THE PLAN – Sea of Galilee shoreline, Bethsaida
While the boat was being launched to deeper water, Cornelius was already walking briskly on the bank of the beach heading back to the fort with Jacob and Cestus trying to catch up. When they were farther down the shore, Cestus was attracted by an excited commotion out on the water.
“Look!” Cestus was pointing.
Cornelius saw that the same boat the rabbi was on was listing heavily with all three occupants straining to pull the nets in. Another boat frantically rowed up to give them a hand. Soon there was whooping and cheering as both boats started to scoop in a great many fish. Then Cornelius could just make out the big fisherman bowing to the rabbi. He then turned away and continued his brisk walk. His mind was racing with what he thinks is a dangerous implication hidden in the last parable.
“Tell me again about how these parables work?” Cestus asked Jacob.
“Well, the teacher is using parables as a way of imparting important and meaningful truths on a simple minded people by using everyday stories that they can relate to. For instant, the rabbi gave a story about sowing and planting to a crowd of people made up mostly of farmers. They understand what happens to seed that are casted unto a hard packed path, rocky soil or even among weeds. What they have to reason out is, what is the lesson that the teacher was imparting? Even now, the actual meaning of this parable still eludes even me, a scholar and teacher. But I will figure it out sooner or later.”
“But why teach with parables? Why not tell them straight on what to do?”
“Well, it’s not a new way of teaching. Many rabbis have used parables in the past. But I believe our young rabbi want people to think for themselves. Do you recall what he said after he ends a parable? He said,’He who has ears, let him hear.’ This tells me that everyone is capable of figuring this parables out.”
“So, how do I work it out?”
“Very well, Cestus,” Jacob said. “Let us look at the first parable of the sower. The main focus of the story are the seeds. The seeds have to represent something important in our lives that we want to multiply a hundredfold.”
“What would that be? …wealth, treasure, money?”
Jacob chuckled. “No, I don’t think that was what the teacher meant. I believe that the teacher’s intent is more spiritual than on the things of this world. Let us assume first that the sower represents my people’s God. So, what would He sow? …impart that He would want to be very fruitful? If I was to venture a guess, I would say that the seeds must represent God’s wisdom. In this case, the four different type of soils represents four types of recipients. The first part is the hard pathway representing those with very closed ears. Knowledge goes in one ear then out the other. The second one is the rocky soil representing those who have shallow values. That would mean they like what they heard but do not take it seriously enough for God’s wisdom to bear fruit in their lives. The third, the soil with thorns can only be those who hear the word of God but the thorns may represent the worries of this world which would choke the value of its wisdom so there is no fruit. Finally, we come to the good soil which was prepared to receive the seeds. Clearly, these are the ones who are really ready to receive God’s word and apply it to fruitfulness. There! What do you think, Cestus?”
“I don’t rightly know. I’m just a simple soldier. What you say is a little too deep for me.”
“Of course, Cestus, fret not. These things take time and a great deal of personal meditation. Besides, I could be wrong with my impressions. But again, I have hopes.”
The story continues on in my next post a week from now.
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