SOME PARABLES IN PEREA

Luke 12:1, to 15:32





esus went with his disciples through the land of Perea, on the east of the Jordan, the only part of the Israelite country that he had not already visited. The people had heard of Jesus from the seventy disciples whom he had sent through the land, and in every place great multitudes of people came to see him and to hear him. At one time, one man called out of the crowd, and said to Jesus: "Master, speak to my brother, and tell him to give me my share of what our father left us!" Jesus said: "Man, who made me a judge over you, to settle your disputes? Let both of you, and all of you, take care and keep from being covetous, seeking what is not yours." Then Jesus gave to the people the parable or story of "The Rich Fool." He said: "There was a rich farmer whose fields brought great harvests, until the rich man said to himself: "What shall I do? for I have no place where I can store up the fruits of my fields. This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and will build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And J will say to my soul, "Soul, you have goods laid up enough to last for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry."

"But God said to the rich man, "Thou foolish one; this night thou shalt die, and thy soul shall be taken away from thee. And the things which thou hast laid up; whose shall they be?" And Jesus said, "Such is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." On one Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. And a woman came in who for eighteen years had been bent forward, and could not stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her: "Woman, you are set free from your trouble of body." He laid his hands upon her; and she stood up straight, and praised God for his mercy. But the chief man in the synagogue was not pleased to see Jesus healing on the Sabbath. He spoke to the people, and said: "There are six days when men ought to work; in them, you should come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." But Jesus said to him and to the others: "Does not each one of you on the Sabbath day loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to give him water? And should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, who has been bound for eighteen years, be set free from her bonds on the Sabbath day?" And the enemies of Jesus could say nothing; while all the people were glad at the glorious works which he did.

At one place Jesus was invited to a dinner. He said to the one who had invited him: "When you make a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends, or your rich neighbors; for they will invite you in return. But when you make a feast, invite the poor, the helpless, the lame and the blind; for they cannot invite you again; but God will give you a reward in his own time." And there went with Jesus great multitudes of people; and he turned, and said to them: "If any man comes after me, he must love me more than he loves his own father, and his mother, and wife and children, yes, and his own life also; or else he cannot be my disciple. "For who of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he will be able to finish? For if after he has laid the foundation, and then leaves it unfinished, every one who passes by will laugh at him, and say, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish

"Or what king going out to meet another king in war, will not sit down first, and find whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he finds that he cannot meet him, while he is yet a great way off, he sends his messengers and asks for peace. "Even so, every one of you must give up all that he has, if he would be my disciple." While Jesus was teaching, many of the publicans, those who took up the taxes from the people, came to hear him; and many others who were called "sinners" by the Pharisees and the Scribes. The enemies of Jesus said:

"This man likes to have sinners come to see him, and he eats with them." Then Jesus spoke a parable called "The Lost Sheep," to show why he was willing to talk with sinners. He said: "What man of you, who has a hundred sheep; if one of them is lost, does not leave his ninety and nine sheep in the field, and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, glad to see his lost sheep again. And when he comes home he calls together his friends and neighbors, and says to them: "Be glad with me; for I have found my sheep that was lost)T "Even so," said Jesus, "there is joy in heaven over one sinner who has turned to God, more than over ninety and nine good men, who do not need to turn from their sins." Jesus gave to the people also the parable of "The Lost Piece of Money." He said: "If any woman has ten pieces of silver, and loses one piece, will she not fight a lamp, and sweep her house carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and her neighbors, saying:

" Be glad with me; for I have found the piece of silver that I had lost. "Even so, there is joy among the angels of God over one sinner that turns from his sins." Then Jesus told another parable, that one called "The Parable of the Prodigal Son." A prodigal is one who spends everything that he has, as did the young man in this parable. Jesus said, "There was once a man who had two sons. The younger of his sons said to his father: "Father give to me the share that will come to me, of what you own. "Then the father divided all that he had between his two sons; and not many days after the younger son took his share, and went away into a far country; and there he wasted it all in wild and wicked living. And when he had spent all there arose a mighty famine of food in that country; and he began to be in want. "And he went to work for one of the men in that land; and this man sent him into the fields to feed his hogs. And the young man was so hungry that he would have filled himself with the husks that were fed to the hogs; and no one gave anything to him. At last the young man began to think of his fathers house; and he said to himself:

"How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, while I am dying here with hunger! I will arise, and will go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son; let me be one of your hired servants." "And he rose up, to go back to his fathers house. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him: "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son "But before he could say any more, his father called to the servants, and said: "Bring out quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called to him one of the servants, and asked what these things might be. And the servant said to him: " Your brother has come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, and is having a feast, because he is at home safe and sound.

"But the elder brother was angry, and would not go in; and his father came out and urged him. But he answered his father, and said: "I have served you for these many years; and I have never disobeyed your commands; and yet you never gave me even a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this your son has come, who has wasted your living with wicked people, you killed for him the fatted calf! "And the father said to him: " My son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. But it was fitting that we should make merry and be glad; for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found." By these parables Jesus showed that he came not to seek those who thought themselves so good that they did not need him; but those who were the sinful and the needy.