38 Parables of Jesus — Life, Hope and Truth

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, parables of jesus, prodigal son

38 Parables of Jesus in Chronological Order

No.ParableContextMatthewMarkLuke
1New Cloth and New WineskinsIn response to a question why His disciples do not fast, while the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast.Matthew
9:16–17
Mark
2:21–22
Luke
5:36–38
2Lamp on a StandThe sermon on the mount.Matthew
5:14–16
Mark
4:21–22
Luke
8:16
3Wise and Foolish BuildersThe sermon on the mount.Matthew
7:24–27
Luke
6:47–49
4Moneylender Forgives Unequal DebtsA 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
7:41–43
5Rich Man Foolishly Builds Bigger BarnsA man asked our Redeemer to be a arbitrator between him and his brother regarding an inheritance.Luke
12:16-21
6Servants Must Remain WatchfulOur Savior teaching about the coming of the kingdom.Luke
12:35-40
7Wise and Foolish ServantsIn response to Peter’s question that whether the Parable of the Watchful Servants was intended to the disciples or the gathered crowd.Luke
12:42-48
8Unfruitful Fig TreeSome 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
13:6–9
9Sower and Four Types of SoilOur Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:3–23
Mark
4:3–20
Luke
8:5–15
10Weeds among Wheat (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:24–30, 36–43
11Growing Seed (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Mark
4:26-29
12Mustard Seed (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:31–32
Mark
4:30–32
Luke
13:18–19
13Yeast (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:33
Luke
13:20–21
14Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:44–46
15Fishing Net (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:47–50
16Owner of a House (Kingdom of Heaven)Our Savior teaching beside a lake.Matthew
13:52
17Lost 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
18:12–14
Luke 15:3-7
18Master and His ServantJesus is telling His disciples what He expects of them.Luke
17:7-10
19Unmerciful Servant (Kingdom of Heaven)Jesus told this parable when Peter asked Him how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him.Matthew
18:23–31
20Good SamaritanWhen 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
10:30–37
21Friend in NeedA 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
11:5-8
22Lowest Seat at the FeastJesus is watching the guests choosing the best seats.Luke
14:7-11
23Invitation to a Great BanquetJesus 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
14:16-24
24Counting the CostJesus speaking to the crowds who were following Him.Luke
14:28-33
25Lost CoinAs Jesus speaks to the crowd, the Pharisees begin grumbling about the low moral quality of the people Jesus associated with.Luke
15:8–10
26Lost (prodigal) SonThe Pharisees and the law experts begin grumbling about how Jesus accepts sinners and eats with them.Luke
15:11–32
27Shrewd ManagerOur Savior continues to teach.Luke
16:1-9
28Rich man and LazarusThe Pharisees sneered at Jesus because of their love of money.Luke
16:19-31
29Workers in the vineyard, early and lateOur redeemer teaching.Matthew
20:1-16
30Persistent Widow and Crooked JudgeJesus teaching about persistent prayer.Luke
18:2-8
31Pharisee 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
18:10-14
32Two Sons, One Obeys and One Does NotThe chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.Matthew
21:28-32
33Wicked TenantsThe chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.Matthew
21:33–44
Mark
12:1–11
Luke
20:9–18
34Invitation to a Wedding BanquetThe chief priests have questioned Jesus’s authority.Matthew
22:2-14
35Signs of the Future from a Fig TreeOur Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.Matthew
24:32–35
Mark
13:28–29
Luke
21: 29–31
36Wise and Foolish VirginsOur Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.Matthew
25:1–13
37Three Servants Given TalentsOur Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.Matthew
25:14–30
Luke
19:12–27
38Sheep and Goats will be SeparatedOur Savior teaches the disciples about the end times.
Matthew
25:31–46

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.

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