Posts Tagged ‘parable’

opposite partyLevi is a tax-collector in Capernaum. He is a second-generation collector. His father was awarded the Capernaum office after fighting in Syria for King Herod the Great and Rome. His job was easy and straight-forward–collect taxes for Rome, Judea and himself–leverage annihilation for wealth. Levi wasn’t too worried about the moral aspects of his work–after all, it was inherited and he was just doing what his father did.

If there were two types of people in Capernaum, he was the other type. The local religionists–local Hebrews, scribes and pharisees–were proudly and totally screwed up and didn’t know it. He detested their holier-than-thou attitudes. He was more than happy to add a “jerk tax” for those who thought they were better than everyone else.

At least he was honest about his situation–he was screwed up and knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt. He had a bunch of friends in similar straits–soldiers, government employees, money-lenders, prostitutes, pimps and gangsters. If there was a hell, he’d be going there with all his friends. Unless something changed.

Then something did.

Jesus (sticking out his hand; a crew of what appear to be frowning Hebrew fishermen and synagogue leaders are behind him): You are Matthew! Glad to meet you!

Levi (confused, taking the hand): No, I’m Levi.

Jesus: Not anymore, you are no longer “attached” to your tax business. I’m changing your name to Matthew, “Gift from God.”

Levi: Seriously? Do I know you? Who are you to change my name?

Jesus (dead serious): I’m God. You don’t know me, but I know you.

Levi (hesitantly studying him): …right…

Jesus: I’ve come for you, Matthew. Follow me.

Levi (coming from behind his counter): So, you are God and you want me to follow you?

Jesus: Correct.

Levi: Why would I do that?

Jesus: Come and see.

Levi (putting things away): I’ll lock the office, then I’ll come and see.

Jesus: Great. You can “come and see” at your house.

Matthew (looking up): My house?

Jesus: Correct, again. It’s “Thursday’s Happy Hour at Levi’s” so your friends are probably already arriving at your house.

Matthew (raised eyebrow): Then it’s on.

Jesus (throws his arm over Matthew’s shoulder; motions to those behind him): Follow us! So, Matthew, how’s your mother?

Matthew (warming up to the idea of Jesus): She’s well, how’s yours?

Jesus: She’s a saint. We’ll have to get them together. Mom leads a women’s group that meets at Peter’s mother-in-law’s house on Mondays. I’ve told Mom to expect your mom next week. They’ll hit it off in an instant.

Matthew (approaching the entrance to his residence): You know, your friends and my friends aren’t going to get along. They are pretty much opposites.

Jesus (smiling): Yeah, this is going to be fun.

Matthew (looking at Jesus and catching his mischievous attitude; smiling): So, we’re going to mix it up…this will be fun.

Matthew and Jesus enter. Jesus’ entourage follows and lines walls. Matthew’s “sinners” friends are sitting with their drinks and look up to see the crowd of “saints” enter.

You could hear a pin drop.

Matthew (to the “saints”): Welcome to my house. Choose your poison–Cokes, wine or liquor?

Saints:

Jesus: I’ll have a Psagot–it’s very good: dark-fruited and dense yet sleek in texture.

Matthew (surprised, with a new respect): Good choice. I’ll have the same (they sit at Matthew’s spot in the room).

Jesus: Thanks.

Matthew (to the assembled group): Welcome to my house. I’m glad to have the opportunity to introduce you to…

Jesus: Jesus.

Matthew: …Jesus. (Waving to the disciples and synagogue leaders.) Welcome, friends. Any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.

The two groups, seated and standing, gaze at each other in mutual disdain. The town’s leading prostitute winks at the leader of the synagogue. All of Matthew’s friends (and Jesus) chuckle. Those along the walls turn up their noses, look offended and generally shake their heads in judgment.

Pharisee (to disciples): Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?

Jesus (hearing this): It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Pharisee: Are you telling us to leave?

Jesus: No, stick around–the “doctor” is in.

The disciples and and synagogue leaders reluctantly ease to the floor. Mary Magdalene (the prostitute) passes around clean towelettes, bowls of figs and a pitcher of wine.

Jesus: Ok, now that everyone is settled–I have a story (the room goes silent). There was a man who sent workers out to his vineyard…

Everyone entered the debate on the conduct and punishment for contemptuous servants. They were all united in their enmity toward ungrateful vineyard workers. As the two sides came together, Jesus smiled at Matthew. Matthew looked deeper into Jesus eyes…

Matthew: I see. I’ll follow.

Jesus: Yes, you do, Matthew. Welcome to my kingdom.

Tr8: No matter how screwed up you are–whether you realize it or not–Jesus is coming and he wants to rename you.

 

 

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Once there was a nice couple who had a son and daughter (who remarkably resembled actors).

The son graduated from college and entered the family business.

The daughter stole from everyone to fund her cigarette, alcohol, and prescription drug habits. After a serious surgery, she stole her mother’s pain medication. She aborted her first child as a teenager. She quit school. She was in one abusive relationship after another.

When the parents offered to help she became angry.

She hated them.

She left and rarely came home. The parents knew she returned secretly because things were missing.

One night, under the influence of hydrocodone, she put her newborn in the front seat of her car to go for cigarettes. She crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic. The other driver was killed and the child was lost.

The daughter went to prison. She became a lesbian and tattooed her lover’s name on her forearm. She refused see her parents when they visited. After three years she was granted parole. By this time she realized how good she had it at home and decided to return. She planned an apology and request to work as cleaning lady in the family business.

When she got off the bus she was surprised to find her parents waiting.  She said, “I’m really messed up. I’ve…I’m…”

Before she could say another word her parents embraced her. They took her shopping, to a salon, and made evening reservations for four at her favorite restaurant.

When it was time to go, the mother noticed the older brother had not come downstairs. The mother knocked on his door and said, “Why don’t you come down? We’re taking your sister out.”

“Hell, I’ve been working for you slave-drivers for years and you’ve never gotten this excited about me! Sis is a world-class screw-up and you want to take her out on the town?”

“Plus, she stole my iPhone.”

“Son, we replaced your iPhone — you have everything! …and we’ve taken you out dozens of times. We love both of you regardless of what you’ve done. Don’t you see? We had to celebrate and be glad, because your sister was all but dead and now she is alive again. She was in prison, but is home!”

The son only grew angrier. He stomped out of the house and drove off in the new car his parents bought for him.

He hated them.

This is a true adaptation of a story told by someone else about events that happened to people who don’t exist to demonstrate a point.  

Republished from April 23, 2012

peter’s parable

Posted: May 13, 2012 in Humor
Tags: , , , , ,

“Hey, Jesus, listen. I think I have a parable you can use.”

“Once there was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his brother, ‘I burned your baseball glove,’ and to his father, ‘let’s play like you are dead and I inherent half your estate.'”

“The father kicked him hard and said, ‘You imbecile, you are going straight to hell.’ Then the younger son died and went to hell. The father went to the older son and said, ‘Let that be a lesson to you.'”

“…oh, yeah…Whoever has ears, listen up.”

Jesus looked at Peter for a long moment and said, “Let me work on that one. You have the seed of a good story, but it needs a different ending.”

Tr8: Polish. Sometimes a bad start is better than doing nothing. God can transform our crazy ideas into a transcendent vision.