Papyri from early Roman Egypt that are contemporaneous with first-century Palestine provide ancient comparanda of the economic and social practices and realities presupposed by the sayings and parables of Jesus. As such, these papyri, where applicable, provide a window through which the realism of Jesus' parables can be assessed. In this paper, a summary is given of some recent work done on the realism of the parables of Jesus using Graeco-Egyptian papyri. A preliminary reading of the parable of the Wise Steward (Luke 16:1–8a) is also given, paying particular attention to the possible reality underlying this parable. This reading indicates that the use of Graeco-Egyptian papyri can enhance a social-scientific reading of the parables.