Many years ago (2007), I wrote this “good news parable” to try to communicate why the message of Jesus is good news to me, and to everyone. I posted it then, and thought I would post it again…
The kingdom of heaven is like…
A man who left his wife for a younger mistress. Driven by his passions and pleasures, his mistress eventually left him for someone else, and his life began to fall apart. Soon he was living on the streets, a shell of the man he once was.
Back at her home, the wife still loved her husband. She saw what had become of him, and had compassion on him. She made a decision to forgive him and to reach out to him in love, in the hopes of rescuing him and bringing him home.
She went to the dangerous streets, and finally found him. In fear and shame he pulled back from her. But she reached out to him and touched him (dirty and smelly as he was) and told him of her love, and her desire to bring him home.
As waves of emotion, of shame and of desperate hope came over him, he fell at her feet in tearful gratitude, and cried and cried and cried. She took him by the hand, stood him to his feet, and took him home. She cleaned him up, gave him new clothes, and told him again of her love. He declared his love and gratitude to her, and they embraced.
And then the struggle began. She loved him, and he did love her, and did want to change. But as days turned to weeks, the old passions returned. Despite his love for his wife, he would find himself with his old friend, who enticed him to return to his old ways. His wife would come and find him on the street. With tears, she would hold out her hand and invite him home. And with tears, he would follow her home!
Determined to change, he took steps to remain true, to stay away from his friend, and to stay close to his wife. Over time, the pull of his old life gave way to the pleasure of his new life. His ‘world’ began to change. Soon he preferred the embrace of his wife. He looked forward to the time they spent together – talking together, being honest with each other, working together. Soon, his hard heart melted and life at home became like ‘heaven’ to him.
And one day he returned to the streets and saw his old friend. But now he was not tempted to join him. Instead he wondered, who was loving him? Who was reaching out to him, to bring him home? He looked back and saw his wife standing there, smiling. And they both knew what to do.
They reached out to him and touched him (dirty and smelly as he was) and told him of their love, and their desire to bring him home….