Monday, September 20, 2010

The Servant

 John 14:6

There once was a servant whose Master had shown  him the Way.  His love for His Master and others was so great that he traveled from place to place to share the Good News, hoping that the others would see the love and concern he had for them and also desire to know it.

As he journeyed through villages, towns, and cities that bustled with people rushing to and fro on their own pathway, he thought to himself, “I will approach them and point them to the Better Path, and they will see how much my Master and I love them.”

While he watched the crowd scurry about, he spotted a man he knew well who was struggling to pull a heavily loaded cart through the mass of people in the street.  In his attempt to move the over-burdened cart, he would gain a few feet, then be driven back by the bodies pushing against him.

Seeing an opportunity, the servant approached his friend and said, “My friend, I see your cart is overloaded and you are unable to move freely.  Perhaps if you lightened the load by  removing some of the burden, your progress would be easier.”

“What kind of advice is that?” his friend growled.  “I have worked hard to acquire the things in my cart, and you are telling me I should throw them in the street?  They will be taken by others and then I will have nothing!  If you truly love me, you will help me pull the cart!”

Not to be discouraged, the servant said, “But, my friend, I can show you a Better Treasure, one far beyond the value of anything in your cart.”

Suspicious, his friend peered at him.  “Why would you want to share a priceless treasure with others?  Why not keep it for yourself?”

“Because it is a free Treasure that is available to all who would accept it.  The cost to my Master was great.  But He has given it to me, and now I freely offer it with great love to you.”

“Nothing is free!” scowled his friend.  “I have spent everything I have on my possessions! If this treasure is free, it must have no value in it!  There is always a cost for true treasures!”

“The only cost is unburdening yourself of the items in your cart and allowing me to show you my Master's Way to acquiring this Treasure,” the servant replied.

“You are a thief and a liar and so is your Master!” the friend roared.  “I want nothing of this Treasure you imagine!”  In anger, the servant's friend turned back to his cart and inched his way down the street.

Because of the servant's great love for others to learn of the Way, he moved on in search for willing ears to hear of it.  As his eyes scanned the busy street, he spotted a woman sitting on the corner.  Her eyes were fixed on her hands that lay limply in her lap.  But as he approached her, she lifted her eyes, revealing in them despair and sorrow.

“I have seen you before,” she muttered, averting her feverish gaze.  “What is it you want?”

“I saw you sitting here in the gutter and my Master's love for you drew me to you,” said the servant.

“If you love me, you will give me what I need,” she replied.

“But the need you desire is not what is best for you.  There is another Way that is better, a Way that will free you from your despair,” he offered.

“Take it to someone else.  I have pleasures that serve me well and I have no desire to give them up.”  Rising from the gutter, the woman wandered away from him and blended into the rushing masses on the street.

Saddened that the two people he had approached refused his gesture of love, the servant looked up to see a small crowd that had gathered on the corner.  They appeared to be deep in conversation with each other.  Standing, he slowly moved toward them, curious over their lively discussion.

As the servant got closer, he overheard a well-dressed man exclaim, “The conference was enlightening!  There were representatives from all the ways, each proclaiming the deception of only one Way!  I went away from it, awakened and encouraged!”

“I was there, too!” a woman said with excitement.  “It opened my mind to the reality that we can all share our many ways and attain the same goal!”

"That is so wonderful!” another said.  “A true break-through!” another gushed.  “Their teaching has certainly answered a lot of questions,” said still another.

“It is a lie,” the servant quietly said to them.

All eyes turned to him in anger, and the first man asked, “Who are you to say their way is not truth?”

“Because there is only one Way to point to Truth,” the servant answered.  “And there is only one Truth that will give you Life.  My Master has shown me this Way.”

Outraged, the crowd all began to speak at once.

“These were men and women educated in truth!”...“Who are you to say they lie?  You  and your Master are the liars!”...“You are being hateful for those who have a different way!”...“How dare you judge another way!”...“You need to open your mind and be accepting of other ways!”

The servant stood silently among them until the furor died down.  Looking at them with compassion, he said to them, “If you knew me, you would know that I bring you this Truth with a tremendous love for you.  And my Master, Who has shown me the Way, has sent me to tell you He loves you more than I.”

“What kind of love is that!” one man sneered.  “You are bringing us a lie and your Master falsely condemns others who follow a different way!  Be gone from us!  We have no use for His intolerant and exclusive Way!  There are many truths!  Take His to another!”

And they all turned their backs to him.

Moving away from the angry crowd, the servant felt sorrow in his heart.  “Is there no one willing to hear me as I speak of my Master's love for them?”  The man wandered down the street, his heart heavy and downcast within him that none wanted to know the Way to Truth and Life.

“Hey, mister?” a voice called out to him.

Lifting his eyes, the man saw a dirty and bedraggled child standing alone in the town square.

“I have been following you and listening to the things you have told others,“ the child said.  “I would like to hear more of your Master and His Way.  Would you be interested in telling me?”

Love and hope once again over-powered the servant’s heart.  As the sun set on the busy street and the people rushed to and fro, he began to tell the child of His Master's Way to Truth and Life.

When the servant had finished, with excitement the child said to him, “It is true!  Come!  There is not much time!  We must go and tell others about our Master's Way!”

Rising to their feet and taking each others hand, they moved with great love and boldness into the bustle of the crowded street, searching for those with a willing ear and an open heart to learn of their Master and the Way that had set them free.


Karie said...

What a beautiful story Karen. How precious is the knowledge of our Savior and His ability to redeem and sanctify us. There are many paths that lead to Him, but we must all walk His path once we turn to Him, and realize that He is truly the only way to happiness and eternal life. Following our Redeemer Jesus Christ is not the easy way, but it is the only way to find true joy and peace, in this life and in eternity.

Karen L. Brahs said...

Kari, I love you so much, and I hope you will please consider the following verses. There is ONE pathway to Jesus Christ. Only one. There is ONE Truth that can only be found by following the one pathway. One Way and one Truth to lead you to eternal Life. All other ways are false and will only lead sinners to eternal death.

"With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the STRAIGHT WAY and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness." (2Peter 2:14-16 - emph. mine)

"Enter through the NARROW GATE. For WIDE is the gate and BROAD is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But SMALL is the gate and NARROW the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14 - emph. mine)

"Someone asked him, 'Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?'"

"He said to them, 'Make every effort to enter through the NARROW DOOR, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'"

"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from." (Luke 13:23:25 - emph. mine)

For those who believe that there are many pathways to Jesus Christ and salvation, when He separates the sheep (His children whom He places on His right) from the goats (those who have followed another "way", unbelievers whom He places on His left) they will hear these words from His mouth when He pronounces final judgment:

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41

I pray the Holy Spirit will open your heart to receive these Truths.

With Christ's abounding love,