Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Parable with a Christmas Proof !

I think that if I could have lived in the time that Jesus walked this earth.. I would have loved to sit at His feet and listen to Him tell stories !
But, the truth is, He still walks among us, doesn’t He? And His stories are still fascinating and the pearls of truth they teach are still valid for today !
One of Jesus' parables caught my attention just a few days before Christmas!

A man, late one night, heard a knock on his door and opening it found a friend seeking shelter. Of course he welcomed him in … but…his mind was racing ! He had no bread.. what was he going to feed his guest? NOT to feed him was the ultimate disgrace of an ungracious host! Ah... yes.. of course.. . he would run across the street to another friend’s house.. and borrow a few loaves of bread!
Quickly settling his guest… and barely taking time to throw his cloak around his shoulders he quickly ran out. Reaching his friend’s house he banged loudly on the door, breathlessly calling his friend’s name. The startled voice of his friend came from inside …. “I can’t get up .. all the kids are in bed with me… and I don’t want to wake them all up !! !”

Ignoring his friend’s reluctance, the man refused to give up and kept knocking …. And calling .. and begging…. until his friend …. FINALLY.. opened the door and handed his friend as many loaves as he wanted !!

Jesus told this story immediately after He taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer!
The most common interpretation of this parable is that when we pray we should keep on praying until we get what we are asking for !
But that is really missing the point of Jesus’ teaching.

There is a clue at the end of this parable in Luke 11:13…. Jesus says… “If you, then, being evil……” Those few words unlock the truth Jesus wanted us to understand from this parable.

The man in bed did not answer his friend’s request because he felt compassion or even sympathy with the man’s need ! He didn’t care if he would be humiliated in front of his guest ! Look at his first response… “Go away .. you are bothering me… I’m in bed… I don’t want to get up … you are inconveniencing me!”
And why DID he finally answer his friend at the door ?? Because the friend’s insistent ‘noise’ was going to keep the whole family from sleeping …and probably awaken the ire of his neighbours as well, so he answered him – TO GET RID OF HIM !!!!

And here is the beauty of Jesus’ teaching … He was saying… “If you ,being by nature evil, can be PERSUADED to do the right thing… then how much more will God, who is by nature righteous, answer you at your very first knock!”

A few of the NT scriptures that fit with this parable are…..

Jas 4:2 "... you do not have because you do not ask."

1Jn 5:15 "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."

Php 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

I love how God will always confirm His word.
A couple of days after I was thinking about this parable, it was the 23rd of December.
Vic and I were down to one last gift for my oldest granddaughter … just to even up her gifts with her sister’s.
Trying to save time … and gas… I suggested we go to the drug store just across from our grocery store where we needed to go anyway!
To our surprise we found very few shoppers wandering the aisles of the drug store, even though it was the last shopping day before Christmas… and I soon saw why. Virtually NOTHING was on sale in the store.. not even their Christmas wrapping paper!
I found a gift nail-care set that I knew my granddaughter would love but it was a little too expensive.
We decided we’d drive a little further into town and see if we could find one cheaper. We did and found nothing . All nail-care sets were sold out.
Finally, we decided we're rather just get our shopping done than focus on saving money! We decided to go back to the original drug store and get the set we saw there.
Back at the drug store, I stood at the shelf .. searching for a ‘hidden’ sale sign that I had perhaps missed earlier … but there was just the “Great Gift Idea” sign with the reg. price on it !

I picked up one of the boxes and on the short walk from the display shelf to the counter I prayed a very quick prayer … “Lord, you see there is nothing on sale in this store.. but You could still make this nail set be on sale, couldn’t You?… Please ?”

I got to the cashier.. she scanned the price bar.. and with a startled look on her face exclaimed .. “OHH ! this comes up on sale !!” I looked at the screen.. Yes, indeed !
It came up at 50% off !!
I smiled…. NOT at the cashier… but at my Heavenly Father ! who truly DOES give good gifts to those who ask !!!!

PS...... Please note -- There MAY, at times, be a delay from the time your ‘answer’ is shipped to your delivery date !



charlotte mgcc said...

i love it when God reveals himself quickly after i pray...but i certainly need to practice waiting.
His answer will be perfect at the right time, of that i am sure, even if it isn't exactly what i expected.

Trish said...

Oh for sure God allows himself to be 'very now'.....and very relevant! I love parables....and can so relate. Thanks for the post today sweet Julie.

Demara said...

I liked reading that last line there in purple! Thanks for that reminder, Julie. Sometimes the clouds cover up the sunshine and I lose hope. I pray that even in the clouds I can see the sun SHINE.

Anonymous said...

All in God's time...and His time is perfect! (One of Doc's favorite quotes!)

This is great, Julie!

Lovella ♥ said...

Julie, what a great parable and I love your real life experience testimony that you shared with us. . .and I love too, that being the nana you are. ..walked to the cashier to buy it because you love to bless your granddaughters heart. .. all sweet.

Anneliese said...

Julie, your posts are so thoughtfully written and always have a message! I love these kind of stories and have experienced similar ones. If only we would ask more, our faith would grow. I wish you a blesssed New Year and we will surely continue this interesting on-line friendship!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

God seems to be extra abundant with His "deals" this season. He just let us have our new house with even more of mark down in interest rate! I wonder how many times we have not recieved because we simply have not bothered to ask!