I will put a large one into your hands. Come, share your master's enjoyment!' And the man who had received the two thousand came up and said, 'Sir, you put two thousand dollars into my hands; here I have made two thousand more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my excellent, faithful slave! you have been faithful about a small amount; I will put a large one into your hands. Come! share your master's enjoyment.' And the man who had received the one thousand came up and said, 'Sir, I knew you were a hard man, who reaped where you had not sown, and gathered where you had not threshed, and I was frightened, and I went and hid your thousand dollars in the ground. Here is your money!' His master answered, 'You wicked, idle slave! You knew that I reaped where I had not sown and gathered where I had not threshed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and then when I came back I would have gotten my property with interest. So take the thousand dollars away from him, and give it to the man who has the ten thousand, for the man who has will have more given him, and will be plentifully supplied, and from the man who has nothing even what he has will be taken away. And put the good-for-nothing slave out into the darkness outside, to weep and grind his teeth there.'


As they were listening to this, Jesus went on to give them an illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they supposed that the Kingdom of God was immediately going to appear. So he said, "A nobleman once went to a distant country to secure his appointment to a kingdom and then return. And he called in ten of his slaves and gave them each twenty dollars and told them to trade with it while he was gone. read more.
But his countrymen hated him, and they sent a delegation after him to say, 'We do not want this man made king over us.' And when he had secured the appointment and returned, he ordered the slaves to whom he had given the money to be called in, so that he could find out how much they had made. The first one came in and said, 'Your twenty dollars has made two hundred, sir!' And he said to him, 'Well done, my excellent slave! You have proved trustworthy about a very small amount, you shall be governor of ten towns.' The second came in and said, 'Your twenty dollars has made a hundred, sir!' And he said to him, 'And you shall be governor of five towns!' And the other one came in and said, 'Here is your twenty dollars, sir. I have kept it put away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, for you are a stern man. You pick up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will convict you, you wretched slave! You knew, did you, that I was a stern man, and that I pick up what I did not lay down, and harvest what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, so that when I came back I could have gotten it with interest?' And he said to the bystanders, 'Take the twenty dollars away from him, and give it to the man who has the two hundred!' They said to him, 'He has two hundred, sir!'??26 'I tell you, the man who has will have more given him, and from the man who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away! But bring those enemies of mine here who did not want me made king over them, and slaughter them in my presence!' "


Or what woman who has ten silver coins and loses one, does not light the lamp and sweep the house and look carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls in her friends and neighbors, and says to them, 'Congratulate me, for I have found the coin that I lost!' In just that way, I tell you, there is joy among the angels of God over one sinful person who repents!"


To some who were confident of their own uprightness, and thought nothing of others, he used this illustration: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee stood up and uttered this prayer to himself: 'O God, I thank you that I am not like other men, greedy, dishonest, or adulterous, like that tax-collector. read more.
I fast two days in the week; I pay tithes on everything I get.' But the tax-collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but struck his breast, and said, 'O God, have mercy on a sinner like me!' I tell you, it was he who went back to his house with God's approval, and not the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted."


And Jesus spoke to them again in figures, and said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king, who gave a wedding banquet for his son. And he sent his slaves to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, and they would not come. read more.
He sent other slaves a second time, and said to them, 'Tell those who have been asked, "Here I have my banquet all ready, my bullocks and fat cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!" ' But they took no notice of it, and went off, one to his estate, and another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves, and ill treated them and killed them. This made the king angry, and he sent his troops and put those murderers to death and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, 'The banquet is ready, but those who were invited have proved unworthy of it. So go out where the roads leave the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.' So his slaves went out on the roads, and got together all the people they could find, good or bad, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw among them a man who did not have on wedding clothes. And he said to him, 'My friend, how did you happen to come here without wedding clothes?' But he had nothing to say. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness, there to weep and grind his teeth.' For many are invited but few chosen."


For the Kingdom of Heaven is like an employer who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. He agreed with the laborers to pay them a dollar a day, and sent them to his vineyard. He went out about nine o'clock and saw others standing in the bazaar with nothing to do. read more.
And he said to them, 'You go to my vineyard, too, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went out again about twelve and about three, and did the same. About five he went out and found others standing about and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing about here all day doing nothing?' They said to him, 'Because nobody has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go to my vineyard, too.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first.' When those who were hired about five o'clock came they received a dollar apiece. And when those who were hired first came they expected to get more, but they too got a dollar apiece. And when they received it they grumbled at their employer, and said, 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have put them on the same footing with us who have done the heavy work of the day and have stood the midday heat.' But he answered one of them, 'My friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me on a dollar? Take what belongs to you and go. I wish to give the last man hired as much as I give you. Have I no right to do what I please with what is mine? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last."


"Two men were in debt to a money-lender. One owed him a hundred dollars and the other ten. As they could not pay him, he canceled what they owed him. Now which of them will be more attached to him?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, for whom he canceled most." "You are right," he said. read more.
And turning to the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came to your house; you did not give me any water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but from the moment I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put any oil upon my head, but she has put perfume upon my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, many as they are, are forgiven, for she has loved me so much. But the man with little to be forgiven loves me but little."


"I am the true vine, and my Father is the cultivator. Any branch of mine that does not bear fruit he trims away, and he prunes every branch that bears fruit, to make it bear more. You are pruned already because of the teaching that I have given you. read more.
You must remain united to me and I will remain united to you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains united to the vine, you cannot unless you remain united to me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Anyone who remains united to me, with me united to him, will be very fruitful, for you cannot do anything apart from me.


"The reign of God," he said, "is like a man scattering seed on the ground, and then sleeping at night and getting up by day, while the seed sprouts and comes up, without his knowing it. The ground of itself is productive, putting forth first a blade, then a head, then fully developed wheat in the head. read more.
But as soon as the crop will let him, the man goes in with his sickle, for the harvest time has come.


"Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were foolish and five were sensible. For the foolish ones brought their lamps but brought no oil with them, read more.
but the sensible ones with their lamps brought oil in their flasks. As the bridegroom was slow in coming, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But in the middle of the night there was a shout 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out and meet him!' Then all the bridesmaids awoke, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the sensible ones answered, 'There may not be enough for us and you. You had better go to the dealers and buy yourselves some.' But while they were gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and the ones that were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was closed. Afterward the other bridesmaids came and said, 'Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!' But he answered, 'I tell you, I do not know you!' So you must be on the watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour.


He gave them an illustration to show that they must always pray and not give up, and he said, "There was once in a city a judge who had no fear of God and no respect for men. There was a widow in the city and she came to him and said, 'Protect me from my opponent.' read more.
And he would not for a time, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God nor respect for men, yet because this widow bothers me, I will protect her, so that she may not finally wear me out with her coming.' " And the Master said, "Listen to what this dishonest judge said! Then will not God provide protection for his chosen people, who cry out to him day and night? I tell you, he will make haste to provide it! But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"


And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him in the middle of the night, and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has just come to my house after a journey, and I have nothing for him to eat,' and he answers from inside, 'Do not bother me; the door is now fastened, and my children and I have gone to bed; I cannot get up and give you any.' read more.
I tell you, even if he will not get up and give him some because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rouse himself and give him all he needs.


He used this figure: "A man had a fig tree growing in his garden, and he went to look for fruit on it, and could not find any. And he said to the gardener, 'Here I have come three years to look for fruit on this fig tree, without finding any. Cut it down. Why should it waste the ground?' He answered, 'Let it stand this one year more, sir, till I dig around it and manure it; read more.
perhaps it will bear fruit next year. But if it does not, you can have it cut down.' "


And he said to his disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and it was reported to him that this man was squandering his property. So he called him in and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Make an accounting for your conduct of my affairs, for you cannot be manager any longer!' Then the manager said to himself, 'What am I going to do, because my master is going to take my position away from me? I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. read more.
I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from my position people will take me into their homes.' Then he called in each of his master's debtors, and he said to the first one, 'How much do you owe my master?' He said, 'Eight hundred gallons of oil.' And he said to him, 'Here is your agreement; sit right down and write four hundred!' Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He answered, 'Fifteen hundred bushels of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your agreement; write twelve hundred.' And his master praised the dishonest manager, because he had acted shrewdly. For the sons of this age are shrewder in their relation to their own age than the sons of the light. So I tell you, make friends for yourselves with your ill-gotten wealth, so that when it fails, they may take you into the eternal dwellings.


"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a hoard of money, buried in a field, which a man found, and buried again. And he was overjoyed, and went and sold everything he had and bought the field.



You can tell them by their fruit. Do people pick grapes off thorns, or figs off thistles?







"Listen to another figure. There was a land owner who planted a vineyard and fenced it in, and hewed out a wine-vat in it, and built a watch-tower, and leased it to tenants, and left the neighborhood. When the time for the vintage approached he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share. But the tenants took his slaves and beat one and killed another and stoned a third. read more.
Again he sent other slaves and more of them than he had sent at first, and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw his son, they said to one another. 'This is his heir! Come on, let us kill him, and get his inheritance!' So they took him and drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. When the owner of the vineyard comes back, therefore, what will he do to these tenants?" They said to him, "He will put the wretches to a miserable death, and let the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the vintage when it is due."


For the Kingdom of Heaven is like an employer who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. He agreed with the laborers to pay them a dollar a day, and sent them to his vineyard. He went out about nine o'clock and saw others standing in the bazaar with nothing to do. read more.
And he said to them, 'You go to my vineyard, too, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went out again about twelve and about three, and did the same. About five he went out and found others standing about and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing about here all day doing nothing?' They said to him, 'Because nobody has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go to my vineyard, too.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first.' When those who were hired about five o'clock came they received a dollar apiece. And when those who were hired first came they expected to get more, but they too got a dollar apiece. And when they received it they grumbled at their employer, and said, 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have put them on the same footing with us who have done the heavy work of the day and have stood the midday heat.' But he answered one of them, 'My friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me on a dollar? Take what belongs to you and go. I wish to give the last man hired as much as I give you. Have I no right to do what I please with what is mine? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last."

He used this figure: "A man had a fig tree growing in his garden, and he went to look for fruit on it, and could not find any. And he said to the gardener, 'Here I have come three years to look for fruit on this fig tree, without finding any. Cut it down. Why should it waste the ground?' He answered, 'Let it stand this one year more, sir, till I dig around it and manure it; read more.
perhaps it will bear fruit next year. But if it does not, you can have it cut down.' "


But what do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'My son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. Then the man went to the second son, and told him the same thing. And he answered, 'I will not!' But afterward he changed his mind and went. read more.
Which of the two did what his father wanted?" They said, "The second one." Jesus said to them, "I tell you, the tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you.



Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He answered, 'Fifteen hundred bushels of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your agreement; write twelve hundred.'

but while people were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.