The Parables of Jesus

“Sanitized Spirituality - The Parable of the Two Debtors”

"The invitation to love is an inherently vulnerable endeavor, and the question today’s parable invites us to consider is not so much our sincerity or worthiness in love, but rather the question of engagement. Will we, like the woman in the parable, risk touching the heart of love at the center of our own vulnerability, fear, and even failure? Or will we maintain our “healthy” distance?"

-Todd Bratulich

"The Parable of the Wedding Feast"

“I believe that all Christians and all Christian institutions are guilty of doing what Jesus charged his detractors of in the first century. Sure, a small percentage may be like the ‘brood of vipers’ type of religious people Jesus’ confronted, but I believe a larger amount of Christians are guilty of falling short of Jesus’ wedding feast kingdom vision because we have simply not been taught or had modelled for us a modern vision of what Kingdom of God can look like.”
- Dan Collison

"The Parable of the Two Sons"

“Speaking to today’s parable and Jesus’ frustration with the established religion—time and again, Christian pastors and our denominational traditions say we are willing to go to work in God’s vineyard, and time and again we do not in lieu of working a vineyard of our own design that is built to serve our own purposes more than the purposes of God.”
- Dan Collison

"The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard"

“Today liberals and conservatives sneer at each other; hymns singers an chorus singers rolle their eyes at each other; young and old don't understand each other; and we are shattered by issues or race, gender, and sexuality."

- Jay Phelan

"The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant"

“…what we can learn from this parable is that while we are always beloved by God we are also always indebted to one another and God and therefore should endlessly receive and give mercy. And, that if we refuse mercy and it’s intended effect and needed transfer, we relegate ourselves to a self-chosen tortured existence.”

-Dan Collison

"The parable of the lost coin"

Luke 15:8-10

This parable invites us to reflect on what is important to us and God, and give the effort necessary to find and reclaim that which is important but has been lost in order to celebrate a more whole version of ourselves and the world around us.
— Dan Collison

"The parable of the lost sheep"

Luke 15:1-7

What if the measuring devices with which we’ve grown so accustomed have actually led us away from our truest identity? What if in all of our do-gooding we’ve wandered far from our own belovedness, thinking that the paths we are walking will lead us to water? Perhaps I am the one that has gone missing, and needs to be found, brought back by the shepherd to be reminded of who I am.
— Todd Bratulich

"The parable of the net"

Matthew 13:47-52

This parable invites us to see the interior and external work of the Kingdom of God as a lifelong journey of the Spirit of God helping us sift (like fishermen carefully sorting through baskets of all that was in their net) through our personal narrative chapter by chapter and layer by layer in a way that helps us preserve the wisdom of each stage, set aside that which is worthless, and welcome the new treasures as well as the old.
— Dan Collison

"The parable of the pearl"

Matthew 13:44-46

There is a thing beneath the thing, a hidden wholeness, a bottomless belovedness, a oneness with God and all of God’s creation underneath all of our desire. What if in all of your searching you were to touch up on that ever-deepening river of divine life that it is already within you, but has until now remained hidden?
— Todd Bratulich

"The parable of the hidden treasure"

Matthew 13:44

…today’s parable and the dilemma within it challenges us to see two sides of it: the exacting cost of generosity in the face of scarcity thinking and the outrageous joy of aiming to be as generous as God none the less.
— Dan Collison

"The gift of insignificance"

Luke 13:18-19

Like the pesky little mustard seed, God’s presence and activity often comes unexpectedly, indiscriminately, and with abundance! The liberating news that God’s Kingdom is found not exclusively in the places of great influence, but more often in the insignificant people, places and events that, while seemingly small, bear the infectious possibility of God’s goodness, mercy and love is an invitation to join in the abundance!
— Todd Bratulich