Why do we recommend this book?
Does it ever happen to you, that you are so familiar with a certain Bible passage, that it hardly touches your heart anymore? Then this is a book to start reading! The book contains ten short chapters that you can read independently from each other. They are about ten very well-known parables taught by Jesus Christ.
The author, Doug Newton, is a pastor with over forty years of pastoral experience. He describes himself as having "an unchosen but passionate passion: helping people see the Bible with fresh eyes and full of expectation" (from the Acknowledgements). Newton does not necessarily come up with new insights about the original meaning of the parables, although he does share some fresh insights here and there. But his mission is 'to share specific techniques that allow you to make new discoveries about familiar passages. Those techniques will help you revive your love for God's Word and transform your work in teaching and witnessing' (from the section 'About the Fresh Eyes Series'). As a reader, I believe the author has succeeded in his mission.
From parables of just one verse (e.g., Matthew 13:44 - the parable of the hidden treasure) to parables that encompass almost an entire chapter (e.g., Luke 15:11-32 - the parable of the prodigal son), Newton engagingly leads us to a refreshing understanding and application of these wonderful ancient stories.
The parables the author discusses are:
- Chapter 1: Matthew 13:44 (the hidden treasure)
- Chapter 2: Matthew 20:1-15 (the vineyard workers)
- Chapter 3: Luke 15:11-32 (The Prodigal Son)
- Chapter 4: Luke 11:5-9 (the friend in need)
- Chapter 5: Matthew 18:23-35 (the unmerciful servant)
- Chapter 6: Matthew 7:24-27 (the wise and foolish builders)
- Chapter 7: Matthew 25:14-30 (the five talents)
- Chapter 8: Luke 16:1-9 (the smart manager)
- Chapter 9: Matthew 18:10-14, Luke 15:1-7 (the lost sheep)
- Chapter 10: Luke 10:30-37 (The Good Samaritan)
Each chapter has concluding questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
If you are interested in similar books by Doug Newton, check out: