The parables of Jesus are found in the Synoptic Gospels and some of the non-canonical gospels. They form approximately one third of his recorded teachings. Christians place great emphasis on these parables, which they generally regard as the words of Jesus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parables_of_Jesus
God-breathed parables translated through the voice and omnipotence of Jesus gave birth to divine life hacks. Oxford Dictionary defines “life hack” as a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Oxford The Urban Dictionary, on the other hand describes life hack as ” A colloquial term for common sense that makes people feel good about their basic creativity, or lack thereof. Typically lifehacks are not all that helpful, they are simply advertised well so as to provide a false sense of improvement in the user’s day to day operation.” Urban Dictionary
Dual Purposed Life Hacks
I do not agree with the Urban Dictionary’s description of “life hack” because the essence and value of all life hacks cannot be measured according to common sense. In other words, there are many effective life hacks that the average human could not imagine. In other words, some life hacks are spiritually inspired while others manifest from deep thinkers, people who by nature organically look for ways to make various aspects and tasks in life easier to carry out.
For this reason, I conclude that many innovative life hacks are products of curious, innovative, forward-thinking and sometimes genius minds. As for spiritual based life hacks they serve to guide God’s people in the way He would have them go, while at the same time assuring that the work He ordained believer’s to do is done efficiently.
Parables serve as ultimate life hacks! On the surface, and especially to non-believers Jesus’s parables come across as elementary, but remarkable Bible stories. What distinguishes parables from worldly stories is their ability to embed mental images in a way that parallels with everyday life, no matter in which turn of the century. Even more, every parable has one thing in common, it teaches a lesson about how to live our lives as God intended but in a manner that conveys hidden wisdom. To propel the lesson Jesus uses parables that provoke men and women to fathom undiscerned awareness of their spiritual and human state of affairs.
Parables vs. Life Hacks
While parables virtually take us to places we’ve never been to apply knowledge and wisdom, man’s life hacks pale but still teach valuable lessons through tips, skills and unchartered hacks. Even though human life hacks may appear to have no visible spiritual component, most do!
The fact that life hacks convey something of value and are helpful to many their relevance and importance should not be diminished.
Jesus uses examples of life most common to us as humans so that there is no need to ponder or perplex to glean the bottom line. For instance, one of Jesus’s most prolific parables highlights a wedding. Any adult can easily summon visons of a wedding. Why? Well, first, weddings are special, beautiful and memorable. Accordingly, typically one must be invited to a wedding. And, special attire is required. You don’t just show up looking any kind of way. Even more, invitees put much thought into what to wear. Lastly, it is important to be on time so that you don’t miss the most important sectors of the wedding.
That said, how brilliant was it for Jesus to use a wedding as the focal point of his parable. He begins the parable by providing a visual of heaven and a wedding put on by a king for his son. Both the word heaven and the word king signify royalty, and supremacy all-be- it on different levels. The stage is set to command high expectations and a willingness to extend and expand the imagination beyond one’s wildest dreams. Yet, Jesus lays the ground work for all to effortlessly conceptualize the story. Dr. Kenneth Boa states, “Parables are extended figures of comparison that often use short stories to teach a truth or answer a question. While the story in a parable is not historical, it is true to life, not a fairy tale.” Dr. Kenneth Boa
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Matthew 22 1-5
Servants were sent forth to summoned but would not come. How could they refuse an invitation to such a wonderous occasion? Perhaps they did not comprehend the true worth of such an invitation, or maybe they had no wedding attire. Either way, the parable established that there was an expectation that those invited come. The servants went out more than once to plead with the people to come. They did not care about the work required to prepare for them. “4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.” Matthew 22:4
The most troubling behavior exhibited by the invitees was that they just didn’t seem to care about the king’s efforts to create a wonderful, FREE celebration for all who were invited to come. And if that reception wasn’t bad enough, they even made fun of the wedding!
“But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: Matthew 22-5
How Does The Parable of the Wedding Feast Relate to Modern-Day Lives?
We should not be surprised that Bible scholars differ on how, when and why Jesus used parables. The good news is that at the end of the day the argument is irrelevant. The only thing important about hearing and reading parables is that God’s children can comprehend them and obey their revealed directives. Some disagreements have no substance or purpose, other than to sow confusion. On that note understanding how parables relate to individual situations and lifestyles is imperative.
Ten Popular Parables https://www.jesus-story.net/10-popular-parables/
Ten Virgins Some were wise, some were not…
The good Samaritan Who is my neighbour?
The lost sheep There’s always one, isn’t there?
The Prodigal Son Were both brothers saved?
The mustard seed Its potential was enormous.
Hiding your light under a bushel People must talk about Jesus’ ideas and live them.
The sower and the seed The focus was not on the seed, but on the soil it fell on.
The Pharisee and the tax collector The Pharisee knew he was better than others…
Houses built on rock or sand What are your foundations?
One of my favorite parables is “The Lost Sheep.” In my opinion, the parable of The Lost Sheep proves to be most over-arching and infuses the most pure, simple and transparent epiphany of all parables. The reason being, every Christian was lost at some point in their lives. While some may want us to believe they are without sin, believers and harvesters of the Word know that “no man is without sin.”
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
Imagine claiming to have never been lost in your lifetime, while at the same time attempting to lead others to Christ. To know how, and see how to steer another in the right direction you must be familiar with traveling in the wrong direction. Experience is the best teacher because there is no other way to have the ability to genuinely relate to struggles that someone whose lost their way may be experiencing. The spirit of empathy is a gift from God. And, not everybody has it! Feeling sorry for another is not the same as having empathy for them. To have empathy means that you have the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. The key word here is understand. That said, without understanding it is impossible to show empathy.
Empathy combined with understanding and concern for another is a powerful spiritual life hack for helping another heal. People suffering from spiritual, mental or emotional pain long for compassion and acknowledgement.
As mentioned earlier in the post, Jesus uses examples of life most common to us as humans so that there is no need to ponder or perplex to glean the bottom line. One of his most prolific parables entails elements of a royal wedding, which any adult can easily imagine on some level. Why? Well, weddings are special, beautiful and memorable. Accordingly, typically one must be invited to a wedding. And, special attire is required. You don’t just show up looking any kind of way. Even more, invitees put much thought into what to wear. Lastly, it is important to be on time so that you don’t miss the most important sectors of the wedding.
The life hack evidenced in parables is Jesus’ technique of parallel story telling used to provoke the reader to dig deep for answers that solve some of life’s most egregious dilemmas. Christians can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is the Master of life hacks. He spent his entire life formulating strategies and techniques aimed at reaching, teaching and leading souls to the Lord. The Bible commonly known as “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” is the only complete life hack. It is written to suffice as a complete fool-proof strategy for managing one’s time and daily activities in ways that God considers sufficient.