Parables In Matthew’s Gospel: Book Verses & Passages

Explore the parables in Matthew’s Gospel Book of the Bible. These parables in Matthew told by Jesus Christ illustrate spiritual truths about the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven, living in a way that glorifies God, and other important topics.

This guide is divided into two sections:

  • The first part includes a list of all parables in the Book of Matthew with the Bible verse locations for quick reference.
  • The second part lists the passages from each of Jesus’ parables in order so you can read them on this page.

Parables In Matthew List of Verses

No.ParableMatthew Verse
1The Lamp On a StandMatthew 5:14–16
2The Speck and the LogMatthew 7:1–5
3The Wise and the Foolish BuildersMatthew 7:24–27
4New Cloth and New WineskinsMatthew 9:16–17
5The Divided KingdomMatthew 12:24–30
6The SowerMatthew 13:3–23
7The WeedsMatthew 13:24–30
8The Mustard SeedMatthew 13:31–32
9The YeastMatthew 13:33
10The Hidden TreasureMatthew 13:44
11The PearlMatthew 13:45–46
12The NetMatthew 13:47–50
13The HouseholderMatthew 13:52
14The Lost SheepMatthew 18:12–14
15The Unforgiving ServantMatthew 18:23–31
16The Workers In the VineyardMatthew 20:1–16
17The Two SonsMatthew 21:28–32
18The TenantsMatthew 21:33–44
19The Wedding BanquetMatthew 22:1–14
20The Fig TreeMatthew 24:32–35
21The Ten VirginsMatthew 25:1–13
22The TalentsMatthew 25:14–30
23The Sheep and GoatsMatthew 25:31–46
Source: Book of Matthew

Parables In the Book of Matthew Bible Passages

Parable of the New Cloth and New Wineskins

Passage: Matthew 9:16–17

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made. Neither do people put new wine into old wineskins, or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Parable of the Lamp On a Stand

Passage: Matthew 5:14–16

“You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do you light a lamp and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Parable of the Speck and a Log

Passage: Matthew 7:1–5

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with whatever judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders

Passage: Matthew 7:24–27

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell—and its fall was great.”

Parable of the Divided Kingdom

Passage: Matthew 12:24–30

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man does not cast out demons except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then God’s Kingdom has come upon you. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn’t gather with me, scatters.”

Parable of the Sower

Passage: Matthew 13:3–23

He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a farmer went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them. Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth. When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell amongst thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on good soil and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

He answered them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand. In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says,

‘By hearing you will hear,
and will in no way understand;
Seeing you will see,
and will in no way perceive;
for this people’s heart has grown callous,
their ears are dull of hearing,
and they have closed their eyes;
or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and would turn again,
and I would heal them.’

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.”

“Hear, then, the parable of the farmer. When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside. What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word and immediately with joy receives it; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. What was sown amongst the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit and produces, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Parable of the Weeds

Passage: Matthew 13:24–30

He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also amongst the wheat, and went away. But when the blade sprang up and produced grain, then the darnel weeds appeared also. The servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did these darnel weeds come from?’

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’

“But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Passage: Matthew 13:31–32

He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

Parable of the Yeast

Passage: Matthew 13:33

He spoke another parable to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened.”

Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Passage: Matthew 13:44

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Parable of the Pearl

Passage: Matthew 13:45–46

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Parable of the Net

Passage: Matthew 13:47–50

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some fish of every kind, which, when it was filled, fishermen drew up on the beach. They sat down and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be in the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked from amongst the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Parable of the Householder

Passage: Matthew 13:52

He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Passage: Matthew 18:12–14

“What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Passage: Matthew 18:23–35

“Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he had begun to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt.

“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

“So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ He would not, but went and cast him into prison until he should pay back that which was due. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”

Parable of the Workers In the Vineyard

Passage: Matthew 20:1–16

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. About the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’

“They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’

“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’

“When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’

“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Parable of the Two Sons

Passage: Matthew 21:28–32

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I’m going, sir,’ but he didn’t go. Which of the two did the will of his father?”

They said to him, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into God’s Kingdom before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him.”

Parable of the Tenants

Passage: Matthew 21:33–44

“Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a wine press in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country. When the season for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the farmers to receive his fruit. The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first; and they treated them the same way. But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But the farmers, when they saw the son, said amongst themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard, then killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?”

They told him, “He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers who will give him the fruit in its season.”

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,

‘The stone which the builders rejected
was made the head of the corner.
This was from the Lord.
It is marvellous in our eyes’?

“Therefore I tell you, God’s Kingdom will be taken away from you and will be given to a nation producing its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.”

Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Passage: Matthew 22:1–14

Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a wedding feast for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding feast!” ’ But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise; and the rest grabbed his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those servants went out into the highways and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn’t have on wedding clothing, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?’ He was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness. That is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.’ For many are called, but few chosen.”

Parable of the Fig Tree

Passage: Matthew 24:32–35

“Now from the fig tree learn this parable: When its branch has now become tender and produces its leaves, you know that the summer is near. Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that he is near, even at the doors. Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Parable of the Ten Virgins

Passage: Matthew 25:1–13

“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘What if there isn’t enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Parable of the Talents

Passage: Matthew 25:14–30

“For it is like a man going into another country, who called his own servants and entrusted his goods to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the earth and hid his lord’s money.

“Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and settled accounts with them. He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents in addition to them.’

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“He also who got the two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents in addition to them.’

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow, and gathering where you didn’t scatter. I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’

“But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. Take away therefore the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away. Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Parable of the Sheep and Goats

Passage: Matthew 25:31–46

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?’

“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’

“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

More Parables In the Gospels

The Gospel of Matthew is not the only book of the Bible that includes parables. The Gospels of Mark and Luke also contain many of the same parables as well as unique parables for their intended audience. Use these other guides below to find more of Jesus’ parables in the Synoptic Gospels.

Summary for the Parables In Matthew

We hope you enjoyed this list of parables in Matthew.

As you discovered, there are many parables in the Book of Matthew that Jesus told to His listeners to illustrate spiritual lessons about the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven, living in a way that glorifies God, and other important topics. Hopefully, these Gospel of Matthew parables have given you wisdom on how to live out your faith in God as a follower of Jesus Christ.

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