The role of Jesus’ parables
Jesus teaches contextually and concretely, from the immediate surroundings, if possible, or at least from events of ordinary life. This is seen in his well-known use of the parable—which, from its origin in the Greek word paraballein, literally means to throw one thing down alongside another. Parables are not just pretty stories that are easy to remember; rather, they help us understand something difficult by comparing it to, placing it beside, something with which we are very familiar, and always something concrete, specific.
From The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. Copyright © 1997 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.