Jesus used parables extensively in his teaching. When Jesus's disciples asked why he taught in parables he told them it was too hide the spiritual meaning from those who were not worthy, see Matthew 13:11. Although Jesus needed to protect himself from the religious leaders of his time until He was able to bring His message to the world, there are other reasons for using parables. There was a nice article on Yahoo voices (which has since dissapeared) that gave five reasons Jesus taught with parables. 1) Jesus Used Parables to Make Difficult Principles Easier to Understand, 2) Jesus Used Parables Because They are Memorable, 3) Parables Were A Common Teaching Style During the Time of Jesus, 4) Parables Allowed Jesus to Teach Controversial Ideas Without Getting Him in Trouble with Religious Leaders of the Day, 5) Jesus Came to Show Us God Not to Teach Us Rules. I particularly like the discussion about how we all like stories. Parable and stories are something that we can think back on again and again and get more understand as we go through our own life experiences. For me the Prodigal son and the feelings of the older brother are particularly meaningful. How easy it is for pride and judging others to take us away from Jesus's teaching to love everyone. The link to Ken Collins's page on the reason for parables adds additional insight.

More well know Parables of Jesus

Modern Parables

I like trying to come up with parables or allegories that relate to the modern world or the world of science.