Parables of Jesus

parablesofjesusLeft Window Pane

Jesus taught many lessons by means of parables. These stories featured people like His listeners. These people were shepherds, farmers, merchants, and housewives. The lessons were simple and the morals obvious. The Prodigal Son is one of the most familiar. Restless and lacking mature judgment, a son asked for his share of a loving father’s inheritance. After receiving it, he promptly squandered all of the money. His decision to return home was met with the ire of an unhappy brother, but the love of a forgiving father. The story depicted in the window recalls the greeting on that occasion. “My son was lost and is found; he was dead, but is alive.”

The panel below illustrates two houses. One is secure in all storms because it is built on the rock, which is the Word of God. The other house is washed away in the waves because it was built on sand.

The secondary symbol in the upper left corner of the lower panel is an anchor. This is an ancient symbol of hope. In the upper right corner of the upper panel is an IHS, the monogram of Jesus, the Savior.

Center Window Pane

Here is another parable about the Kingdon of heaven. The rich man (Dives) is merciless. He is dressed in purple and he pulls his fine robe aside in order not to brush against the beggar Lazarus who sits at the gate with his dog. They both die. The rich man is seen below amid the flames of hell. He looks up at the once despised Lazarus, now safe in heaven. His imperious ways remain and he orders Lazarus to bring him a drink to quench his thirst. But the gulf is too great to be crossed. He orders Lazarus to return to earth and warn his still-living family members. That too is impossible. The man is told that Moses and the prophets gave ample warning to his family and even one risen from the dead could not change them.

The small symbol in the upper right corner is the scale of justice, used here to denote the Last Judgement.

In the panel at the bottom is the parable of the coin lost by a housewife. She will light a candle, and sweep into all the corners until she finds the coin she has lost even though all her other money is safe. Finding it, she will call on her neighbors to rejoice, a symbolic story of God rejoicing over sinners lost and found again.

Right Window Pane

When Jesus said people ought to love their neighbors as much as themselves, He was asked to define “neighbor.” To answer this, He told the story of the Good Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies.

A merchant traveling the lonely road from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked, robbed, and left for dead on the road. Both a priest and a Levite passed by unheeding. Finally a Samaritan stopped to aid the man. He bound his wounds, and carried him to an inn to be cared for until his health returned.

A heart is the traditional symbol of love. This symbol is in the upper left corner. Seen in the lower left is a cross and a book. These suggest the new dispensation when Jesus gave a new commandment to the venerable Law of Moses. This commanded that men love one another as He loved them.

In the lower panel is the Sower sowing his seed. The seed is the Word of God. Some falls on stones and is parched by the sun, some is choked by weeds or devoured by birds. However, some falls on good ground and brings forth abundant fruit.