What is a parable?
Here's the answer:
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
People love a good story. A good story has an interesting plot (storyline), great characters, a good ending, and a moral (life lesson).
That's one of the reasons people loved when Jesus used parables. A parable is story with a spiritual lesson that helps us know God better. Jesus told parables to help people understand something about God or the Christian life.
When the disciples asked Jesus why He used parables, He said, "Here is why I use stories when I speak to the people. I say, 'They look, but they don’t really see. They listen, but they don’t really hear or understand'" (Matthew 13:13). Jesus wanted to help the people understand what He was saying by using examples they were familiar with.
Some of Jesus’ more popular parables are the parable of the soils (Matthew 13:3–9), the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3–7); the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8–10), and the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32).
"Using many stories...Jesus spoke the word to them. He told them as much as they could understand" (Mark 4:33).
"Jesus told his disciples a story. He wanted to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1).