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Archive for the ‘parable’ Category

I am Seeing Eye an Ambassador-at-large. No big deal, I tell you. The Big Spirit sent me as with Appetite, another spirit,- you don’t see him unless you are spreading a feast. Over there you shall see my comrade who cannot get enough of anything to be heard. While man over there is blowing the thigh bone of an antelope, he is all shook up, But I am on my way to check out the caves in Dordogne France. For me art of man is a big deal. I almost wished I could have been a man for Lascaux was beyond belief. Ever since it is writ large across my Spirit world.
I watched this statue in marble, by Phidias and the Parthenon,- and I will be blowed if ever I could chisel my way around a block of stone. What beauty! what elan! I almost cried for vexation. Only if I were a man! Many of my fellow-spirits tried to say the carnage at Marathon, Salamis, burning of Persepolis was an error in judgment. Oh no the seeing eye shall not feel a thing except a work of art. It must come from somewhere, O man, you be godlike,- sacking of Rome or Constantinople is child’s play. But tell me, where have you hidden the key to your art? There is the village of Guernica and airmen like swarms of gnats go to it,-it is being pulverized! It is a sight, I admit. But Picasso,- but I don’t know the fellow, his canvass almost made my gorge rise. His rage almost became mine. Impossible I cannot feel but with my eye, -even with smoke and ashes flying around. I feel my eye smarting but where is art! it shall salve my eye. I shall not complain.
Ah now I see the entire earth going up in smoke. One big conflagration and nothing but tongues of fire,- united colors of Benetton as the fella said, white heat blue orange palette of floating tints surfing the shock waves again and again. No masterpiece more worthy of man I suppose I shall ever see. What the hell I just witnessed his art.
Benny

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Harvest-time: the good to the heaven and the tares to fire.

Mat.13:24-30

Parables are mysteries that any one may enter on condition that he is really in earnest. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Pro.29:18). A wise man asks the right questions and from right quarters. Power is in his persistence. Pearl of great price shall not be found by wayside. So man with vision is one possessed of his need and ready to spare no efforts in order to acquire it.

Power and Wisdom are the eternal qualities of the Godhead and when the Psalmist affirms ‘the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Ps.33:5)’ he touches upon those qualities as being in full evidence. While he is so convinced why do not we see the world around us differently? A skeptic would declare that whoever is the Supreme Being has abandoned it; and a humanist shall suggest man can achieve it if he tried hard enough. Such are ideas man can play with and lacking in vision wisdom of man is like the blind leading the blind. Man being full of his own ability to manage his affairs has created a no man’s land. It is what one may call as ways of the world. Man made the earth a global village after inventing airplanes. Progress for him is motion while what he touts as progress has added another arsenal to indiscriminate killing of civilians and cities with aerial bombings, to which progress can claim equally having had an hand. Is it not the prince of the power of the air or the devil who is behind all this?
God sowed the good seed but ‘An enemy hath done this.’ In the parable servants of God ask God, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ Answer of God reveals his long-suffering nature (v.29). God is perfect and it means his Power and Wisdom do not contradict one another. Instead love of God is the hallmark of whatever God does. Here what he says to them: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”.

There shall come a day of judgment: gathering of souls is indicated by ‘the wheat into my barn.’
Benny

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Matthew Ch.11:3-21

In order to understand the parable let us first examine the nature of the sower. God the Son came to the world in order to fulfill the will of the Father. ‘Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but everlasting life (Jn.3:16)’. So Jesus Christ is an apostle sent from heaven. He is also the logos aspect of God (Jn.1:1) He is the Word made flesh. We shall do well to focus the humanity of God as the message. He is the sower. He cast his seeds not meant for a few or for any particular nation but to the whole world. The word of the kingdom was for “who hath ears to hear, let him hear (v.9).”
Principle of Association existing in the Father-Son relationship would work if man sought it as necessary to be included. Seek and you shall find. It is not nature but the heart. So falling by the wayside or thorns are not features of the soil but state of the heart is what we need understand. Consequently how one prepares the ground to receive message is what the parable aims at. Make your calling and election sure. So it is vital that every hearer searches his own heart,- and it is humble and contrite, so he dd not hear it in vain.
Another point useful to remember is this: the world is his field. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (Jn.1:11).
The sower as sent to fulfill his task went his round sowing. The grains did not fall at the same place. Some seed fell on wayside but the fowls came and devoured them. The use of fowl in this parable serves a different purpose than in the parable of the mustard seed. That is why Jesus speaks about understanding what one hears. Wayside is no man’s land but a passage: mind is like a thoroughfare and thoughts flit and float carrying one after the other. On the earth we are all passing through and understanding means therefore a conscious effort to examine what is heard and place it where it rightly belongs. The people of Berea were honorable so they did not hear St Paul simply but checked its veracity in the light of the scriptures(Ac.17:11).
Parables are the means to separate the casual and those who are really seekers of truth. Fear of the Lord is the beginning wisdom. “Blessed is the man that heareth me…whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall find favor of the Lord (Pro.8:14-15).”
Benny

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The Parable of the Prodigal Son is an illustration of God’s long-suffering nature. He gives sinners a long rope upon which some hang themselves while some, like the younger son in the parable came to realize, just the right time to find way home. Consider God as the father and here we are talking of a share the son could claim as his. God allows his material blessings for each according to his ability. The same we find while God distributed manna from His storehouse. ‘…every man according to his eating (Ex.16:18).’ Compare this with the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus(Lk.16:19-31) and we shall see what is the significance of material wealth.

Wealth is a blessing indeed. But without God such blessings can turn contrary. The son realized without the Father his lot was suddenly thrown into misery. The younger son having to satisfy with hunger with husks is one of the most pathetic scenes one could conjure up! But God in mercy uses it to open his eyes.  What did it bring to mind? “He remembered of his patiently awaiting father and decided that it was to his parental solicitude he ought to appeal. Yes he had made a dent in the material wealth created by his sire. But love that overlooked all faults of the son was yet untried. The parable reveals the son was warmly received by the father. He puts on the best robe on the son who came back from the dead.  His righteousness is what God the Father offers to every sinner who repents.

Not so lucky was the dives who wined and dined on a grand scale never minding the sign of God had set right at the gate. Lazarus was indeed a sign for the dives as the husks of grain were for the boy.

Wealth indeed is a blessing from the Lord. But we need consider our roles. God as the maker of heaven and the earth has the right to call to account how his gifts have been put to use by every one of us. No man has come with the right to enjoy wealth not belonging to him and not having justify his actions. We need not consider how wealth is created and how man tries to hold on to privileges and wealth by stealth that over the years have become a precedent. But before God  no such man made laws, of the nation can save anyone who has proved to be bad stewards. At best we are his stewards as the many parables of Jesus Christ illustrate.

God always sets signs and symbols on the material objects that man often fails to acknowledge. Rock from which the children of Israel drank was not merely rock but holds a spiritual side. Manna similarly from heaven signified something much more than the article themselves. In these two parables we can see the Spirit relying on the husks and the beggar to teach the persons concerned something profound.

Death is the last stop before hell for those who felt no conscience prick about spending wealth with such impudence and boast over what they were not entitled to use solely for their own enjoyment. The rich man  did not bring wealth at birth and neither did he care if the wealth of others passing through his hands entitled him to carry blessings as well beyond the land of the living. When we are given gifts we need accept where they are from and set before us a warning: our accountability to God and our fellowmen shall confront us one day..

Internal evidence suggests both were Jews and observed the commandments of Moses. What the younger son wasted was material aspects of his (Father’s) living. Diaspora of Jews scattered the nation of Israel to four corners of the earth and in one such places the younger son being cast into dire straits joined to a citizen who tended the swine. It was in such a circumstance he awoke himself to the spiritual aspects of his father. Love of God is one such quality material wealth throws up.

Before we move on we need consider an aspect of spiritual life not often dwelt upon. The Prodigal Son among the swine delineates how tenuous our connection in the world is and being tempted all about us. The son had to eat whatever came in hand in order to satisfy hunger. ‘Being unequalled yoked’ with ungodly in the world how often we see children of God is constrained to live like every other in order to be as one among them. Certain cultural baggage that a believer carries around is unnecessary and often a drag on his spiritual life. There was a coarsening aspect wealth brings on people that the five brothers of the dives would not have listened to him had he gone to warn them of what agony awaited them. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (Lk.16:31). If wealth has deadened the soul what awaits man?

(reprinted from Guide To His Word)

benny

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A legend that had persisted from the age of Three Dynasties in China related to the existence of a curious Sun- disk. Some were certain it was dropped from the sky. Others were sure it was the Will of heaven. No one could agree what it was.
It was a day’s journey so Confucius set out to see it, accompanied by his grand son Tsesze.
It was a large monolithic stone with large opening at the centre. In order to examine it in detail they had to negotiate their way over a series of stones laid across a stretch of shallow stream. At every turn they found that they could see through that opening a changing scenery which was like inspecting a large scroll painting. They stood there awed by the scenic beauty for long.
As darkness fell they realized that instead of looking at the celestial object they spent time admiring the view. It reminded them of their own backyard. Before they turned to leave Tsesze asked his grand father,” Is it not curious that we wasted coming here? Just as though we were at home?” Later Confucius observed ‘We seek Nature’s Order behind everyday reality. Instead we let our senses trick us.’He added Nature use man’s senses as first line of defense. So man with uncultivated mind would stop there and look beyond. Nature has her mysteries and it is not for all. We are scholars and even so how easily we are beguiled?’
Nature opens her secrets only to those who have devoted to keep the Will of heaven natural and sacred. Indeed they are sages.
benny

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While Rome took control of Israel it was decreed that Torah should not be seen anywhere in the land. There came Pappos Ben Yehuda and found Rabbi Akiva carrying on as usual giving lectures to great assemblies and studying Torah.
The visitor was aghast and asked,’Akiva, are you not afraid of the wicked government?’
The Rabbi said,”I will tell you a parable: to what is the matter like? A fox walking along the running stream saw some fishes darting in and out with great agitation. The fox asked what was the matter. They answered,’From nets which men are bringing against us.’
He said to them,’Let it be your pleasure to come upon the dry land, and let us you and me,dwell together ever as my fathers dwelt with your fathers.’
‘Are you he whom they tell that you are the wisest of all animals? You are not wise but a fool. If we are in the place which is our life-element, how much more so in a place which is our death element?'”. The Rabbi added,’So alas it is with us: now while we sit and study Torah, in which it is written,’for that is thy life, and the length of thy days,’we are in such plight, how much more so if we go and neglect it!’ (from the Talmud)
Note: Rabbi Akiva was the greatest scholar of his age, and his support won Bar Kochaba wide following. When Rome prohibited the study of Torah in 135 AD, he defied the decree. He was arrested as a rebel,imprisoned and executed at Caesarea.( ack: The Jews in Their Land/ed. Ben-Gurion.pub.1966)
benny

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Misery could not bear stay at home. So went she visiting. Wherever she went she announced herself thus, “I am Misery.” She came home all the more miserable because none wanted her company.
Her sister Joy thought she knew how to amuse herself. She sold everything she had and went visiting. She bought presents to give away. Wherever she went she said, “I am Joy!” She was wined and dined and she gave away all she had. At the end those who received her well inquired, “What did you say your name was?”
Joy thought she had wasted her time.
Happiness, the eldest sister went visiting. Wherever she went she announced, “Will you let me stay with you? ”and the house owner asked every time, “Who are you?”
“I am nobody.” At this many a door was slammed in her face.
In the end she knocked at one door. A man opened and was told the same she told some thousand times: ‘I am nobody, Just Happiness.’
The man replied, “I am also a nobody but I have my time to give. I have a body to keep the hearth blazing. Just you and me. You want that?”
She agreed and thus she stayed on. Later he observed that he had the best deal in his life.

benny

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