Principles of Parables
1. A parable is a metaphor or simile that comes from nature or common life illustrating a spiritual truth and/or spiritual principle.
2. The original word means “to come along side or compare” and “see”. In other words the story helps the hearer to "see and understand" a spiritual truth better by using a common life story to illustrate. Thus laying an earthly teaching alongside a spiritual point.
3. Generally there is one spiritual truth to a parable, only a few parables are told to highlight two truths.
4. When asked about the purpose of parables, Jesus suggested that they contain mysteries for those on the insider, while they hardened the hearts of those on the outside.
4. The reader should ask themselves what this story meant to the original hearers, and only then can we begin to get a glimpse of what it could mean to us.
5. It would be a mistake to force every illustrative element in a parable to have a spiritual meaning.
6. The people in Jesus parables are not real people.