The parables provide a window into Jesus’ character that O’Collins uses to explore the impression Jesus creates as he travels. He shows that telling parables sets Jesus apart from his disciples who do not communicate with the crowds they attract in this way. O’Collins shows us that Jesus paid attention to the rich details that surrounded him and that his parables were usually based on farming or everyday family life. Even when the parables have an Old Testament equivalent, Jesus rendered them in a new way by basing them in the experiences of the people he was talking to. By examining the parables we learn that Jesus has an understanding of God’s Kingdom that sets it apart from human standards. For example, apparent equal treatment takes a back seat to displays of generous love. We learn that Jesus himself shows compassion to the crowds in the parables he tells. Jesus is portrayed as an attractive public persona and as someone very sensitive to his audience’s experience of life.


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