The Parables of Jesus

I so enjoyed teaching Year 4 pupils last week about the miracles and parables of Jesus. Here are some photos of our session. I was so pleased that the children came prepared with some of the stories they had read in advance, and they posed some really interesting and thought provoking questions.

We talked about the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We have 2 ancient stone carvings in the cathedral dating from the 12th century that depict this miracle. The children were also fascinated that these carvings had been hidden behind the choir stall and not discovered until 1829. It was an interesting discussion to get the children’s perspectives on the miracle and it’s amazing how much children understand that we don’t give them credit for.

We looked at various images of the miracles and parables. I talked about Jesus calming the storm at sea and our experiences of what we do when we are afraid.

I shared the story of the Prodigal Son which I actually prefer to call the ‘Loving Father’. I love this image of the father running towards the son and that’s how I see God greets us. No matter how far we stray God always forgives and welcomes us home.

Scholars have counted roughly 37 parables found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We thought about why Jesus taught in parables?

  • To get people’s attention – who doesn’t love listening to a good story?
  • People could relate to the stories because they were about everyday life.  
  • Jesus also wanted people to think through the stories for themselves. Those who were truly seeking the truth would study and think through what the parable meant to them and their community.


I love the prayer we pray after Holy Communion –

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise that, when we were still far off, you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us so we and all your children shall be free and the whole earth live to praise your name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J.M. Nouwen

The Parables (Biblical Explorations) by Paula Gooder

Stories Jesus Told: Favourite Stories from the Bible by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen

Ish’s Bigger Barn 12 Bible story songs available from his web site shop include:

The Bubbling Pool of Bethesda.

Wolfy Wolfy!

Jerusalem to Jericho

3 Men and a Banquet

Old Friends – New Friends

Ghost on the Water


The Loaded Lawyer

10 Silver Coins

Gotta Go and Find Em!

4 Days Ago

Bigger Barn