Ben Myers’s Ten Rules for Preaching the Parables

Rule #1: Don’t assume that God is necessarily one of the characters in the parable.

Rule #2: Don’t assume that the parable is trying to tell you how to improve your life.

Rule #3: Don’t assume that you’re the goodie in the story (and that other people are the baddies).

Rule #4: If you can explain the whole parable without mentioning the words “kingdom of God,” you’re probably doing it wrong.

Rule #5: If it ends up having anything to do with going to heaven when we die, you’re probably doing it wrong

Rule #6: If Jesus seems more like a headmaster giving orders than like a comedian cracking jokes, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Rule #7: If you feel perfectly confident and untroubled while expounding the parable, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Rule #8: If your sermon on the parable leaves people with nothing to look forward to and nothing to hope for, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Rule #9: Now go back and repeat Rule 3 (because every preacher forgets this at least once in every sermon).

Rule #10: Finally, if you’ve preached a lousy sermon, just remember: as long as the parable was read aloud before you started, it won’t be a total loss.

(Read the entire article)

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7 Responses to Ben Myers’s Ten Rules for Preaching the Parables

  1. Rule number one – broken with parables dealing with the rich man and lazarus, the farmer and the seeds, the farmer’s son, the wedding and the king, etc.
    Rule number two – I broke with the parable of the two sons as to which one the father loved the most
    Rule number three – I broke this one when I asserted myself as that “stranger at the gate” (lazarus)!
    Rule number four – I broke this parable on the good samaritan as well as with the two sons
    Rule number five – I broke this with the rich man and lazarus and I also broke this with the king’s wedding
    Rule number six – I broke this one when interpreting the parable about the tax-collector and there was something about prison and the king sent some guy back to prison for over-taxing another dude (it was a parable about forgiveness)
    Rule number seven – I’ve broken this rule too many times to count
    Rule number eight – oh, the one about the harvest in matthew 13, been there, broken that!
    Rule number nine – one time, I was the good samaritan
    Rule number ten – well fortunately, I’ve never preached a sermon

    I’ve broken ninety percent of the rules. How many yards back does that set my team (well…it is super bowl sunday 🙂 )

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  2. whitefrozen says:

    #10 – good stuff.

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