I think that everyone likes a good story. It enhances the learning experience and gives that needed touch to a motivational and inspirational speech. Storytelling is now being embraced by the modern cultures as a science on its own, but actually it is an ancient diplomatic tool that Jesus used a lot. Let’s look at some great stories for our spiritual growth.
The Story of the Good Neighbor
One time, someone wrote to me saying: the ten commandments alone are not enough to manage a society. How can you be sure that you will be treated well, without a detailed law? How can I ever be sure that I will receive the right love, without clear prescriptions of what love is suppose to be. To some extent, The Story of the Good Samaritan gives the best answers to these concerns.
In this story, Jesus is teaching that the question we should ask is not: “who is my neighbor?” The right question is: “Am I neigborly?” Am I showing compassion, am I being fair, truthful and honest, etc?. Secondly, Jesus is teaching how to love.
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus is teaching very clearly, that love does not come forth from one’s status, vocation, emotions or culture. No!! love is a matter of the will!! Love is something we choose to do, regardless of our feelings. In a society and culture that is built much on feelings, we need to understand this very much. Love only has moral value, when it is followed by a willed and chosen response. Feelings have very little to do with it. I can feel so much compassion for the homeless, but if I do not get up and do something about it, my feelings will bring no change in the matter. CARE IS LOVE IN ACTION!!
Oftentimes, we are too focused on what others should be doing and too little on what we ourselves ought to do. We are too focused on how we are to be treated, instead of how we are suppose to treat another. Everyone has eyes to see a need, but very few choose to be the solution. Others have even gone so far to think that you have to be “called” to respond to these things and refuse to focus on the weightier things of the Kingdom: justice, mercy and truth. The Chosen Ones of the Kingdom, are those who are NEIGHBORLY. Those who make a deliberate choice to put their love into action from a place of a premium quality relationship with GodEunike Alexander
The Story of the Royal Wedding Banquet
Matthew 22:1-14 tells the story of a King who organized a wedding banquet for his son. But those who were invited didn’t pay attention to the invitation. A few of invitees even killed some of the messengers of the King, just because they did not want to come to the banquet. The story plays around a time were a refrigerator was still uncommon. So we should imagine that a lot of food could be wasted if the invitees did not come the same night. We should also imagine how insulted the father and his son must have felt, that these invitees did not honor this royal invitation that had required so much preparation. This let’s us understand how urgent it was to find guests for this banquet.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary gives a brilliant insights on this remarkable story. First of all, The banquet is a illustration of the provisions made for for the perishing souls in the gospel. The guests first invited were the Jews. However, they could not persuaded by the prophets of the Old Testament, nor by John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand. The reason why they did not come to Christ, is, because they did not want to.
This parable also shows that because the Jews rejected Jesus, salvation has come to the non-Jews (Read Romans 11 to understand the divine plan of Jews and non-Jews) The non-Jews who accept the message of the gospel, can also be part-takers of this royal banquet.
The wedding clothes speak of worthiness. This worthiness cannot be based on our own merits or our own understanding,but it must be given; it must be imputed through faith in Christ.
No man has the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself. The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimedMatthew Henry’s Commentary: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/matthew/22.htm
These ancient stories are very relevant for us today. Today, the Lord is calling us to love Him and our neighbor with our will. The things we choose and want to do, must prove that we honor Him. The Lord is also calling us to live worthy of the calling we have received. May we hear and understand what He is saying to us today.