In one sense, the basic meanings of Jesus’ parables are simple enough that they’re commonly taught in children’s Sunday school classes. Yet at the same time, trying to fully and accurately understand Jesus’ parables can become a complex undertaking that leaves us confused and perplexed. If you want to better understand what parables are, as well as how and why our Lord used them so often in His earthly ministry, the following resources, curated by the Ligonier editorial team, can assist you toward that end.
What Do Jesus’ Parables Mean? by R.C. Sproul
Jesus frequently taught in parables, so understanding His parables is essential to understanding His teaching. This booklet by Dr. R.C. Sproul is a useful introduction to properly interpreting the parables. Dr. Sproul gives some of the key principles for understanding these sayings of Jesus and then walks readers through several of Jesus’ most well-known parables. This resource is an easy-to-use guide to better understand our Lord’s teaching.
The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice
This book on the parables by noted expositor James Montgomery Boice looks at the meaning and application of Jesus’ parables. This work has helped many people gain a better understanding of the teaching of Christ.
Glory Veiled and Unveiled: A Heart-Searching Look at Christ’s Parables by Gerald M. Bilkes
Dr. Gerald M. Bilkes explains that when we read the parables, the parables also read us. When we approach the parables rightly, they search our hearts and transform us. This book looks at twenty-five of Jesus’ parables, showing how they penetrate right to our hearts.
The Parables of Jesus by Simon J. Kistemaker
This book takes readers through the parables of Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), exploring their historical and cultural setting while making practical application. Both beginning and advanced students of the parables will find this work helpful for their study.
The Coming of the Kingdom by Herman N. Ridderbos
Herman N. Ridderbos was one of the most important Reformed New Testament scholars of the twentieth century. This work by Ridderbos explores the kingdom of God in Jesus’ teaching and His explanation of it in the parables.
This article is part of the Recommended Resources collection.