Author: Ron Graham


Parables in the Sermon on the Mount
—Jesus speaks in powerful images

We have completed our introductory series of lessons on the parables that Jesus told. Now we embark on a comprehensive study of particular parables.

The Sermon on the Mount is rich in word pictures that we could regard as parables. In lessons to come, God willing, we will study in detail the parable of the houses on rock and sand, and the parable of the narrow and the broad roads. However there are a dozen other parables in the sermon on the mount that are worthy of our notice. (Matthew ch 5-7).

Not surprisingly, we find the same themes here as we do in the parables generally. In the outline below I have related these themes to the Sermon on the Mount.

1 Grace and Wrath

Themes 1 and 2, God's Kindness and Severity

The parables of Jesus portray God as having a Fatherly love for us, and being longsuffering toward us, even though we may be erring children. On the other side, the parables illustrate the severity and wrath of God in the coming judgment, at which all who have not responded to his mercy will be cast out from his presence.

2 Faith and Obedience

Themes 3 and 4, Full Obedience and a Pure Heart

God requires obedience of us, and repentance from disobedience, if we are going to be saved by his grace. He also requires a pure and genuine heart, not a shallow outward show and mere lip service .

3 Eternal Values

Themes 5,6,7, The Kingdom of God

The eternal and universal nature of the kingdom of God, and the transcending value of membership in it, means that we should seek first the kingdom of God; it should hold first place in our lives.

4 Preparing for Judgment

Avoiding the Great Mistakes

Rejecting God's invitation, ignoring his word, being blind to one's sin, and unprepared for judgment, are great mistakes to which Jesus draws our attention in all his teaching.

Short Quiz

1. What corrupts our treasures on earth?

2. What creatures illustrate the kindness of God?

3. To what does Jesus liken hypocrisy?

4. To what does Jesus liken false prophets?

5. To what does Jesus liken the hearing and obeying of his word?

6. To what does Jesus liken wasting your kingdom opportunity by pursuing worldly things?

7. What does Jesus illustrate with fruitful trees?

8. In the Judgment, whom will Jesus recognize —doers of miracles or doers of his his word?

9. To whom does Jesus liken people who blow their own trumpet?

10. If we are the salt of the earth, what should we be careful not to lose?


1. Moth and rust

2. The birds and the flowers

3. A log in your eye

4. Wolves in sheep skins

5. Building on a rock

6. Casting pearls before swine

7. Full obedience to his word

8. Doers of his word

9. The scribes and Pharisees who loved the praise of men

10. Our flavour or saltiness