Two Fine Books About the Parables

I sort of stumbled into this assignment, and wound up reading two books for review: Parables by John Macarthur (2015) and Notes on the Parables of Our Lord (1861) by Richard Chenevix Trench.

I’m not done with them yet, but I can hardly wait to review them. You don’t have to be a theologian to enjoy these books–which is good, because I’m not. What you have, in both of them, is good, solid common sense guided by God’s word and the Holy Spirit.

This morning I read what they had to say about the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). It’s the one about the rich landowner who hires men to work in his vineyard. He keeps going back to the employment center, throughout the day, hiring more workers, until, “at the eleventh hour,” with only one hour of daylight left, he hires the last of them.

Then he does something unexpected: he pays all the laborers exactly the same amount, the ones who worked for one hour getting the same as those who worked for twelve.

Hard to understand? Well, yeah–until you read about it in either of these books, each author explaining it so clearly that I couldn’t help saying to myself, “Now why didn’t I think of that!”

Jesus Christ Our Lord wished us to understand his parables, but we also have to put a little effort into it. He wants us to think.

If you get a chance to read either of these books, go for it. You’ll be glad you did.

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