Wednesday, February 17, 2010


During the biblical days in the ancient Middle East, stories are considered crucial in education where largely illiterate people dwell in small villages and scanty towns. Stories and sometimes myths are being bandied about, orally and meticulously, passed down from generation to generation. Credibility is often the vital connector to these narratives whether they can be verified or not. Therefore history will judge these stories as they are being written down by scores of compilers and authors.

Parable is defined as telling a short story to convey a lesson about life. Teaching through parables for Jesus Christ is a major strategy in his early days of ministry. It is designed to stimulate brain cells of listeners to ask the right questions, thus impacting them when answers are found. To the lazy, they will remain mere parables but to those who are inquisitive and keen, the parables can produce strong emotions, some being uplifted in their spirits while some are angered.

In today’s post modernism, stories and parables are strong teaching instruments for faith in Christ. Thanks to intense popularity for Hollywood movies, they can be used to gain the hearts and minds of all people. Hence, PS Bible Ministry is designed specifically to use stories to impact the lives of the reader, using plain and simple (PS) everyday language.

Parables are recorded in the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Jesus told the parables to turn people to His radical Gospel against the backdrop of religion and hypocrisy. Some parables are written by all three gospel writers for different reasons while others are exclusive to only one. “Lamp Under a Bowl” appeared four times in all three gospels, Matthew 5:14-15; Mark 4:21-22 and Luke 8:16; 11:33.

Peter scampered towards an empty, broken down house with few burly men in hot pursuit. Luckily for him, they swished pass him, going farther down the street. His danger was not over as he lay between some rusted steel, panting furiously and yet trying to keep the noise level low. His mind jammed with thoughts of torture and death and every little sound would send shivers down his spine. For six or perhaps seven hours, he knew not how long he stayed there, motionless as though dead. In the stillness of the night, Peter moved slightly, cautiously, not to generate any noise at all, bobbed his head to peep. They were gone. He thanked his lucky stars that none of those thugs knew him and where he stayed or else his mom would be in trouble too.

Peter was a boy with strong conviction of telling things as they were. His dad had taught him well to always being able to lift his head in society, no matter what. That day, Peter’s conviction was severely tested when he shouted at a group of men preying on a poor family, harassing them. He saw with his own eyes how they hit a young man his age for protecting his family. He hated for being helpless and just like many others, hoped for security in his town be improved. Throwing a stone at those bullies was the most courageous thing he had ever done for standing up against evil.

When he arrived home, his mom was surprised at his dirty appearence, hugged him anyway. Tears flowed freely as warmth rushed back into his body. “Why, my dear? What happened?” his mom asked softly. His story shocked his mother. She poured a glass of warm water for Peter and then took from the shelf a picture of his dad. “I want to tell you the full story of your father. This is the time,” the petite lady spoke, knowing his son had matured. “Your dad was involved with a gang when he was married to me. He kept that secret or else I would not have fallen in love with him. When you were born and out of my devotion for him, he quit. But….they found out and did not let him live long,” she spoke, focussed his eyes on the photo frame. Running her fingers through the face of her husband, she fought back her tears. “Don’t be angry, Peter. There are consequences for wickedness,” she quickly added as he saw hatred on Peter’s face. “During those difficult days when he quit the gang, those were the days he really lived!’ she continued. “He did the right thing. He made the right decision. I stood by his decision to my dying days!”

"Really lived? Why?” Peter asked surprisingly.

“It's you, Peter! He could have a different you if he had kept on with the gang!”

On his bed that night, Peter had a choice too to make just like his father. Will he continue to speak out against evil or will he wilt after that scary day? The next day, he went to the police station to be a man. Not to report the thugs but to sign up as a cop.

Yet, God called us the light of the world! No two ways about it! Either we light up or we switch off! Don’t even suggest lighting up and hide it! It is absurdity! That’s what the parable is all about! Either you are with God or you are with the world! YOU CHOOSE!

Why did Jesus teach a “no brainer” parable, putting a light under a bowl? Again, it is absurdity to light a light and hide it. No right thinking human does that! That's exactly what Jesus wants the hearers to know! If you don’t want to shine, don’t even light up! Just snug up in your own little world and be comfortable. If you afraid of being a light, no one in your world will get blessed.  

 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.....let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14, 16)

Next: Parable of the wise and foolish builders!

No comments:

Post a Comment