Parables of Jesus Quiz

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables through them.”

  • Psalm 78:1-4

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables through them.”

  • Hosea 12:9-10

The Scriptures above speak of talking in parables.  Jesus did a lot of His teaching using this method.

Here are some interesting questions.  Sort of a mini-quiz.  These questions are based on a table in my NIV Study Bible.  Some of the teachings that are on the list as a parable are more like a metaphor, so there are a few that you and I might not consider being on the list, but what are parables other than metaphors?  Something that is relatable to the people hearing it, but with a heavenly meaning.

  1. Which Gospel has the most parables?
  2. Which Gospel does not record any parables?
  3. How many parables are in each of the three Gospels that have parables?
  4. How many parables are in all three Gospels that have parables?
  5. Which combination of two Gospels (of the three that have parables) does not have a parable that is unique to those two only?
  6. And which Gospel has only one parable that is unique to that one Gospel, with several others that are also in other Gospels?

The answers to the questions are the names of the parables being described, at least hinted.  The exact name is not necessary, but enough of the parable to differentiate it from a similar one.

The Questions:

  1. What is the parable, taught during the Sermon on the Mount, that speaks of hiding our “light”?  Think of how the light could be hidden.
  2. What might be a metaphor for what could cause a patched article of clothing to tear, “rejecting” the patch?
  3. The same analogy is made regarding something holding wine, relating to the fact that freshly made wine will expand?
  4. Does every seed bear good fruit, many times as much fruit as the original seed?  What parable talks about the thing that receives the message (seed)?  You know, where the seed landed?
  5. What is the smallest of its kind, but can grow into a tree, and Jesus says that the kingdom of God is like that?
  6. During the week before Jesus was betrayed, the religious leaders looked for a way to rid themselves of Jesus after He told this parable about a landowner who started a vineyard, put a wall around it, built a winepress and then rented it out, but then having servants and then the owner’s son killed when they came to collect the profits?
  7. To illustrate the signs of the End Times, Jesus uses what type of tree that has tender shoots and sprouts leaves when summer is approaching?
  8. What can a woman use just a little of to affect dough made with as much as 60 pounds of flour?
  9. What does Jesus compare each of us who is not sleeping, but is in anticipation of the End Times?
  10. The landowner’s servant went into town to hire people several times during the day, but everyone got paid the same.  What was the parable?
  11. Again Jesus gives a parable about the kingdom of God.  This time it is like something that happens after the sower sows and before the sickle cuts it down, without the sower doing anything else or even understanding what is happening?
  12. Jesus compares the prayers of two people who entered the temple, one proud and the other in great sorrow, knowing himself to be a sinner?

For the mini-quiz, since some of the answers will be obvious from the Bible References…

  1.  Luke has the most parables.
  2. According to the table, John has no parables.  There is plenty of teaching from Jesus, just not in parable form.
  3. Matthew has 23 parables.  Mark has 9 parables.  Luke has 28 parables.
  4. There are 7 parables that are in all three synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  They make up the first seven questions of the quiz.
  5. This may be a confusing question.  With Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there are 5 parables (1 in the quiz) that are in both Matthew and Luke, 1 parable (in this quiz) that is in Mark and Luke, but no parable that is only in Matthew and Mark.
  6. And if you did the math, Mark has nine parables, but seven of those are also in Matthew and Luke with one in only Mark and Luke, leaving only one parable unique to Mark (in the quiz).

And the other two questions are each parables unique to a book: one from Matthew and one from Luke, taken at random.

Bible References:

The Name of the ParableMatthewMarkLuke
15:14-154:21-228:16, 11:33
413:3-8, 18-234:3-8, 14-208:5-8, 11-15

Note the Bible references for question 4.  All three of these gospels gives both the parable and Jesus’ explanation of the parable.

According to the table in the NIV Study Bible, there were 40 parables taught by Jesus.  This quiz barely scratches the surface.  I may have quizzes for the remaining Matthew parables and the remaining Luke parables, sometime in the future.

Are parables used today?  Yes, but not recommended in industrial training.  I was a training manager for most of my working career and for some of that time, I worked at government facilities that required very rigorous methods to be followed.  I analyzed the job and each task of the job to ensure that the training would have the desired effect on those trained.  I designed learning objectives (not teaching objectives).  At the end of the course, the trainees will be able to … These objectives were given to the trainees.  They knew precisely what was expected.  Then training materials were developed to ensure that information and skill was transferred to those in the class or on-the-job.  Then the course was given.  And although there was evaluation throughout, the trainee was tested in some manner, but the course, the test, and the process was evaluated with the goal being course improvement at all levels.

Why go through all that when talking about parables?  Parables, without explaining them, would never have been allowed.  Yet, the “Systematic Approach to Training (SAT)” or ISD, TSD, etc. is not the way God works.  What does Jesus say often?  “Those who have ears, let them hear.”  He is not talking about those who can hear, but those who can understand the hidden meaning.  If the religious leaders knew the hidden meaning up front, they may have been ready to kill Jesus much earlier.  Note that question 6 seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  But by then, Jesus knew the end was near.  But for those who can hear, it means that many could recite the parable by heart, but they might never be able to apply the meaning of that parable to their heart, because they have not accepted Jesus.

It was this reading of parables and seeing the light bulb come on that thrilled me with great Joy.  I knew that Jesus had come into my heart, because, for the first time, I had ears that could hear.

That leads to another concept in discussing salvation that can be frustrating, but it is God’s way.  I have attended courses where they do not tell you what is expected of you to pass the course.  You must somehow understand what they are doing and become totally absorbed by the process.  It would be so much easier if the teacher simply said, “Do what I just did as part of your daily life and then you will have passed the course.”  No one can simply try Jesus out for the weekend.  You make the commitment; you surrender; then you will understand.  Otherwise, you will think that you tried, and nothing happened.  It is all or nothing.  Why?  We do not choose God.  God elects us.  We just allow God to take control.  Thus, how can God teach us how to be saved, when He does the saving?




The Answers:

The Name of the ParableMatthewMarkLuke
1The Lamp in a Bowl5:14-154:21-228:16, 11:33
2New cloth on an old coat9:162:215:36
3New wine in an old wineskin9:172:225:37-38
4The Sower (and the Soils)13:3-8, 18-234:3-8, 14-208:5-8, 11-15
5The Mustard Seed13:31-324:30-3213:18-19
6The Tenants21:33-4412:1-1120:9-19
7The Fig Tree24:32-3513:28-2921:29-31
9The Watchful Servant (Sentinel)***13:35-3712:35-40
10Workers in the Vineyard20:1-16******
11The Growing Seed***4:26-29***
12The Pharisee and the tax collector******18:10-14

And regardless of how you did, here is a song by Grace Church, The Parables Song.  For those who have ears, let them hear.

For a different way of hearing the Parable of the Sower, here is an animated version.

And for a laugh, and a very “different telling” of a song when Mark Lowry leaves the Gaither Vocal Band and then …. Da-da-dum!! … returns.

If you like these Saturday morning Bible quizzes, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Saturday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. July 3, 2021 — 10:20 am

    One of these days I’m going to score perfectly. Guess I’ll have to wait until I get to heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

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