The elder son, who had remained with his father the entire time, not wasting his inheritance, was perplexed by this, and refused to take part in the celebration. He said to his father:
“Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends…”
They speak about the depths of life in such a soft and humorous way, that we are able to hear them before we become defended to their message. Added into each story is my brief thoughts and insights to a deeper meaning. I invite you to add in your own as well. Enjoy.
To speak more about what you would like to discover, e-mail or call Matt Marchant at the following: [email protected] or (714) 342-0359.
During Jesus’ time on earth, He loved using profound parables to teach important lessons. Modern day parables have the same foundational idea. So what is a parable? It is a story that is easy to understand that has a much more important meaning.
‘Nonsense’ said the first. ‘There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?’
¶“ 26 And Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man scattering seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows —he knows not how. 28 The earth, by itself, produces first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once the man puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.’” (Mark 4:26-29).
The man was overwhelmed with joy when he found the treasure. God brings us into his kingdom for this purpose, that we might share in his joy, and that for ever. This world has no lasting joy, but heaven has. That’s why we should seek and secure our place in heaven, and not love the things of this world (1John 2:15-17) .
In Dante’s Inferno, the narrator (a fictional version of Dante himself) is led through Hell by his mentor and guide, a fictional version of the poet Virgil. Virgil shows Dante how different people who sinned during life are treated in death; indeed, there is a sense of poetic justice to the punishment of all sinners. The punishment each receives is related to the primary crime he committed during life. For example, the French medieval troubadour featured above, Bertran de Born, explains that he “severed those so joined” (i.e., fomented rebellion of Henry the Young King against his father) and thus he is forced for eternity to carry his brain severed from his body.
Because I severed those so
joined, I carry – alas – my brain dissevered from its source,
which is within my trunk. And thus, in me
one sees the law of counter-penalty.
Don’t be discouraged if something is not in your favor today. Better opportunities are always waiting ahead.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
2. Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32): As Michelle Russell wrote in the earlier blog entry,” I immediately felt welcomed and have come to realize that our Father’s love is perfectly described in the person of the father of the Prodigal Son. Not only was he ready to welcome me back, he was waiting for me, greeting me with unconditional love – not dismissing my absence, but celebrating my return, and fully embracing me, whether I deserved it or not!” Ditto for me.
11. The Marriage Feast (Matthew 22:1-10): Those you least expect might be sitting beside you at the wedding banquet, unless we are not there, having lost our spots due to dinner plans, business and lack of care.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (NIV, Matthew 13:18-23)
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.’