<p>In this quiz by the author of the <a href="http://eatthebible.blogspot.com/">Eat the Bible</a> blog, find out how well you have been listening to Jesus.</p>

In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, a landowner hires workers to tend his fields; some are hired in the morning and some are hired in the evening. How much is each group paid?

When the workers who arrived in the morning complain, the landowner replies, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 12:15) The landowner makes a good point, but could we at least get these hard workers some free wine?

In the parable of the sower, on which type of ground do seeds not land?

Further, only some of the seeds lands on “good soil,” where they can take root and grow. Perhaps the sower should work on his aim.

According to Jesus, though the mustard seed is the “smallest of all the seeds” (Matthew 13:32), it grows to become:

And a little later on, it is the most delicious of condiments.

Which of the four gospels contains the fewest parables?

Most scholars suggest that John’s gospel contains no parables at all.

In the parable of the unjust judge, why does the judge finally grant the widow justice?

As the judge explains it, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming” (Luke 18:4-5). If you ever get pulled over for speeding, hope that you don’t get the unjust judge at your trial.

What happens in the parable of the dishonest manager, told in Luke 16?

Is it just me, or is this parable is one of the most confusing in all the gospels?

When the poor man Lazarus dies, he is carried away by angels to be with whom?

The rich man who ignores Lazarus’s poverty suffers a worse fate: he is sent to the fires of Hades.

In Matthew 21, Jesus tells the story of a father who asks his two sons to go and work in his vineyard. How many of his sons go?

But it gets a little complicated. The first son says he won’t go and does. The second says he will go and doesn’t. I’ll bet their father is very confused.

According to Mark 4, does Jesus expect everyone to understand all his parables?

Jesus actually suggests that the parables are designed to be confusing to outsiders. He says to his disciples, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that ‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand’” (Mark 4:11-12).

In the parable of the ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25), how many bridesmaids have enough oil for their lamps?

The bridesmaids wait for a bridegroom, whose arrival is delayed. When darkness falls, half of the bridesmaids must leave to get more oil and are locked out of the wedding banquet. I would not want to be in one of their cars for that ride home.

What does the prodigal son do with his inheritance?

That’s what “prodigal” means. Ooh look—now it’s a vocabulary quiz!

In the parable of the wicked tenants, a landowner leaves the country and leases his property. When the landowner sends slaves to collect the rent, two are beaten and one is killed. Finally, he sends his son. What do the tenants do to him?

Christians recognize the son as Jesus, sent to earth by his divine father and executed.

In Luke 13, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to what baking ingredient?

Yes, the kingdom of God is probably sweet, but Jesus never likens it to sugar. Yeast is the leavening agent that makes bread rise.

According to Jesus, what is the meaning of the parable of the lost sheep?

Let’s let Jesus explain: “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).

In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, why does the Pharisee come to the temple to thank God?

Specifically, he is not like “thieves, rogues, adulterers” and tax collectors (Luke 18:11). Coincidentally, a tax collector is standing near the temple, too. Unlike the Pharisee, he simply looks at the ground and cries, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (18:13) Jesus explains that only the tax collector’s prayer is legitimate.

In one of his parables, Jesus tells a story about a barren tree. What kind of tree is it?

And in Mark 11, Jesus curses a fig tree and makes it wither. Mary must have forced Jesus to eat way too much delicious dried fruit as a child.

A brief parable in Matthew 13 tells of a merchant in search of what precious jewels?

As Jesus explains, “on finding one pearl of great value,” the merchant “went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45). For Jesus, that pearl is like the kingdom of God.

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the story of a debtor whose debt is forgiven. When the debtor is released from prison, he runs into a man who owes him money. What does he do?

What a jerk!

One of Jesus’ parables tells of a man who goes to his friend’s house at midnight pleading for bread. The friend initially refuses but eventually gives the man three loaves. This parable is followed by which of Jesus’ most famous sayings?

Both the story and the saying express the power of perseverance. I hope you didn’t answer “Every rose has its thorn”—that’s a song by the 1980s glam-band Poison.

In another parable, Jesus speaks of a rich man who gives his servants “talents.” What is a talent?

In first-century Palestine, one talent was equivalent to a normal laborer’s wages over fifteen years. So when the man gives one of his slaves five talents, he’s laying down a boatload of cash! (Matthew 25:15)
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