Tag Archives: parables

Many are invited but few are chosen

wedding feast

Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. “The kingdom of heaven is like this: once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come.

So he sent other servants with this message for the guests. ‘My feast is ready now; my steers and my prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast! But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm and another to his store, while others grabbed the servants beat them, and killed them.

The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. Then he called his servants and said to them, “My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.

So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people. The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes.

‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The king asked him. But the man said nothing. Then the king told the servants to, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.’”

And Jesus concluded, many are invited but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22: 1-14).

In your opinion, was the king’s action justified? Did the guy who wasn’t in the proper wedding clothes deserve to be thrown out? What we, as readers need to understand first is that Jesus used parables to relay messages. I guess He felt it would be easier to tell stories (parables) because that way listeners would understand better.

He started off by saying, “The kingdom of God is like this…” so naturally He used the word king to refer to His Father, and the servants are the people among us–preachers-who he anoints to spread His gospel. When they go out to spread the word, they are turned away and in some instances they are killed; for instance, John the Baptist was beheaded.

God, like the king, invites all to His kingdom, without discriminating. He doesn’t pay any attention to who is a sinner and who is not. Furthermore, He gives us all an equal chance, hoping we will heed to His call.

In the parable, Jesus talks about a banquet and normally, banquets are happy occasions. The guy who was thrown out attended the party, seemingly unprepared, and given that this was a parable, one could interpret it from many perspectives. The proper attire could be humility, kindness, love…

When God calls us, he expects us to show acts of kindness to those around us. Maybe the guy lacked that, and so even though he was invited to the feast, he was thrown out. The ‘proper wedding attire’ could refer to many things.

The parable gives us something to reflect upon; if we were standing before God today, would we be fully prepared for the feast, or like the man, we would be thrown out? And if it’s the latter, what are the things we do wrong, which would cost us a chance to take part in God’s feast?

 

 

Wheat or weeds?

parable of the weeds

“The kingdom of heaven is like this: A man sowed good seed in his field. One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, then the weeds showed up.

The man’s servant came to him and said, ‘Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weed come from?’

‘It was some enemy, who did this,’ he answered.

‘Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?’ They asked him.

‘No,’ he answered, ‘because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them. Let the wheat and the weeds both grow together until harvest. Then I will tell the harvest workers to pull up the weeds first, tie them up in bundles and burn them, and then to gather in the wheat and put it in my barn.’” (Matthew 13: 24-30).

This is another parable told by Jesus, commonly known as the parable of the weed, which He went on to explain:

Jesus explains the parable of the weeds

When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, His disciples came to Him and said, “Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means.”

Jesus answered, “The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the evil one; and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the devil.

The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of age: The Son of Man will send His angels to gather up out of His Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all those who do evil things, and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash the teeth.

Then God’s people will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!” (Matthew 13: 36-43).

Jesus’ use of parables

Jesus used parables to tell all these things to the crowds; He would not say a thing to them without using a parable. He did this to make come true what the prophet had said:

“I will use parables when I speak to them;
I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.”

Reflections

Jesus likened believers, who live in accordance to God’s commandments as wheat, which after the great harvest will be gathered and put in the farmer’s barn; and sinners to weed, which will be tied up in bundles and burned.

Life is a journey; sometimes we bump into obstacles which weaken our faith and subsequently make us fall from the grace of God. Whatever we do with our lives, we should always remember that at the end of it all, we will stand before God, and we will be judged.

Everytime we’re doing something, we should take some time to reflect; whatever it is we’re doing, does it pull us close to God or further from Him? Will our actions, thoughts, words…etc. have us thrown in the barn or in the fiery furnace?

According to the gospel, there’s good and wrong. That is why Jesus used two examples: wheat and weeds. And from what I’ve been learning since I was a kid, each one of us has the power to curve out our own destiny. We should therefore strive to be in God’s good books, by being kind, loving others and basically, doing what He requires of us.

It’s not easy trying to walk a straight road, but with determination and God’s guidance, we can all secure ourselves places in the farmer’s barn after the great harvest.

What type of soil am I?

parable of the sower

“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As He scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots hadn’t grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up.

Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and chocked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”

And Jesus concluded, “Listen then, if you have ears!” (Matthew 13: 3-9)

The purpose of the parables

Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them. For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him the little he has.

The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them:

‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand;

They will look and look, but not see, because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes.

Otherwise, their eyes would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’

As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. I assure you that many prophets and many of God’s people wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.” (Matthew 13: 10-16).

Jesus explains the parable of the sower

“Listen then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. Those who hear the message about the message about the kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in them.

The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. But it does not sink deep into them, and they don’t last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once.

The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit.

And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.” (Matthew 13: 18-23).

Understanding the parable

In the parable, Jesus talked about the sower. He is the sower; the one who doesn’t choose or discriminate against anyone. He preaches about the Kingdom of Heaven to anyone who cares to listen. He even gives chances to those who might not even listen, and He does it tirelessly; without giving up.

The seeds on the other hand, are the gospel and we are the soil. Some of us are likened to the soil along the path, others to rocky ground, others to thorny bushes and others to good soil, depending on how we understand the gospel, and our faith in relation to it.

This parable used by Jesus helps us reflect on the kind of people we are. How strong is our faith?

“What type of soil am I?” This is the question we need to ask ourselves.