These are short stories that are used to illustrate a moral or religious lesson. If you look at the synoptic gospels in the Bible, you see that Jesus used this method of teaching the people. The Book of Matthew contains 23 while Mark contains 8 and the Book of Luke contains 24. This method of teaching was based on mashal, a Hebrew form of comparison and Jesus was a Jew (Hebrew) descended from the line of King David.
To understand the necessity for this form of teaching, we must remember that, during the time Jesus was on the earth, the majority of people could not read and write. These short stories were simple and memorable enough for people to pass on to their family and others without them being written down. When asked, Jesus stated that He spoke using this method to fulfill prophecy from the Book of Isaiah. ( See Matt. 13:10-17, Mark 4:10-12, and Luke 8:9-10) In simple terms, Jesus spoke that way so that knowledge of God would come from God speaking to people's hearts and not from their minds and their own understanding.
The purpose of these stories is to put biblical principles into modern situations. This can help us to understand more about our Lord and Savior.
MARY'S CANDLE is a story about the extreme love that we are called to demonstrate in this world. It is a picture of the love that Jesus Christ demonstrated for all people including Muslims around the world.
In our world today, a main focus of many is the legacy that they will leave behind when they die. FISHERS OF MEN is a short story about how the faith of one can touch the lives of many and in turn leave a legacy that is worthy of the calling that we have in Jesus Christ.
For a modern look at the power of prayer, you can check out SIMON'S TEARS. This is a short story of how a congregation learned about prayer and it's effectiveness. It is also a story that can teach us about the fact that we cannot judge people by what we think or imagine.
THE DIAMOND CROSS is a short story of how a young woman learned about the blessings that can flow from obedience to God. It is a modern story of faith in action.
For a modern look at judging others, you can check out SOMEONE ELSE'S DOG. This is a story about the effects of judging others and how important it is to guard our mouths. Sometimes, we may not set out to judge others but our words can still hurt very deeply.
A HOUSE ON THE HILL is a story of compassion and reminds us that Jesus not only cared about us but took action on our behalf.