Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. You must refer to Christianity in your answer.
A parable is a short story that Jesus would tell to get a moral or message across to his listeners. He used them because they were very simple and easy to understand, he also used them because the listener would have to interpret the parable themselves and so give their own meaning to it. They would have to apply it to their own life in whichever form their life may take. Also in Jesus’ day story telling was one of the best forms of entertainment for people so they were all happy to gather round and listen to Jesus’ parables. All these things put together made parables a very good media for Jesus to use to get across his message.
I think to answer this question you need to take a general look at the parables Jesus told. Having done this carefully I have to say that on the whole I agree with this statement. Most of his parables still have a relevance today in someway. I feel there are bound to be some parables that have lost their meaning throughout out the years due to changes in lifestyle and the general way we look at life. I think that most of the parables are in fact relevant. For example the most well known of all the parables “The parable of the Good Samaritan”.
In this parable we are told that we should love our neighbour whether or not we are friends with them or if we even know them it doesn’t matter and we should still be prepared to help them. The key message was that everyone around us is our neighbour and is it still relevant today such organisations as CAFOD and Christian Aid are perfect examples of this message being lived today. This shows that the message is still relevant today probably even more so than it was because in the times we are living in there is a lot of war and hatred. This parable tells us that we should be loving our neighbours not hating them and so this I think is still very relevant, if not more so than it was when Jesus told it.
Another parable that I feel that has remained relevant is “The parable of the lost son”. In this we are told that we should forgive people no matter what they do to us and again today there is so much hate and war about that I feel there are a lot of people could learn from this and that again it is a very relevant parable. The parable tells us how forgiveness is the way we should go about things and so many people today vent there anger onto other people through violence, if more people were to forgive there would be much less trouble.
Another good example of a timeless parable is “The parable of the sower” In this parable we are told the differences in people who we teach. Some may be ready to receive the word of the lord and happily use it and put it into action but other people aren’t ready to be taught. Some are two wrapped up in other things to be able to listen, others hear but do nothing with the information. There is still money for people to become wrapped up in, people can still ignore what Jesus has told us and the devil may still effect people judgement on the matters. All this explains why many people want to preach in all areas and especially where it is dangerous for them because it shows that the religion may be repressed. This is another reason why there is still a big need for missionary workers to go and work in these countries.
They are just a few of the parables that are still relevant today, there are many more. I think though that even some of the parables that are not relevant in their current form, can be changed and rewritten still keeping the original message so it makes them so they are relevant for today.
I think one thing we must think about today is why if the parables were not relevant today, people still follow there teaching. If the parables were not relevant today then surely people would not bother following the morals and ideas that Jesus included in the parables. If Jesus came back today what would he say to us? Surely he would say exactly the same thing as he did 2000 years ago. I feel that most of the parables are relevant today and I feel that the ones that are not can actually be changed and rewritten so that the message they carry still has relevance today. I think this for the simple fact that we just have to look at the Christian people today and see how a lot of them do follow the teaching of the parables. To answer this question I feel we have to look at whether people follow the teaching or not. If they do, which a lot of people do then I feel the answer must surely be “Yes the parables are relevant today”.
Of course there are going to be people that argue that the parables Jesus used during his teaching and ministry cannot have any relevance today. They may argue that because it has been 2000 since Jesus told these parables and society has changed so much that it is impossible for something to still be relevant now. It may also be said that the parables are not a good median nowadays. They have to be explained to people, and because they have to be interpreted by the listener they are not as easy to use as something that gives you the message on a plate. People may say that nowadays we are a much more lazy ‘Breed’ and so people cant be bothered to actually make the effort of thinking about the message, they would much rather have it an easy way, like an advert on television telling them what to do!
Another thing that people may say gives parables no relevance today is the fact that a lot of the parables don’t actually makes sense and they are not easy to understand. Because when Jesus told the parable he wanted everyone to have to think long and hard about they’re meaning and be able to apply them to there own lives. A lot of people may argue that some people would not be willing to do this and so the parables would not have any effect on them whatsoever.
I think one of the biggest problems today is that the majority of people would not be willing to listen to. People were happy to listen the but they may say that now people have more things to do, there is more entertainment that is easily accessible to everyone and so people don’t want to sit and listen to stories as much. All these things put together mean that some people believe that the parables have no relevance in our day and age.
Another point of view is that of Christians. Christian teaching is that parables are all relevant today; they believe that when Jesus told them he meant them to be timeless and that they would be relevant to everyone as long as there were humans on the earth. They believe that all his messages have meaning today and that they should all be taken notice of
Most Christians try to put Jesus teachings into practice in there everyday life, the most extreme cases of this are people like Mother Teresa who went out her way to help everyone she could. Martin Luther King went out of his way to get Black Rights. He was trying to help people who he didn’t know, he may never of met any of them but he tried to help and in the end paid the ultimate price for it. Although people like this take Jesus teaching to the extreme Christians believe that it does not have to be on such a grand scale, just by lending someone some money for the bus fair home you are taking Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan and using it in modern day life. Christians believe that even something as small as that is proof that the parables are relevant today.
My view is that not all parables are timeless and have relevance in modern day society but I think the majority of them do. A lot of them that are not relevant today can be rewritten and changed so that the message is once again true for modern day. I think the main reason parables are still relevant today is because Jesus wanted them to be and so when he was telling them he told them in such away that they would never actually loose there meanings. The parables Jesus told were so simple that a lot would have to change before they would actually lose there relevance.