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10 Powerful Reasons to Study Christ’s Parables + Free 7-Week Bible Study

Article by: Sarah Koontz

Article by: Sarah Koontz

In John 10:10, Jesus revealed His purpose in coming to earth.

In this passage, He declared, “I have come so that they (you) may have life and have it in abundance.”

Jesus came to do a new thing—to introduce a new covenant and bring God’s kingdom to earth.

That is why He often used parables (expanded analogies) in His teaching. His practical illustrations help us comprehend complex spiritual truths.

Jesus Christ’s parables help us comprehend complex spiritual truths.

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Indirect communication (storytelling) is powerful for transformation because it blasts through the listener’s presuppositions and fears.

Jesus spoke in parables because the crowds were not ready for direct revelation of divine truth.

But in private, He took the time to explain them to His disciples (Mk 4:34). 

This is one of the things I love most about Christ’s earthly ministry. He ministered to the people in His inner circle in a different manner than He cared for the masses. 

Both were treated with love and intention—yet they were distinct. 

One required indirect instruction to create interest and stimulate thoughtful reflection. The other needed explicit counsel to illuminate key truths and equip them for future assignments. 

One of the things I love most about the parables is how they reveal the truth to some, while concealing it from others.

I believe that this is why Christ chose to use parabolic teaching so frequently (Mk 4:34).

Proper understanding and practical application of Christ’s parables is dependent on the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-17). 

Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we are powerless to understand and apply Christ’s parables to our lives. 

Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we are powerless to understand and apply Christ’s parables to our lives.

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Dr. Snodgrass, a man who has dedicated his life to the study of the parables, wrote, “The purpose of the parables is to change behavior and create disciples.”

To be transformed by Jesus Christ’s teaching, we must allow the message to penetrate our hearts and change our lives. 

Christ’s parables are earthly stories with heavenly significance.

They reveal secrets of the kingdom by giving us physical examples of spiritual truths. 

If we desire to separate ourselves from the crowd and identify ourselves as Christ’s disciples, we must actively draw near to Him in our “hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mt 5:6).”

How to Respond to Christ’s Parables

So, what is the proper response to Christ’s parables? In Luke 6:47, Jesus lays out a three-step process for us. 

Step 1: Come

Jesus Christ beckons all who are weary and worn to come to Him. In return, He promises to carry our burdens and give us rest for our souls (Mt 11:28-30). 

Step 2: Hear

When we hear the Word, we are to receive it with joy, seek to understand it, and invite it to take deep root in our lives (Mt 13:23).  

Step 3: Act

James urges us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers (Js 1:22). Without action, the coming and the hearing lead to destruction.

Jesus’ teaching demands a response; His example and His words call us to action. The result of true faith is always obedience. 

I love studying Christ’s parables because they illuminate His heart and reveal His plan for us.

They give us fresh insight and help us apply God’s truth to our lives. 

I love studying Christ’s parables because they illuminate His heart and reveal His plan for us.

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10 Powerful Reasons to Study the Parables

  1. Parables invite us to listen, to gain insight, and to change course.
  2. Parables require a response or action in the life of the listener. 
  3. Parables help us get past our presuppositions and fears.
  4. Parables were the bedrock of Christ’s teaching.
  5. Parables challenge us to refocus our vision on the goals of the kingdom.
  6. Parables address common questions and real problems. 
  7. Parables function as filters to help us grasp spiritual truth. 
  8. Parables teach us what God values and how God views the world.
  9. Parables entertain, inform, and motivate the listener.
  10. Parables reveal the abounding wisdom of the counsel of Christ!

In order to support you in your personal study of Christ’s stories, we’ve created a free 7-week parables Bible study.

This e-mail-based Bible Study consists of thirty-five lessons delivered over the course of seven weeks (with two rest days each week). 

Thanks to the generous donations of our Discipleship Team and our Support Team, this study is available for free to anyone who wishes to participate. 

All you need to complete our free parables Bible study is 15-minutes per day, an e-mail address, and an open heart. 

Free Digital Gifts Included in the Study

Not only is this 4-week Bible study offered completely free of charge, but it also includes these free digital gifts from our creative partners. 

Free Parables Study Watercolor Originals by Kory Callihan

The talented Kory Callihan has spent the past year creating original parable-inspired artwork for this study. Most lessons include a free digital download of one of her incredible works of art. This is the second time we are partnering with Kory and we are so grateful!

This is the third set of Read-It Pray-It cards that Kimberly Amici has created for us. Kimberly is committed to empowering families to creatively live a life of intention through her “Build your Best Family” podcast. She has been a good friend to this ministry for several years. 

Michele Kelsey is a member of our Storyteller Launch Team. We were honored when she offered to donate this digital Prayer Journal as a free gift to be included with the study. It is a beautifully written resource that will bless you and encourage your prayer life. 

We are so excited that Amanda Player, owner and artist at Sweet Frog Print Shop,  offered to create coloring pages for us again Her artwork is so fun and uplifting, we just know you’ll love all the printables she created for the Storyteller Study.

"Storyteller" Testimonials

Sarah uses Christ's parables to highlight key biblical truths and encourage people to walk in them. Cross-referencing Scriptures support key take-aways. Each lesson is short but provides sufficient context to bring the text to life.
Barb F.
The Storyteller is an insightful study of Christ's parables. Sarah Koontz does an excellent job of examining the context, content, and connotation of each parable in a way that is accessible to all readers. She establishes a clear connection between what Christ taught back in His time to how these very same principles continue to be relevant and real for us today. The study is also rich with Scriptures that support the various insights into the Christian life that are raised through His stories. If you are wanting to learn more about who we are supposed to be in Christ and what characteristics we should be exemplifying, I would recommend the Storyteller study.
Laurie S.
I thoroughly enjoyed going through this Storyteller study as it helped me read deeper into the Parables of Jesus. I believe this study is a good one for a new believer looking into learning more about Jesus. It is beautifully written, with plenty of Scripture references, and is very easy to follow. Highly recommend this study!
Amanda M.
Sarah Koontz's latest Bible study on the parables is powerful in its simplicity. Sarah's "Storyteller" Bible study breaks down and opens up the parables in new and interesting ways. Gwe straightforward, engaging exegetical style gives excellent background, history, and explanations of the Scripture passages—without speaking over your head or becoming stodgy. I highly recommend this study to anyone who wants to go deeper in their reading of the Gospels.
Belinda V.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope this article has inspired you to join us in studying the parables together this fall. 

Don’t forget to invite your friends! Bible study is always more fun with friends. 

Your Bible Study Partner, Sarah Koontz

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Picture of About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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