Book Ranking – 9 out of 10
Book Title: Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told, by John MacArthur (published by Nelson Books, 2015)
This book is “vintage MacArthur”: it is simple, concise, rigidly biblical, and profound.
The introductory chapter that answers the question of why Jesus spoke in parables and then the appendix where MacArthur writes about the importance of objective meaning is worth the price of purchase of the entire book. In these sections, MacArthur shows the wisdom of God in hiding “the truth from self-righteous or self-satisfied people who fancied themselves too sophisticated to learn from him, while the same parables revealed to truth to eager souls with childlike faith – those who were hungering and thirsting for righteousness.” In short, MacArthur concludes, that the unbeliever will not understand these simplistic illustrations of truth and, by contrast, the believer will be edified by them (Matt 11:25-26).
The other ten chapters contain a parable in each of them, and MacArthur writes towards his strength: expositing a passage of Scripture. Each chapter contains historical background, an explanation of the passage being referred to, and then application of the Scriptures being explained. In other words, it’s similar to reading a series of sermons from the life of Christ. And here is no one better to do that in our modern era than John MacArthur.
My one criticism – The chapter titles do not clearly identify which parable is explained in their chapter. Most people will not be able to quickly reference which parable is in which chapter.
There is not a believer I can think of who would not benefit from reading this book. Whether you just professed the name of Christ yesterday or can look back on sixty years of living for the Lord, you will be instructed and encouraged by reading this book.
I would like to thank Nelson Books for giving me a copy of this book to read, review and apply to my current ministry.