The Parables of Jesus Christ are not mere comparisons, but real correspondences between natural and spiritual things. Here is a list of 38 Parables of Jesus that are listed in the chronological order from the synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
The parables of Jesus broke down deep spiritual truths in the form of relatable stories that are easy to discern. Our Savior conveyed the message he needed to share with humanity through parables.
A parable is a story about a subject from every day life to illustrate a profound moral lesson. It means a placement side by side for comparison.
The 38 parables of Jesus given here embody the fundamental teachings of Christ. These memorable, simple stories are surprising and paradoxical each having a different message. Though most of the parables appear only in the synoptic gospels, Jesus’ three-part story about the sheep, gate, and shepherd in John 10(1-5, 7-18) is also considered a parable. Most of the 38 parables of Jesus turned expectations on their head and aroused the listener’s curiosity and stirred them for self-examination.
38 Parables of Jesus in Chronological Order
|1||New Cloth and New Wineskins||In response to a question why His disciples do not fast, while the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast.||Matthew|
|2||Lamp on a Stand||The sermon on the mount.||Matthew|
|3||Wise and Foolish Builders||The sermon on the mount.||Matthew|
|4||Moneylender Forgives Unequal Debts||A woman anoints Jesus’s feet with perfume at a dinner. The host, who is a Pharisee, mumbles that Jesus cannot be a prophet because He is allowing a sinful woman to touch Him.||Luke|
|5||Rich Man Foolishly Builds Bigger Barns||A man asked our Redeemer to be a arbitrator between him and his brother regarding an inheritance.||Luke|
|6||Servants Must Remain Watchful||Our Savior teaching about the coming of the kingdom.||Luke|
|7||Wise and Foolish Servants||In response to Peter’s question that whether the Parable of the Watchful Servants was intended to the disciples or the gathered crowd.||Luke|
|8||Unfruitful Fig Tree||Some people tell our Lord of a tragedy which had occurred to some Galileans. Jesus tells them that they had not suffered judgment. He then exhorts the people who are gathered around to repent with this parable.||Luke|
|9||Sower and Four Types of Soil||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|10||Weeds among Wheat (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|11||Growing Seed (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Mark|
|12||Mustard Seed (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|13||Yeast (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|14||Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|15||Fishing Net (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|16||Owner of a House (Kingdom of Heaven)||Our Savior teaching beside a lake.||Matthew|
|17||Lost Sheep (sheep as children)||Jesus was asked by his disciples as to who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. He told them that they have to become like a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven and the one who takes the lowly position of a child will be the greatest. He then told them this parable.||Matthew|
|18||Master and His Servant||Jesus is telling His disciples what He expects of them.||Luke|
|19||Unmerciful Servant (Kingdom of Heaven)||Jesus told this parable when Peter asked Him how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him.||Matthew|
|20||Good Samaritan||When an expert in law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that the whole of the law is summed up in loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. The lawyer tried to justify himself by asking him who is his neighbor.||Luke|
|21||Friend in Need||A disciple of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples. Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer, He then narrated this parable.||Luke|
|22||Lowest Seat at the Feast||Jesus is watching the guests choosing the best seats.||Luke|
|23||Invitation to a Great Banquet||Jesus was saying about inviting poor guests to dinner, one of them at the dinner table said, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”||Luke|
|24||Counting the Cost||Jesus speaking to the crowds who were following Him.||Luke|
|25||Lost Coin||As Jesus speaks to the crowd, the Pharisees begin grumbling about the low moral quality of the people Jesus associated with.||Luke|
|26||Lost (prodigal) Son||The Pharisees and the law experts begin grumbling about how Jesus accepts sinners and eats with them.||Luke|
|27||Shrewd Manager||Our Savior continues to teach.||Luke|
|28||Rich man and Lazarus||The Pharisees sneered at Jesus because of their love of money.||Luke|
|29||Workers in the vineyard, early and late||Our redeemer teaching.||Matthew|
|30||Persistent Widow and Crooked Judge||Jesus teaching about persistent prayer.||Luke|
|31||Pharisee and Tax Collector||“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable” (Luke 18:9)||Luke|
|32||Two Sons, One Obeys and One Does Not||The chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.||Matthew|
|33||Wicked Tenants||The chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.||Matthew|
|34||Invitation to a Wedding Banquet||The chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.||Matthew|
|35||Signs of the Future from a Fig Tree||Our Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.||Matthew|
|36||Wise and Foolish Virgins||Our Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.||Matthew|
|37||Three Servants Given Talents||Our Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.||Matthew|
|38||Sheep and Goats will be Separated||Our Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.|
The 38 parables of Jesus in chronological order can be categorized into four groups. It embodies the progression of the Christian life. The first group of the 38 parables of Jesus is a new story being told and serves as a foundation for the next set of parables. The second group of the 38 parables of Jesus comprises the important parables of the sower and the four types of soil and the unfruitful fig tree.
The third group of the 38 parables of Jesus is the “Kingdom of Heaven” parables (mustard seed, weeds among the wheat, yeast, hidden treasure, etc.). The fourth group of the 38 parables of Jesus is known as the “behavior parables.” They teach you how to act as a follower of Christ in different situations as a disciple, worker, or tenant. It also sheds light on using your talents well, remaining watchful, and final judgment.
The 38 parables of Jesus made the listeners think about God Almighty’s unconditional love, unfailing compassion, abundant wisdom, and eternal power that governs everything. The 38 parables of Jesus challenges people to a new vision of Good News that proclaims null and void all weakness, oppression, exclusion, outcast status, uncleanness, etc.
Read our awe-inspiring collection of Parables of Jesus Christ with lessons that can be applied to our daily lives.