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1. Consider the word “parable”? From which language is it derived and what does it mean, literally, in that language?
2. Some of Jesus’ parables are not easy to understand. Why did Jesus teach in parables? Does he say anything that helps answer this question? Consider comments that McGarvey may have on this question. Feel free to check other commentators as well. Give specific credit for the use of ideas from other sources.
3. Develop a brief (but not too brief) lesson on the Parable of the Sower—answer these questions as well as you can:a. Who is Jesus’ audience?4. Choose two of the following parables and work through them in the same way (as in number 3). If the audience is the same for all of the parables, just make the point and carry on. a. the parable of the tares b. the parable of the mustard seed c. the parable of the treasure d. the parable of the seed growing of itself e. the parable of the leaven f. the parable of the pearl
b. Give a brief synopsis of the content.
c. What is the specific point or lesson that Jesus is teaching?
d. Does his audience understand? (Or does his audience respond at all?)
5. p. 346 Can you make sense of the fact that Jesus allowed some demons to enter a herd of swine, which then rushed into the sea and was drowned? How should we understand this episode?
6. Why did the people of the country of the Gerasenes beseech Jesus to depart from their borders? (Didn’t they appreciate what he had done?)