Parable

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In the Old Testament the word is mashal, “a similitude,” and is also translated “proverb.” In the New Testament it is παραβολἠ. A parable is a mode of relation under which something is figured which is not expressed in the terms. Hence a parable usually necessitates an expositor. The Lord said on one occasion that He spoke in parables, so that the multitude should not understand His teaching: they had virtually rejected their Messiah, and were not morally in a condition to be taught. The Lord acted as expositor and explained the meaning privately to His disciples, for it was given unto them to know “the mysteries of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:1111He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matthew 13:11)). Some, however, of the Lord’s parables were so pointed that they were understood even by His enemies, which doubtless was His intention; they were laid bare as in His presence. Some of those in the Old Testament also were plain, but in the parable of the ewe lamb, David did not see the application till he had himself judged the culprit. So also with Ahab and the “escaped captive.” These allegories were calculated to strike home the intended lesson, by portraying in an objective way the evil.
From the fact of the Lord connecting “the mysteries of the kingdom” with the parables He uttered, we may be sure that there is much instruction to be gathered from them if rightly interpreted: they need the teaching of the Spirit of God as much as any other part of scripture.
It will be seen by the annexed list that some of the parables are recorded only by Matthew; two “similes” are found in Mark only; several parables are given only by Luke; and none are recorded by the evangelist John. There must be divine reasons for this, and wisdom is needed to discern and profit by it. All is doubtless in harmony with the character of each of the Gospels. The word “parable” occurs in John 10:66This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. (John 10:6) in the AV, but it is not the same word, and signifies “allegory.” The teaching is not in the form of a parable: the Lord is speaking of Himself as the good Shepherd.
Some of the parables are grouped together. Thus in Matthew 13 there are seven parables, four of which were delivered in the hearing of the multitude, and three in private. The first was introductory, namely, the SOWER. The Lord came seeking fruit, but finding none He revealed that He had really been sowing “the word of the kingdom,” and explained why much of the seed did not produce fruit. The next three parables give the outward aspect of the kingdom during Christ’s absence, that which man has made of it. The second is the WHEAT AND THE TARES. The Lord sowed the good seed, but Satan at once sowed his seed, and both grew up together until the harvest at the end of the age. The third is the MUSTARD SEED. This grows up into a tree large enough for the birds (which caught away the good seed in the parable of the sower) to lodge in its branches. The fourth is the LEAVEN. A woman hid leaven (always a type of what is human, and hence of evil, because sin is in the flesh) which diffused itself unseen amid the three measures of meal until all was leavened.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and in private explained first to His disciples the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, and then added parables that show the divine object and intent in the kingdom. The first is the HID TREASURE, for the sake of obtaining which a man buys the field in which it is hid. The second is the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. The merchant-man seeks goodly pearls, and having found one pearl of great price, sells all that he has to be possessed of it. Christ renounced all that belonged to Him as man after the flesh and as Messiah on earth, in order that He might possess the church. The third is the parable of the NET, which gathers out of the sea of nations good and bad, as the gospel has done in Christendom. When the net is drawn to shore the servants make a selection of the good from the bad, but at the end of the age (it is added in the exposition) the angels will separate the wicked from the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire.
Another group of parables is in Luke 15, or in one sense a parable in three sections (Luke 15:33And he spake this parable unto them, saying, (Luke 15:3)). It answers the charge brought against the Lord, “This man receiveth sinners.”
1. THE LOST SHEEP was followed by the shepherd until it was found.
2. THE LOST PIECE OF MONEY. The piece of money was lost in the house, even as many persons in God’s sight were lost in the outward profession of being Abraham’s children (as many indeed are lost now in Christendom). The lost piece was sought by the light of the candle till it was found. It was precious, a piece of silver.
3. THE PRODIGAL SON was joyfully received by the father, a feast was prepared, and the recovery of the lost one was celebrated by music and dancing. This is the climax—the celebration of grace. In all three the joy is that of the finder. It is the joy of heaven over the recovery of lost sinners.
It is doubtless best to study each parable or each group, with its context, as the Holy Spirit has given them. Attempts have, however, been made to classify them according to the truth conveyed by them, thus: 1. The setting aside of Israel. THE TWO SONS, of which the Lord gives the interpretation. THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN: the rulers of Israel were among the Lord’s hearers, and He explained the parable thus: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” The BARREN FIG TREE: the Lord came seeking fruit in Israel as representing man under culture, but found none. He gave time for repentance, but the fig tree yielded no fruit and was to be cut down: the destruction of Jerusalem was its actual removal.
2. The introduction of the kingdom, and Satan’s opposition to it. The SOWER. The WHEAT AND TARES.
The GROWTH OF SEED: notwithstanding the opposition of Satan, God in His own secret way makes His seed fructify and bring forth fruit. The LEAVEN; the HIDDEN TREASURE; the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE; and the NET.
3. God’s way of bringing into blessing. The LOST SHEEP; the LOST PIECE OF MONEY; and the PRODIGAL SON. The MARRIAGE FOR THE KING’S SON: God will do honor to His Son. The Jews were invited to the feast, but would not come. Others, the Gentile outcasts, were invited. One without the wedding robe (christ) was cast out. He had no sense of natural unfitness. The GREAT SUPPER: the feast of heavenly grace in contrast to the earthly things of the kingdom of God. All who were invited made excuses, not as prevented by evil but by earthly things; they were indifferent to the gracious invitation. Some, the poor and afflicted of the city, were brought in, and others were to be compelled to come in. God will have His house filled. The PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN: the Pharisee thanked God that he was not as other men; the publican cried for mercy, and went down to his house justified rather than the other. The TWO DEBTORS: the poor woman was forgiven much, and she loved much; not forgiven because she loved much. The UNJUST JUDGE: the Lord’s point was that men “ought always to pray and not to faint.” God will answer in His own time, and the earthly elect will be saved.
The Laborers IN THE VINEYARD: God in His sovereignty asks, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” Man claims this liberty for himself, yet murmurs against the sovereignty of God. “Many are called, but few chosen.” Notice also in this parable the Lord’s reply to Peter’s question in Matthew 19:2727Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? (Matthew 19:27): Matthew 20 continues the subject and shows us sovereign grace in contrast with the mercenary spirit of man’s heart.
4. The various responsibilities of men. The GOOD SAMARITAN: this was given in answer to “Who is my neighbor?” The Lord was really the good Samaritan, and after describing the course He took He said, “Go thou and do likewise.” The FOOLISH RICH MAN: the moral is, “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” The UNJUST STEWARD: he sacrificed the present for the future, for which his master commended him, not for his injustice but his wisdom. The Lord applies the parable thus: “Make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness [worldly possessions] that when it fails ye may be received into eternal tabernacles.” Giving to the poor is lending to the Lord, and laying up treasure in heaven. The Lord exhorted His hearers to be (unlike the unjust steward) faithful in their stewardship of the unrighteous mammon (which does not belong to the Christian), that the true riches might be entrusted to them.
The RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. Nothing is said of the moral character of either of these men. It had been taught in the Old Testament that outward prosperity should mark the upright man (Psalm 112:2-32His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalm 112:2‑3)). In the kingdom in its new phase, consequent upon Christ’s rejection, the possession of riches is no sign of divine favor. This was a needful lesson for the Jew. It was very difficult for a rich man to be saved, but the poor had the gospel preached unto them. The poor man was carried into Abraham’s bosom, and the rich man fell into perdition. Another world reverses the conditions of the present one. The teaching in the parable of the Unjust Steward is continued here: the rich man was not sacrificing the present for the future. It also gives a vivid picture of the unalterable condition of the lost.
The UNMERCIFUL SERVANT. This illustrates the government of God, which is not set aside by His grace. It is revealed that God will recompense to His people according as they act towards others (Matt. 7:22For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2)). Doubtless this parable has another application, bearing upon the Jews as to their jealousy of grace being shown to the Gentiles. The debt of the Gentiles to them is expressed in the hundred pence (about £3 4s. 7d.); whereas the indebtedness of the Jews to God is seen in the ten thousand talents (£1,937,500). Pardon was offered to them by Peter in Acts 3:19-2619Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 25Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (Acts 3:19‑26); but it was rejected, and their persecution of Paul and those who carried the gospel to the Gentiles showed that they could not forgive the Gentiles the hundred pence. They must now pay the uttermost farthing (compare Isa. 40:22Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2); Matt. 5:25-2625Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (Matthew 5:25‑26); 1 Thess. 2:15-1615Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (1 Thessalonians 2:15‑16)).
The TEN VIRGINS. The explanation of this is simple. The normal attitude of Christians is that they have gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. This was the hope and expectation of the apostles. After their days all in this respect fell asleep. There may have been times of awakening, but when the last call goes forth it reveals the solemn fact that some have a profession only, without Christ—lamps without oil—who will be forever shut out. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.” The virgins signify Christians, and not the faithful Jewish remnant, for these will not sleep (persecution will prevent that), nor be a mixed company, nor have to wait a long time for their Deliverer.
The TALENTS. This parable is similar in character to that of the POUNDS. The talents were distributed according to the ability of each servant, so that one had five, another two, and another one. This parable follows that of the Ten Virgins, showing that while the Christian waits for his Lord, he should be faithfully using the gifts entrusted to him. The POUNDS show the Lord Jesus leaving the earth to receive a kingdom, and giving to each of His servants a pound to trade with during His absence. All gifts are for the glory of the Lord, and the servant is responsible to Him for the faithful use of them.
Another arrangement of the principal parables has been suggested, namely, in three groups, corresponding to different periods of the Lord’s ministry.
1. In His early ministry, embracing the new teaching connected with the kingdom, and the mysterious form which it takes during His absence. This extends to Matthew 13 and Mark 4. These parables will be easily distinguished in the following table.
2. After an interval of some months. The parables are now of a different type, and are drawn from the life of men rather than from the world of nature. They are principally in answer to questions, not in discourses to the multitude. Most of them occur in Luke only, in which gospel the Son of Man is for man. They fall chiefly between the mission of the seventy and the Lord’s last approach to Jerusalem.
3. This group falls towards the close of the Lord’s ministry. They concern the kingdom in its consummation, and are prophetic of the rejection of Israel and the coming of the Lord.
In Matthew 13 the Lord asked His disciples if they understood what He had been saying to them. They said, “Yea, Lord.” He added, “Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is a householder which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
PARABLES AND SIMILES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Parables. By whom spoken. References.
The Eagles and a Vine. Ezekiel to Israel Ezek. 17:3-103And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colors, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 4He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 6And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. 7There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. 8It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. 10Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew. (Ezekiel 17:3‑10)
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Parables Matthew Mark Luke
The Sower. Matt. 13:3-93And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 13:3‑9) Mark 4:3-93Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:3‑9) Luke 8:5-85A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 8:5‑8)
Unmerciful Servant. Matt. 18:23-3523Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:23‑35)
Servants waiting for their Lord. Luke 12:35-4835Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 41Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:35‑48)
Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-3211And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20And he 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. 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. 29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. (Luke 15:11‑32)
Unjust Steward. Luke 16:1-131And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:1‑13)
Rich Man and Lazarus. Luke 16:19-3119There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:19‑31)
Laborers in the Vineyard. Matt. 20:1-161For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (Matthew 20:1‑16)
The Vineyard and Husbandmen. Matt. 21:33-4633Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. (Matthew 21:33‑46) Mark 12:1-121And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 2And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 4And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 5And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. 8And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. 10And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: 11This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 12And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way. (Mark 12:1‑12) Luke 20:9-199Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. 10And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. 11And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 12And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 13Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. 14But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 15So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? 16He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. 17And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? 18Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 19And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. (Luke 20:9‑19)
Marriage of the King’s Son. Matt. 22:2-142The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:2‑14)
The Talents. Matt. 25:14-3314For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:14‑33)
The Pounds. Luke 19:12-2712He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:12‑27)
Sheep and Goats. Matt. 25:31-4631When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31‑46)