A minister cautioned his listeners to look for the point of each of Jesus’ parables.
To read a parable and ask, “What is the point?”
Notice he did not urge his listeners to ask, “What are the points?”
Most parables were spoken and written to make a point.
Sometimes we try to force a parable to make more points than it is intended to make.
Luke 15:11-22: 11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
(Thank you, www.biblegateway.com, for making it easy for me to insert this passage into this post.)
If I chose to do so, I might read this parable and force it to make these points:
- A parent should give his children their inheritances when they ask for them.
- Since the father put a gold ring on his son’s finger, this parable teaches that it is not wrong to wear jewelry.
- This parable endorses the eating of meat.
- The father in this parable held a celebration, so the parable encourages us to party.
I am being ridiculous.