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Parables of Jesus

"WHY DO YOU ALWAYS PREACH TO THEM IN PARABLES?"

So asked his disciples, and indeed, according to Mark, Jesus never preached to the general public except by way of parables.

"Because it is given to you to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given". That was his reply, and what could be clearer than that?

(Parable of the Seed, page 101)

 

A rundown of the parables told by Jesus to the people who were drawn to come and listen to him will probably bring us as close  to his actual teachings as we can get, and the record of these parables have probably come down the centuries in purer form, and are perhaps less likely to have suffered from the later alterations or "improvements" that have probably been the fate of many other biblical passages.

The Parables of Jesus

Parable of the Beam in the Eye (Matthew 7)

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

 Today, he might have said: Pass no harsh judgment on others, and you will not be judged harshly yourself. For as you find fault with  others, so you will yourselves be condemned by higher powers, and whatever criticism you deal out to others will be reflected back on you. Why do you look at the speck of smut in your brother's eye, with never a thought for the even bigger smut in your own? You hypocrite! First consider your own faults, and then you will be in a better position to go nit-picking about others.

 This is a parable that everyone knows, so it should be most widely understood. 'Don't go criticizing others when you have glaring faults of your own'. But of course there is far more to it than just this common-sense view. Judgment is a very real, practical consequence of all our actions: the law of cause and effect is a powerful force within the spiritual sphere. Normally the process may be very slow-acting. It might even take effect only after death. But in the case of the soul which has been blessed  with Spirit,  judgment is liable to be very speedy, if not almost instantaneous. Whatever you do to others will seem to be rewarded or punished, not by some supernatural court sitting in judgment, weighing up merits and doling out penalties, but simply by the act itself in fact, by your own soul. This is a fundamental spiritual law.


Parable of 'Suffer Little Children'  (Matthew 19; Mark 10)

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was  much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them".

Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me                           Caspar Luiken  (1672-1708)

 If we look at the the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man yet again, the meaning of this parable becomes very evident. A newborn child emerges, as it were, from the light of the spiritual life forces, from the saintly level between humans and angels. It is only by this route on the return journey that anyone might enter the 'Kingdom of Heaven'. There is no other way in. On a soul-level, as a young child begins to learn about the world and pick up worldly influences, he or she sinks through the dark spiritual layers of nature until eventually reaching the level of materiality as a teenager or young adult, entering what has been called the 'satanic level'. On receiving divine contact, or by heeding 'the word of God', as mature adults we must commence the return journey, turning our backs on 'Satan and all his works' that is, we have to severe our connections with materiality in order to reach again the truly human level of the little child, and thence be able to rise into the saintly realms beyond.

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