One of the most useful resources that I have reviewed is Zondervan's The Parables of Jesus under the Deeper Connections DVD series.
This series contains a comprehensive study guide on six of the parables of Jesus:
- Matthew 13:24-33: the coming of the Kingdom
- Luke 7:36-50: the grace of the Kingdom
- Luke 15:11-32: the God of the Kingdom
- Matthew 13:44-46: the demand of the Kingdom
- Matt 22:1-14: the mission of the Kingdom
- Matt 25:31-46: the fulfillment of the Kingdom
Each of the studies above is taught by six well known and well respected NT scholars:
- Gary Burge
- David Garland
- Mark Strauss
- Michael Wilkins
- Matt Williams
- Ben Witherington III
In order to help the participants appreciate the impact of the message of the parables in the times of Jesus, each of the lesson plans consists of three components:
- historical and cultural background
- an engaging investigation of the biblical text and its meaning
- challenging application of the message of the parable in contemporary context.
This DVD series is also accompanied by a Participant's Guide that helps the participants navigate through the teachings of the instructors. It also contains thought provoking questions for discussion. In addition, the Participant Guide also brings the application of the message of the parables further by providing five daily personal reflection studies that could be used as personal devotions.
I will be using some of the lessons from this DVD series for my lectures and will engage the students to review critically the effectiveness of the teaching method and to consider how to contextualise this resource for the use in our local context.
Hopefully, this excellent series by Zondervan could help us reflect on how best we can creatively teach and preach the parables of Jesus so that the message of the parables can still be driven home in our contemporary context.