|| Dr. Chana
|| Lecture of Dr. Kukzin Lee, Ph.D.
Lecture: Interpretation of Jesus’ Parables
by Rev. Kukzin Lee, Ph.D.
Ÿ Heavenly Story through Earthly Story (Mark 4:33-34)
Ÿ the signifier (A) ----> the signified (B). telling something meaning another.
Ÿ Inevitability of using parables: difficulty of understanding of heavenly
stories. Only through earthly stories, heaven stories can be heard.
Ÿ Disadvantage of using parables:
(1) earthly stories can not represent the heavenly stories perfectly.
(2) earthly stories sometimes misguides us about the heavenly stories.
2. Two points in interpreting parables
(1) points of comparison (tertium comparationis)
(2) points of contrast (tertium contraietatis)
3. Task of interpreting parables: to find the parabolic correlation between the earthly stories and the heavenly stories.
4. Principles of Interpreting parables
Ÿ Our primary task: to examine the original meaning of the parables. to find the existential significance is the secondary task.
Ÿ is there only one meaning in the parable?
Ÿ context est rex: The context is the King. The meaning of a parable should be decided according to its context. (N.B. sometimes the introduction of a parable misguides us)
Ÿ tota scriptura: The meaning of a parable should be inside boundary of the whole teaching of the Bible.
Ÿ Sometimes a specific study of a parabolic word misguides us.
Ÿ We should not replace a word in a sentence with a word in another sentence. For example, I am nothing. Nothing is perfect. Therefore I am perfect. (nothing = I) this kind of reasoning is wrong. why? (Isaiah 34:16)
5. The parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8)
Ÿ persistence is the key to God’s answer?
Ÿ how about Jesus’ payer? Paul’s prayer?
Ÿ the judge and God / the widow and us
Ÿ Jewish interpretation: qal wahomer (light to heavy) what applies in a lessimportant case (the “light” or “lesser”) will also apply in a more important
case (the “heavy” or “greater”).
Ÿ why we should not lose heart when we pray?
6. The parable of Parable of the Friend in Need (Luke 11:5-8)
Ÿ middle east culture of hospitality
Ÿ freindship vs. ἀναίδεια (shamelessness, impudence, persistence)
Ÿ as much as he needs (ὅσων χρῄζει)
7. The parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
Ÿ is this a lesson not to expel the sinners from the church congregation?
Ÿ tota scriptura: 1 Cor 5:9-13. Matthew 18:15-18.
Ÿ the field is the world (13:38). not about the church
Ÿ the master of the house and God
Ÿ why does not God judge the world right away? 2 Peter 3:8-9
Ÿ why still there are evil doers if there is God?
8. The parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:31-46)
Ÿ situation of the non-existence of the Lord
Ÿ God’s grace
Ÿ God’s impartiality
Ÿ Faithfulness rather than superiority
Ÿ heavenly reward
9. The parable of a tree and its fruit (Matthew 7:16-20)
Ÿ what is the fruit?
Ÿ how to distinguish
10. The parable of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-36; Mark 13:28-32; Luke 21:29-33)
Ÿ failed prophecies about the time of Jesus’ return
Ÿ does the fig tree stand for Isreal here?
Ÿ signs for the last days
Ÿ is this a prophecy for Jerusalem or for the last days?
11. The parable of the dishonest manger (Luke 13:6-13)
Ÿ wisdom from the dishonest manager
Ÿ make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth
12. The parable of the time of Noah’s Flood (Matthew 24:37-42; Luke17:26-37)
Ÿ similarity between the Noah’s flood and the last days
Ÿ the new heaven and the new earth
Ÿ how to prepare the last days
13. The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; Mark 4:1-9, 13-20; Luke 8:4-8, 11-15)
Ÿ faith that produces fruit
Ÿ seeds fell along the path
Ÿ seeds fell on rocky ground and among the thorns
Ÿ seeds fell on good soil
Ÿ unchangeability of the heart?
Ÿ what kind of parable is this? parable of the sower? parable of the soils?
Ÿ is this the key to understand the other parables?
Ÿ let him hear who has ears?
14. The parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24)
Ÿ wedding feast and the heaven
Ÿ resisting guests
Ÿ God who is furious
Ÿ inviting the unworthy
Ÿ no chance for those who were invited first
Ÿ wedding garment
15. The parable of return of an unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26)
Ÿ heart = room
Ÿ impossibility of vacating the room
16. The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)
Ÿ sinfulness of man
Ÿ waiting God
Ÿ the first son
17. The parable of the rich and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)
Ÿ two different types of life
Ÿ two different fate
Ÿ who will enter the heaven?
Ÿ description of the heaven and the hell
18. The parable of camel and the needle eye (Matthew 19:23-26; Mark 10:23-27; Luke 18:24-27)
Ÿ the rich young man who cannot dismiss the money
Ÿ needle eye
Ÿ wealth hinders entering the heaven
Ÿ way of vacating?
19. The Parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)
Ÿ who is our neighbor?
Ÿ do likewise
20. other parables in the gospels