The parables of Christ may be divided into three groups. The first parables, beginning with those in the 13th chapter of Matthew, might be called the proclamatory parables. The second group might be called the guardian parables. The third group are called the decisive parables.
The nineteenth College Conference on the study of the Bible was held in Sever 11 last night. Professor Palmer concluded his lectures on parabolic teaching and the teaching of Christ. Professor Palmer began by saying that if we could compare the parables with other forms of teaching we should see how beautiful were the ways in which Jesus taught. Jesus' parables were almost as brief as proverbs and as vivid as similes, thus allowing one to carry their meaning clearly in one's mind. There is nothing grotesque, nothing untrue in Christ's parables. A principle is taken and then is shown a case of its working. In a parable a fact stands solidly on its legs, it is a true story, not that it has happened in the past but because the very principle is true. Christ said, "If you would rightly understand spiritual crises be able to understand common things." Parables were addressed to the will and not to the understanding. An example of Christ's parables is as follows: David, who was all powerful, had seized the wife of one of his officers just to show that he had power. The Lord sent Nathan to David to speak as follows: There were two men, one rich and the other poor. The rich man owned large flocks while the poor man had only one small ewe lamb. Now it happened that a traveller came to the house of the rich man, who, instead of taking one of his own lambs to feed the traveller with, took the one lamb of the poor man. When Nathan finished speaking David demanded who the rich man was saying he ought to be punished. Nathan answered "It is theyself." The parables show Christ's power of understanding the meaning of the life around Him. Christ said to His apostles, "I am teaching you not in one principle, but that you may understand all principles."