A parable? Too great a price, for far too little…

sea migrantOnce upon a time there was a poor and humble migrant dressed in rags. A wealthy businessman came looking for him, rescued the young man from the sea, and took him back in his yacht. He arranged for food, clothes and legal fees for his new friend where he gave him the chance to be a part of his large and welcoming family. The young man was overjoyed by the opportunity and settled in well and easily despite the turmoils he had been through, because he found himself in such good and healing company. His friend set him up in his ethically run business and he rapidly became a very wealthy man.

As he got wealthier he moved away from the businessman’s house, and saw him and his family less often. Despite so-called friends flocking around his new purchasing ability this gave him an increasing amount of time on his own. He grew nostalgic for his old life and country and grew deeply lonely. He questioned the motivations of those who had helped him, and cut himself off from them more.

Meanwhile the businessman continued to rescue other migrants and offer them the same opportunities to be part of the family, and gain great riches as key workers in his thriving business. Many stayed and were satisfied, but others quickly ran away which caused great sadness to the businessman.

The lonely migrant met with one of those who had been rescued but ran away. He was persuaded that the businessman was selfish at heart, and that he had better look out for his own tangible happiness. Seeing a chance to make a fast fortune by bending the company rules, the two men set out on a new life together attempting to siphon off some of the businessman’s empire to run in their own way, by their own rules and to their own standards.

The businessman had great sympathy for all he had rescued and kept the lawyers at bay despite the accusations he was hearing. But the two men got angrier at the businessman, and tried to persuade others to experience the liberty that they had, freed from those ethical standards. Their business grew, and many were persuaded when they gave an interview attacking the businessman for his paternalistic presumption that they had ever needed rescuing.

The businessman’s advisors wanted his to unleash his wrath on the ungrateful migrants through the courts, proving that they had stolen from his business and that their practices were unlawful. But the businessman would not turn on the man he had treated as his own son, and day after day he looked out for his to see if he might return home.

“One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him:  “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.  Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture.  Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants.  Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

‘When they look, they won’t really see.
    When they hear, they won’t understand.’[b]

 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.  The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.  The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Jesus: Luke 8

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” Jesus; Mt 13

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