NextLevel Online: Parables

Session 6: Purposes

Functions are very similar to Purposes. There are many purposes of parables. So we will expand Lesson 5 into this lesson on purposes..



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader
  • Functions are very similar to Purposes. There are many purposes of parables. So we will expand Lesson 5 into this lesson on purposes.

  • Subversion: “Whatever the foreground theme of a parable is, therefore, there is often a deep structure element of subversion at work by which conventional ways of viewing reality and/or valuing things is called into question. The general import of this technique is to announce that the kingdom Christ announces is based on new values, with special emphasis on divine grace as opposed to human merit” (Ryken, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 624).

  • What might Jesus be subverting?

    • Politically: Oppressed.

    • Culturally: Agrarian.

    • Socially: Shame and Honor; Rich and Poor.

    • Religiously: Elite vs. people of the land.

    • Racially: Jew, Gentile, and Samaritan.

  • How does the subversion work?

    • By drawing on common/stock images—speak language of customer; used familiar main characters—who played God roles?

    • By making uncommon connections (Lk. 10:25-37; 12:16-21; 16:19-31; 13:6-9; 15:1-32; 18:9-14)—part of the purpose was to polarize the responses of the hearers.

  • Other purposes:

    • Reveal/Conceal truth (Lk. 19:11-12; Matt. 13:1-17)—he conceals because he wants to make sure that only the interested survive in parables and he wants to “deceive into truth” (Kierkegaard).

    • Engender memory (Lk. 10:25-37).

    • Persuade—or not (Matt. 21:45)—sift; alienate.

    • Fulfill prophecy (Matt. 13:35).

    • Lay claim to deity (Matt. 22:2).

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.