Gateway to the Classics: The Way of the Gate by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
The Way of the Gate by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Story on the Mountain

I

Every one loves to hear stories. There was no one of the long-ago who could tell such wonderful stories as Jesus, who had been the little carpenter boy of Nazareth. Now that He was a Man, He found a great deal to do besides telling stories. There was scarcely any one in the country round about Jerusalem who did not love Jesus. Every one came to Him with their happiness, and with their troubles, too.

There was a part of the Holy Land where Jesus found a great deal to do. The River Jordan, pretty with flowers on its banks, ran through it. Then came a wide blue sea, called the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus came to Galilee, talking to the fishermen, helping the blind to see, and the lame to walk. They had heard about His wonderful stories. They wanted to hear one themselves. So a great crowd of people followed Jesus, asking Him to speak to them.

Fishermen left their nets and walked with Him. Well people carried their sick friends and followed Jesus. There were rich people, and poor people, and children in the crowd. They were not quite sure where He would lead them. Most of them had an idea that it would be to some fine temple. A good many of the people wished that they had worn their best clothes. Some of them who were poor felt very badly because they had no beautiful things to wear.

What would the story be about, they wondered? Most of the people were quite sure that it would not be a story for children, or for poor people.


II

It was not a temple to which Jesus led the people of Galilee, but to a grassy place on a mountain side. There were lilies there, growing wild in the fields. Birds sang all about. Below was the shining blue sea of Galilee, and the blue sky was above. Jesus stood here, on the mountain, with all His people around Him.

Then He began His story.

It was a great surprise to every one, but every one liked it. Even the smallest child sitting there on the grass could understand it and remember it. For Jesus told the story of His Heavenly Father's love and care for everything and every one upon the earth. He said:

"Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they?

"And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

"But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

"Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

"But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

When Jesus had finished His story, every one who had heard it felt that it was their very own story. They felt that He had told it just to them.

The fishermen went back to mend their nets and put out to sea in their boats, bravely. Jesus had told them how God cares for them, and they were no longer afraid of storms.

The rich people knew then that the flowers and the grass which God dresses were much more lovely than they, in all their fine clothes.

The poor people were happy. Jesus had told them that God would feed them just as he feeds His birds.

And the children were the happiest of all because Jesus' story had been for them, too.

Some stories are forgotten as soon as they are finished, but no one ever forgot the story that Jesus told on the mountain. We are telling it still. We remember it when we hear the song of wild birds, and see a field of grass full of wild flowers. It tells us to-day just what it told the children of long ago.

Our Heavenly Father cares for the birds and the flowers. He cares for us, too.

Like as a father pitieth his children,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

Psalm ciii. 13.


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