The Most Popular Parable: Ranking the Beloved Tales of Wisdom

Choose the parable you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 17, 2024 06:24
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate platform for discovering the world's most popular parables! Our latest ranking dives into the realm of timeless wisdom, unearthing the most profound and thought-provoking stories that have been captivating the hearts and minds of people for centuries. We invite you to join thousands of fellow seekers on this enriching journey, as you vote for your favorite parable or suggest a hidden gem that deserves recognition. Will the Good Samaritan take the crown, or will the Prodigal Son emerge victorious? The power to decide lies in your hands! So, don't wait any longer – immerse yourself in these captivating tales, and let's unravel the mysteries of the most popular parable together!

What Is the Most Popular Parable?

  1. 1
    This parable is perhaps the most famous and well-known of all the parables of Jesus, found in Luke 10:25–37. It tells the story of a man who was robbed and left on the side of the road, and how a Samaritan, considered an enemy of the Jews, stopped to help him.
    The Good Samaritan is a parable from the Bible, specifically from the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37). It tells the story of a traveler who is robbed, beaten, and left to die on the side of the road. Several people, including a priest and a Levite, pass by without offering help. However, a Samaritan, who was considered an enemy of the Jewish people, stops and provides aid to the wounded traveler, taking him to an inn and paying for his care.
    • Religious Text: Bible
    • Gospel: Luke
    • Chapter and Verse: Luke 10:25-37
    • Theme: Compassion and helping others
    • Characters: Traveler, priest, Levite, Samaritan
  2. 2
    This parable is found in Luke 15:11–32 and tells the story of a son who demands his inheritance early from his father and wastes it all on frivolous living, only to return home and be welcomed back by his father with open arms.
  3. 3

    The Mustard Seed

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Matthew 13:31-32 and tells of how the smallest seed can grow into the largest tree or plant, representing the growth of faith and the Kingdom of God.
    The Mustard Seed is a famous parable attributed to Jesus Christ, found in the New Testament of the Bible. It is a short story that uses the image of a mustard seed to convey a profound spiritual message.
    • Origin: The parable is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew (13:31-32) and Mark (4:30-32), which are two of the four canonical books presenting the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
    • Meaning: The parable teaches that even though the mustard seed is one of the tiniest seeds, it can grow into a large and sturdy tree. Likewise, faith, when nurtured and cultivated, can grow and have a significant impact.
    • Symbolism: The mustard seed is often interpreted as representing the kingdom of God, the growth of Christianity, or the transformative power of faith.
    • Message: It encourages believers to have faith, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, as even the smallest seed of faith can yield great results.
    • Universality: The parable has been embraced by various religious traditions and is often shared as an example of the power of faith.
  4. 4

    The Sower and the Seed

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Matthew 13:3-9 and tells of how the seed can fall on different types of soil and produce different results, representing the importance of hearing and understanding God's word.
    The parable of the Sower and the Seed follows a story in which a sower scatters seeds in different types of soil, symbolizing the different responses people may have to the teachings of God. This parable teaches about the importance of the receptivity of the hearer and the condition of their heart in understanding and accepting the word of God.
    • Title: The Sower and the Seed
    • Origin: Christianity
    • Importance: Widely recognized and commonly referenced parable
    • Symbolism: Different types of soil represent various responses to the word of God
    • Teaching: Importance of a receptive heart in understanding and accepting God's teachings
  5. 5
    This parable is found in Matthew 25:14-30 and tells of how three servants were entrusted with different amounts of money by their master, and how they each used their talents differently.
    The Talents is a parable often referred to as the Parable of the Talents. It is found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible in the book of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 14-30. The parable tells the story of a master who entrusts his servants with different amounts of money, or 'talents,' before going away on a journey. Upon his return, the master rewards the servants who had invested and multiplied their talents, but condemns the one who had buried his talent and earned nothing.
    • Origin: New Testament, book of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 14-30
    • Theme: Responsibility, stewardship, and the importance of using one's abilities or resources wisely
    • Characters: Master and his three servants
    • Plot: Master entrusts talents to his servants, goes away, and returns to assess their actions and rewards
    • Talents: A form of currency in biblical times; possessed different monetary values
  6. 6
    The Rich Fool
    David Kindt · CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Rich Fool

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Luke 12:13-21 and tells of how a rich man stored up all his wealth for himself, but died before he could enjoy it, illustrating the danger of greed and materialism.
    The parable of the Rich Fool tells the story of a wealthy man who accumulated an abundance of crops and decided to tear down his barns and build larger ones to store his possessions, intending to live a life of ease and leisure. However, God rebukes him, calling him a fool for not being rich towards God and warns that his life will be taken away that very night.
    • Biblical Reference: Luke 12:13-21
    • Genre: Religious teaching
    • Publication Year: Circa 30-33 AD
    • Main Theme: The dangers of greed and materialism
    • Key Characters: Rich Fool, God
  7. 7
    This parable is found in Luke 18:9-14 and tells of how a proud Pharisee and a humble tax collector each prayed to God, and how the tax collector's humble attitude was favored by God.
    The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, also known as the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, is a well-known parable mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:9-14) in the New Testament. It illustrates the theme of humility and the attitude required for prayer and repentance.
    • Title: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
    • Gospel: Luke
    • Chapter: 18
    • Verses: 9-14
    • Theme: Humility, prayer, repentance
  8. 8

    The Wedding Feast

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Matthew 22:1-14 and tells of how a king invited guests to his son's wedding feast, but they all made excuses and did not come, representing how some people reject the invitation to God's Kingdom.
    The Wedding Feast is a well-known parable found in the Christian Bible. It tells the story of a king who invites guests to his son's wedding feast, but they all decline the invitation. The king then invites anyone he can find on the streets, both good and bad, to fill the wedding hall. However, one guest is found without proper wedding attire and is subsequently cast out. The parable teaches about the importance of accepting God's invitation for salvation and emphasizes the need for sincere repentance and commitment to God.
    • Origin: Christian Bible
    • Meaning: Importance of accepting God's invitation for salvation
    • Lesson: Repentance and commitment to God
    • Characters: King, son, guests
    • Invitation: Initially declined by guests
  9. 9

    The Lost Sheep

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Luke 15:1-7 and tells of how a shepherd leaves his 99 sheep to search for the one that was lost, representing God's love and concern for each individual.
    The Lost Sheep is a well-known parable in Christianity that can be found in the New Testament of the Bible. This parable tells the story of a shepherd who has a hundred sheep. When one of the sheep goes missing, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in search of the lost sheep. After finding it, the shepherd rejoices and celebrates over the return of the lost sheep.
    • Religious Text: New Testament (Bible)
    • Religion: Christianity
    • Theme: God's love and compassion for the lost
    • Lesson: The value of each individual and the importance of seeking out those who are lost
    • Symbolism: The lost sheep represents sinners and the shepherd represents God
  10. 10

    The Ten Virgins

    Jesus Christ
    This parable is found in Matthew 25:1-13 and tells of how ten virgins were waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom, but only five were prepared with enough oil for their lamps, representing the need for readiness and preparation for Christ's return.
    The Ten Virgins is a parable found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is a story told by Jesus Christ to teach a lesson about being prepared for the second coming of Christ.
    • Origin: New Testament, specifically Matthew 25:1-13
    • Setting: A wedding feast
    • Characters: Ten virgins, bridegroom
    • Lesson: To be prepared for the return of Christ
    • Symbolism: The virgins represent believers, the bridegroom represents Christ

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Ranking factors for popular parable

  1. Universality
    A popular parable should have a theme or message that is relatable and applicable to a wide range of people, regardless of culture, religion, or background.
  2. Clarity
    The message or lesson of the parable should be clear and easy to understand. Parables often make use of simple language, symbols, and metaphors to convey their message in a straightforward manner.
  3. Timelessness
    The themes and messages of popular parables should be timeless, meaning they continue to resonate with people throughout different periods of history and cultural shifts.
  4. Cultural significance
    A popular parable may be deeply rooted in the history and culture of a particular group of people, making it widely known and respected within that community.
  5. Emotional impact
    Popular parables should evoke an emotional response from the reader or listener, whether it is empathy, sadness, or a sense of justice.
  6. Memorable storytelling
    The narrative of a popular parable should be engaging, interesting, and easy to remember. This often includes memorable characters, unexpected plot twists, and vivid imagery.
  7. Influence on literature and art
    The popularity of a parable may be determined by its influence on other works of literature, art, and even popular culture. The more a parable has been referenced, adapted, or retold, the more popular it can be considered.
  8. Accessibility to a wide audience
    A popular parable should be accessible to people of all ages and levels of education. This means that the language, themes, and message of the parable should be universally understandable.
  9. Transcultural appeal
    A truly popular parable should have the ability to transcend cultural boundaries, allowing people from different cultures and backgrounds to connect with its themes and message.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular parable. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or parable is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 197 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each parable once every 24 hours. The rank of each parable is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular parable

Parables are an intriguing literary form that has been used for centuries to convey moral or spiritual lessons. These short stories often involve relatable characters and situations that make them easy to understand and remember. From Aesop's Fables to Jesus' teachings, parables have been a powerful tool for teaching and inspiring people throughout history. In this article, we will explore the most popular parables and the impact they have had on society. Whether you are a lover of literature or simply curious about the power of storytelling, this article is sure to provide insight into the enduring appeal of parables.

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