Episodes 5 and 6: Pride and the Power of Parables
In a two part mini series Paul Davenport talks to Josh Dean about pride and how it is characterised in the Biblical narrative but also about how the Bible uses stories, or parables, to help us think deeper and challenge ourselves.
Paul Davenport and Josh Dean conclude a two part series about pride and how it is characterised in the Biblical narrative. This section shows how the Bible, and especially Jesus, uses stories and parables to help us think deeper and challenge ourselves.
In a two part mini series Paul Davenport talks to Josh Dean about pride and the power of parables. This is all about how human pride is characterised in the Biblical narrative and then also about how the Bible uses stories, or parables, to help us think deeper and challenge ourselves.
In the first conversation they spend some time thinking about some examples of pride that seem to automatically come to mind. But the discussion is no finger pointing exercise because it quickly gets into a discussion of the whole human condition and how pride is often an expression of our insecurities – something that is universal to humanity.
Pride is a universal problem
This is also how the Bible describes humanity. Paul and Josh discuss passages that include the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, and the pride of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. It isn’t only the quintessential ‘bad guys’ who are depicted as proud in the Bible’s story. It’s a problem that affects everyone, and that means it could affect us as well.
A parable that deals with pride
And so we need something that can help us reveal our own weaknesses and tendencies to succumb to prideful feelings. And Paul and Josh discover that in the parables that Jesus taught – specifically the parable of the lost Son.
In Luke 15:11-32 Jesus presents a story of two sons and their father. The younger son takes his inheritance and runs away to squander it in pleasure-seeking, but returns with a sorry heart. The father welcomes him with open arms when he returns. Both characters swallow their pride. The son realises his behaviour was self-centred and has to change his outlook. The father could so easily have stood on his pride and exacted some kind of punishment from the son, but he displays a valuable selfless kind of genuine love.
The elder son, however, refuses to join the celebration. This then invites the reader to consider which character they empathise with and how they can think about the issues to do with pride in their own lives. This is how the parables of Jesus work and how they can begin to deal with the problems that are universal to humanity.