Apologetics, Church

Literature in the Bible

Simile, Analogy, Hyperbole, and Parables

In John 7, an insight is given as to the way Jesus communicated as a teacher. “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43 So there was a division among the people because of him. 44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. 45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.” (John 7:40-46)

The power of Christ to effectively communicate His message was so powerful that when officials would move to arrest Him they were repelled by His speech. “Never man spake like this man.”

Jesus spoke as one having authority. “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matt. 7:28-29)

Jesus spoke with authority, for He had absolute authority as the eternal Son of God.

Jesus had authority over sin. Speaking to a crippled man Jesus said unto him, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” (Matt. 9:6)

Jesus had authority over nature. He spoke and the bolts of lightening returned to heaven, the winds calmed down, and the waves of the sea were subdued. “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matt. 8:23-27)

Jesus had authority over diseases. A woman came to Jesus one day. She had an issue of blood that no doctor could heal. By faith she touched the hem of his garment. Then Jesus spoke to her, and she was healed. “And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)

Jesus had authority over death. Concerning his life, Jesus said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:18)

Jesus had authority over the nations of the earth. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:19-20)

All the authority Jesus had during the days of His Humiliation He still has now in the Time of His Exaltation.

The word for authority is exousia, and can be translated authority, or power. The word consists of the prefix, ‘ex’, then the word, ousia, meaning, “being”, or “substance.” When Jesus exousia, He did not speak lightly, or in a frivolous manner. His words were not insubstantial, but he spoke with the substance of authority.

As others commented with amazement on the teaching of Jesus, so did the Lord himself. “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:16-17)

Today, the world remains captivated by the teaching of Jesus. After two thousand years, the world still studies His words. Jesus is examined and honored in songs, art, literature, drama, and various forms of ministries to include churches, Bible colleges, and seminaries. There is an insatiable appetite for the teachings of Jesus.

The manner and style of Jesus as a teacher, is studied for His pedagogy skill. He was a master teacher. He was an expert in the use of the parables.

Parables are not as common place in Scripture as the New Testament indicates. Perhaps the most famous parable of the Old Testament is the one used by the prophet Nathan, when he confronted David.

“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul.” (2 Sam. 12:1-7)

In the New Testament, we find many parables in the Synoptic Gospels, no parables in John, and none in the rest of the New Testament.

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