What are Parables?

Discover the secrets of these beautiful teachings. What are their underlying morals? Find out in the following article.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” Luke 4:18

The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus' best known parables, related in the Gospel of Luke. It is considered one of the most realistic and revealing parables. It is part of the so-called "parables of mercy" in Luke's Gospel.

So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.” Jeremiah 30:10

The parable is narrated by Jesus himself to show that charity and mercy are the virtues that will lead men to piety and holiness. It also teaches that fulfilling the law of love is much more important than fulfilling the human law. In this parable, Jesus expands the definition of neighbor.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” Isaiah 61:1

The figure of a Samaritan, considered a heretic by the most orthodox sectors of the religion at that time, serves to redefine the concept of neighbor that was handled at that time. Jesus, through this parable, shows that Faith must be manifested through works, revolutionizing the concept of Faith of those times.

 “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” 1 Chronicles 28:20

The passage presents two meanings: a lesson of mercy towards the needy, and an announcement that all can enter eternal life. Jesus does not make distinctions among men in this aspect since all are neighbors, regardless of nationality, religion, or political ideas; because neighbor is synonymous with close, near. Neither does he recognize limits, demonstrating that the practice of the commandment of love is for all.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”Isaiah 40:29-31

This parable is one of the most famous in the New Testament, and its influence is such that the current meaning of Samaritan in Western culture is that of a generous person willing to offer help to whoever needs it. The Good Samaritan became a typical symbol of human brotherhood and humanitarianism.

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