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Posts Tagged ‘parables’


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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What is in a name? The man lay on the wayside, stripped of everything and was helpless. He might have supplied answer to that question had not the robbers hit on his occiput hard. Groaning and retching he lay but a scholar came along, only to be followed by another who pointed out to the man in agony and said,”A fool and his money part company soon enough.” The first scholar said,”Tut, tut” He is made in the image of God. He has been robbed.” The second scholar said, “Yes his wealth has certainly made themselves wings”. The first chuckled to say, ‘You are quoting Solomon.” At this point the man in misery groaned,”Help, help..” The scholars ignoring his cry lengthened their strides to discuss their latest paper under blind peer review, “Doctor of Divinity is nothing to be sneezed at. Whoever goes through it shall bowl over the foot notes”. While the other took up the merit of end notes,- and they had enough ammunition to fire away.(For scholar a position to show his scholarship is all that matters. It makes time pass.)
The man on the road lay for some time before a pastor passed by and he looked up to say, “Thank God, you kept me safe,- unlike him,- probably belongs to ethnic minority. Ahem”
The man who came next helped the man in need and when he recovered he straightaway went home and told the wonderful stranger who helped him unasked, “Son, last time they crucified you like a common criminal. This time it is no better.” He called Archangel Gabriel to get ready. “I shall soon show what I think of it all.”
Benny

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“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard (Ge.9:20).”

While discussing the symbolism in the Book of Genesis we dealt with the butterfly effect in an earlier instance. We shall consider the vine and husbandry associated with it. What does this effect signify? A symbol introduced under the Old Covenant, the import of which becoming far greater in the end explains the butterfly effect. The Spirit’s intent is two fold: It glorifies the Son as the heir of all things (He.1:2) and secondly establishes the Alpha and Omega aspect of Jesus Christ.

In order to illustrate this effect let us consider the symbolism of the olive leaf  introduced in the episode of Noah and the flood. After the ark of Noah came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat, he sent a a dove to investigate. We read that she brought back ‘an olive leaf pluckt off’ Whereas in the Genesis account it is casually presented the symbolism however becomes preeminent in establishing the salvation plan of God. Thus what was a trifle  casts a long shadow to the end times. The idea of the dove not finding ‘no rest for the sole of her foot’ acquires a greater significance when we associate the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove.  At the baptism of Jesus we read in the gospel of St Matthew thus, “…And he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove(Mt.3:16). It points to the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh on the day of Pentecost. The church is compared to a wild olive tree(Ro.11:24) “”And (graffed) contrary to nature into a good olive tree..:.The Spirit in reorganizing two narrative bodies one from God the Father and the other from the point of view of God, the Son establishes the branch from the olive tree to the Church. By the same token the vine is another symbol which is what we are considering at present.

“I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman (Jn.15: 1).”  Considering the number of parables which our Savior Lord said in this context we shall treat  the image of Noah  planting a vineyard as intentionally set down and the Spirit instructs us to remember our place in terms of the Husbandman.”For without me you can do nothing (vs.15:5).”

Noah was drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. What shall man make of jealousy of God? Or the verse “And it repented the Lord that he made man…(Ge.6:6)” In order to understand where Ham failed we may recall the first of Ten Commandments. “Honor Thy Father and Mother…” Carrying tales or judging ‘seemingly different lifestyles of’ brethren’ must be seen as lack of reverence for God.

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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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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Changing values

In a curious town like Pye-in-the Skye there are many ways to be considered ‘mad.’ Max was not an idiot but the folks thought he was a borderline case. They didn’t take kindly to those who did not live unto their expectations. Nor did they warm up to those who stuck to their guns. As soon as he learned to assemble a refrigerator he knew he wanted to sell one. Where did he go but to the North Pole and naturally the rest sighed and said, ‘Good riddance.’
He wanted to sell refrigerators to the natives.
The Inuit didn’t buy a single one and he died a very poor man. All that he left behind was some ice boxes and a technical manual.
On the other hand Dr. Faustus having made a pact with the devil became the most celebrated scholar. He knew everything that went under the Sun, which passed for knowledge. How the crowned heads and scholars alike feted him! Then came the computers that made him redundant. He died in grief. He said that a machine beat him. Yes.
The world went a-changing! Then came a thaw and ice melted. The polar caps vanished as an icicle in a furnace. The people in Nunavut learned to live with the climate changes. Then someone found the papers of ‘Mad’ Max and it was a discovery that electrified the whole region. They began to make fridges themselves and control their houses to the right temperature.
The world in their own muddling ways saw a great injustice was done to Inuit. They owed to them a great debt for destroying their old way of life. How to repay them?
Nunavut became synonymous the home of refrigerators. The world leaders came to an agreement that fridges made there could be sold worldwide duty-free. Buying fridges made in Nunavut was consistent with principles of ethical living. Inuit prospered.
Who contributed to the welfare of the world more? A fool or a scholar?
benny

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