Parables of the Master


Jesus taught in parables to veil their meaning. In this way, hearers of the parable learn religious truth in proportion to their faith and discernment.
Parable of the Pounds(click to view larger)

Parable of the Pounds, by Henry Coller. © Providence Collection. “His lord answered and said unto him [who buried his one talent], Thou wicked and slothful servant. … “Take therefore the talent from him” (Matthew 25:26, 28; see vv. 14–30).

Parable of the Sower(click to view larger)

Parable of the Sower, by George Soper. “Behold, a sower went forth to sow; … “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, … “Some fell upon stony places, … “And some fell among thorns; … “But other fell into good ground” (Matthew 13:3–5, 7–8; see vv. 3–23).

Rescue of the Lost Lamb(click to view larger)

Rescue of the Lost Lamb, by Minerva K. Teichert. “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? “And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. “And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:4–7).

Five of Them Were Wise(click to view larger)

Five of Them Were Wise, by Walter Rane. Courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. … “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh. … “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; … “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you” (Matthew 25:1–4, 6, 8–9; see vv. 1–13).

The Enemy Sowing Tares(click to view larger)

The Enemy Sowing Tares, by James Tissot. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. … “But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. “So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? … “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. … “Let both grow together until the harvest: … Gather ye together first the tares … to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:24–28, 30).

The Pharisee and the Publican(click to view larger)

The Pharisee and the Publican, by Robert T. Barrett. “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. … “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, … saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:11, 13–14; see vv. 9–14).

The Good Samaritan(click to view larger)

The Good Samaritan, by Gustave Doré. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, “And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him” (Luke 10:33–34; see vv. 25–37).

Prodigal Son(click to view larger)

Prodigal Son, by Clark Kelley Price. “And [the prodigal son] arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20; see vv. 11–32).