Jesus told a lot of parables. Some where about fish, other about wheat, and another about rebellious sons. Jesus didn't tell these stories merely as a form of entertainment. He told stories to make a point, or to show us something new about God.
First, what is a parable? Parables are earthly stories with a spiritual truth. Most parables are told by Jesus and are found in the Gospels, mostly Luke.
Parables compare the known to the unknown. Parables draw examples from the familiar.
What are some things parables are not?
Parables are not fables. A fable is a myth or legend, or a story that is not true; falsehood.
In parables, the examples used should not always be emulated. The application should be repeated, but somethings the examples shouldn't be. When Jesus tells the parable about the sower, it doesn't mean we need to go down to the store, buy a bag of seeds, and casts them as we walk through our neighborhoods.
Should you ask your father for your half of the inheritance, then run off and waste it all on parties? Probably not. Somethings, the examples are not Biblical; a servant who refuses to forgive, or the shrewd manager who steals from his master. The application should always be applied, but the examples themselves should not alway be repeated.
Parables are not factual. The stories themselves aren't historic accounts. That's one reason there are no names in parables. Did a Samaritan really find a injured Jew on the road? We don't know. The point of a parable is not to tell a historic account, but rather that we learn something from the story.
I hope you can join me as we look at some of the parables that Jesus told and that we can find the meaning and application together.