Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jesus Tries to Teach the Multitudes Again

1. Jesus said to his disciples, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of Heaven?”

1.1 Several hands shot up toward the hot sun. “I know, I know! A poem! A lake!” one disciple said. Another said, “Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue.” “A city on a hill? Something under a bushel basket?”

1.2 Another disciple said, “Should I write this down?” Jesus replied, "Yes. Good idea."

1.3 Jesus continued, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven or yeast, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

1.4 There was stunned silence, with the ironic exception of a few flies buzzing over a piece of tossed-off naan. “Say what?” one disciple finally uttered.

1.5 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast? Is this like a trick question? And what is a peck?”

2. “Okay, let’s try this,” said Jesus. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

2.1 Again, silence. “So, tell me if I got this right. A dude finds a treasure buried in the dirt. Fine. He re-buries it. Gets all joyful and stuff. Then sells all he has to buy that field?”

2.2 Jesus said, “So far, so good. Tell me more."

2.4 The disciple continued, “Why doesn’t he just take the treasure? Problem solved! Why all that burying it again and then buying the field? Unnecessary complications. I don’t get the logic. Was the farmer dyslexic or something like that?”

2.3 Jesus said, “You are over-thinking it. I speak to you in parables and allegories so that you may understand deeper truths.” Under his breath he said, “My Father who art in heaven warned me that I would have days like this. But seriously....”

2.4 One of his disciples said, “Lord, among our people, it is well known that an allegory is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than the literal. The Chronicles of Narnia can be considered allegorical."

2.5 Jesus wept.

2.6 Another disciple said, “Yes, and we all know that a parable is a brief, succinct story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. So, a parable is an allegory, but not all allegories are parables. Does that blow your mind?"

2.6 Another said, “And everyone knows that a fable is….” But just then, Jesus cut him off in kind of a huff. Adding insult to injury, he accidentally stepped in something that he really regretted having stepped in over the next few hours.

3.0 Jesus continued, “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, collecting fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Or give it to a soup kitchen. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Taking the "naughty or nice" thing to a higher level.”

3.1 "Do you understand all these things?"

3.2 Silence. Then a disciple answered, "I'm really not not getting what you are saying. So either the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, a buried and re-buried treasure, or a fishing net. Seriously, I’m totally lost. Do you have another performance later?"

3.3 “As a dentist, I’m really concerned about this wailing and grinding of teeth.” I hope that part is allegorical or something. My people have enough problems."

3.4 “Lord, when is the last day we can drop this class?” said a disciple. “Can we just audit it? And do you grade on a curve?” Another said, “Is this a required course?”

3.4 Jesus sighed.

3.5 Deep furrows crossing his face, Jesus said, "Let's pick this up tomorrow. Hey, falafel guy! Over here! Sure could use a brewski."

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