The foundation of the Christian teaching is in the life, miracles, parables and teaching of Lord Jesus Christ. All prayers, divine services during the whole year, holy days, the history of the Church, morality, the teaching about life, everything in Christianity comes from these.
In order to easier understand and remember His teaching, Jesus spoke in parables. The parable is an instructive story, in an allegoric form.
Contents: (1) The Sower, (3) The Merciful Samaritan, (5) The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, (6) The Prodigal Son, (8) The Talents, (10) The Wise House Builder.
1. The Sower. (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke :4-15). (04нбр05)
On the coast of Sea of Galilee the crowd of people gathered to hear Jesus Christ. He climbed into a boat, moved it slightly away from the shore and was teaching people in parables.
The sower went out to sow. When he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside and was trampled, and the birds have pecked it; other fell on a stony place where there was not enough soil; it grew, but soon it dried up, because there was not enough moisture for the root; other seed fell into weed, and the weed chocked it; other fell on a good soil and bore a plentiful fruit.
Then Jesus Christ explained the parable to his disciples as follows: the seed is God's Word, the Sower is a person who preaches this word, and the soil is the heart of a man. The seed which has fallen on a road, means careless people from whom the devil easily takes away what was sown. The stony ground are people changeable, those who with a pleasure listen to God's Word, but it does not stay in their soul (heart), and they at the first temptation or difficulty leave the faith. Weed means everyday cares and human faults which muffle God's word in a soul. By good soil in the parable are meant the people who eagerly accept God's Word and try to follow it.
3. The Merciful Samaritan. (Luke 0:25-37). (31окт05)
One lawyer, wishing to test Jesus Christ, has asked Him: "The Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law "? Jesus Christ answered him: "Love your Lord God with all your heart all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. The second is a similar to it: love your neighbor, as yourself. On these two commandments all the law and prophets are confirmed".
Another lawyer asked Him about the second commandment: "And who is my neighbor"? Jesus Christ answering him, told of this parable: One Hebrew went from Jerusalem and was caught by robbers who removed his clothing, covered him with wounds and left him, and left him hardly alive. Accidentally by this road was travelling a priest, who came by, looked at him and went away. Similarly the левит was there too, he approached, looked and went away. After them came the Samarian. He saw the Jew covered with wounds, felt sorry for him, bandaged his wounds, pouring on them of fur-trees and a wine, placed him on the donkey, brought him to the hotel and there he cared for him. And the next day, leaving, he gave to the owner of the hotel two dinars and said: "take care of him and if you will spend more, when I return I will give it to you".
After this Jesus Christ asked the lawyer: "what do you think, who from these three was the neighbor to the one who was cjught by the robbers"? - "The one who showed him the mercy", the lawyer has answered. Then Jesus Christ told him: "go, and do likewise".
4. Merciful king and cruel lender. (Matthew 18:21-35; Luke 17:3-4).
One person owed to the king ten thousand talents (more than 20 million rubles). Since he could not pay, the king ordered to sell his wife and children and all its property. But the debtor fell on his knees and started to beg: "bear with me, and I will pay everything to you". The king felt sorry for him and forgave him his debt. The debtor, when leaving the king, met his friend, who owed him only one hundred dinars (a little more than 20 rubles) he grabbed him and started to choke him, saying: "give me everything you owe me". The friend fell on his knees and begged him "bear with me, and I will return everything to you". But he did not want to wait and put him in a jail. When the king learned about it he called his cruel servant and told him: "evil servant, I forgave you because you asked me. Were not you supposed to forgive your friend"? The king got angry and ordered to put evil servant to a jail until he pays off all his debt.
After telling this parable, Jesus Christ added following: "And My Heavenly Father will do the same thing to you if you will not forgive your brother from your heart".
5. The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. (Luke 8:9-14).
Warning us that we should not be proud (arrogant) and should not praise ourselves, but humbly admit our sinfulness, the Lord said this parable. Two persons entered the church to pray, one of them was Pharisee, and the other was Tax Collector. The Pharisee stood in the church in front and prayed as follows: "My God! I thank you, that I am not like other people: robbers, offenders or as this Tax Collector - I fast two times per week, also I give the tenth part from everything that I get". Tax Collector stood at the distance and had not the courage even to lift his eyes to the the sky but only repeated, striking itself on the chest: "O merciful God have mercy on me the sinner"! - I am telling you, the Lord said, that the Tax Collector went home justified, rather than Pharisee because anybody, raising himself, will be lowered, and the one who lowers himself will be raised".
In the Church this parable is read on the third Sunday before the Great Lent and consequently it is called the Week of Pharisee and Tax Collector. This parable teaches us not to be proud and not to brag, and to be restrained and to recognize his own sins.
6. About the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32). (31окт05)
One man had two sons. The younger said to the father "give me my part of the property". When father granted his desire, the son went to far away land, where he was living a sinful life and spent all his moneys. Soon in this land there was a famine, and he went to work as a swine keeper. He would be glad to eat their food, but he was not allowed. Then he remembered his father and he thought: "how many father's servants are eating bread in abundance, and I am starving from death. I will get up and I will go to my father and I will tell him: "Father, I have sinned before God and before you and I am not worthy to be called your son, let me be one of your servants". He got up and went. When he was still far away, father saw him and felt sorry for him. He himself went to the son, hugged him and kissed him. Son began to tell him: "Father, I have sinned before God and before you and I am not worthy to be called your son". Father said to his servants: "bring the best dress and dress him up, place a ring on his finger and boots on his legs, and prepare the food and we will celebrate, because my son was dead and he became alive. he was lost and he is found".
This parable is read in the Church on second Sunday of the Great Lent and this is why that week is called "The Week of Prodical Son". This parable is teaching us not to leave our Father the Lord God, and if we left, to come back to Him.
8. The Talents. (Matthew 25:13-30; Luke 19:11-28). (31окт05)
God said one more parable against laziness and negligence. God gives each one of us talents, as a certain landlord who was leaving for a long time, and gave his servants as follows: to one five talents, to another two talents, to the third - one talent, and ordered everybody to get for them as much as they can.
When he returned, he asked each one of them to report, who did what. The first one come and said: "Master, you gave me five talents, -- here are other five that I obtained for them". The one that received two, brought two more that he received for them. To both of them the landlord said: "you are good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you a ruler over many. You made me happy".
Then approached the one who received one talent, because of his laziness he did not obtain anything for it, and, trying to justify himself he said: "Master, I knew that you are a hard man. Because of this I went and buried your talent in the earth. Here is yours". The landlord got angry and told him: "you are sly and lazy servant! Since you knew me, you were supposed to give my silver to merchants so that I would receive a profit. Give his talent to the one with 10 talents and punish this worthless".
10. The Wise House Builder. (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49).
At the end of Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29) Jesus Christ told this parable which is the conclusion of this sermon.
One reasonable person has constructed the house on a stone, and reckless has constructed the house on sand. In good weather both houses stood well. But when the storm has come and the strong wind the house which was constructed on sand has blown has fallen. Other house which stood on a stone, on the firm basis, has sustained a storm and a wind and has not fallen.
This parable speaks that it is necessary to build the life on the firm basis of God's Law and then whatever happened, we shall survive.
Literature on our site:
Life of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.1а)
Miracles of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.2а)
Parables of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.3а)
Teaching of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.4а)
Paskha and Twelve Holy Days (ДД-12а)
Learn Russian Alphabet in Two Hours (SE-3)