Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some Parables in Perea

Luke xii: 1, to xv: 32.

Part 1 of 2

dropcap image ESUS went with his disciples through the land of Perea, on the east of the Jordan, the only part of the Israelite country that he had not already visited. The people had heard of Jesus from the seventy disciples whom he had sent through the land, as we read in Story 134, and in every place great multitudes of people came to see him and to hear him. At one time, one man called out of the crowd, and said to Jesus:

"Master, speak to my brother, and tell him to give me my share of what our father left us!"

Jesus said:

"Man, who made me a judge over you, to settle your disputes? Let both of you, and all of you, take care and keep from being covetous, seeking what is not yours."

Then Jesus gave to the people the parable or story of "The Rich Fool." He said:

"There was a rich farmer whose fields brought great harvests, until the rich man said to himself:

" 'What shall I do? for I have no place where I can store up the fruits of my fields. This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and will build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have goods laid up enough to last for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry." '

"But God said to the rich man, 'Thou foolish one; this night thou shalt die, and thy soul shall be taken away from thee. And the things which thou hast laid up; whose shall they be?' "

And Jesus said, "Such is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

On one Sabbath-day, Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. And a woman came in who for eighteen years had been bent forward, and could not stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her:

"Woman, you are set free from your trouble of body."

He laid his hands upon her; and she stood up straight, and praised God for his mercy. But the chief man in the synagogue was not pleased to see Jesus healing on the Sabbath. He spoke to the people, and said:

"There are six days when men ought to work; in them, you should come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath-day."

But Jesus said to him and to the others:

"Does not each one of you on the Sabbath-day loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to give him water? And should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, who has been bound for eighteen years, be set free from her bonds on the Sabbath-day?"

And the enemies of Jesus could say nothing; while all the people were glad at the glorious works which he did.

At one place Jesus was invited to a dinner. He said to the one who had invited him:

"When you make a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends, or your rich neighbors; for they will invite you in return. But when you make a feast, invite the poor, the helpless, the lame and the blind; for they cannot invite you again; but God will give you a reward in his own time."

And there went with Jesus great multitudes of people; and he turned, and said to them:

"If any man comes after me, he must love me more than he loves his own father, and his mother, and wife and children, yes, and his own life also; or else he cannot be my disciple.

"For who of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he will be able to finish. For if after he has laid the foundation, and then leaves it unfinished, every one who passes by will laugh at him, and say, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'

"Or what king going out to meet another king in war, will not sit down first, and find whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he finds that he cannot meet him, while he is yet a great way off, he sends his messengers and asks for peace.

"Even so, every one of you must give up all that he has, if he would be my disciple."