The parable of the rose garden.
April 23rd, 2003
Received by H.
Why didn’t you write down what I have told you?
[H.: It seemed so incomplete. I could not grasp it all.]
You grasped enough.
[H.: Then it is very short.]
A message’s value does not depend on its length. Write now. I will help you.
[H.: I was thinking of a subject that has intrigued me for a long time. In the Padgett messages, we are given to understand that we have to ask God for His Love, we have to ask for His Forgiveness, for His Mercy. We have always to ask for those things. I understand that this is due to the fact that He respects our free will. On the other hand, who would seriously reject His Forgiveness or Love? He knows of our needs before we ask Him. However, it seems to be a law that we first have to ask in order to later receive.]
I see this a little bit differently. As you will remember, I delivered this message in the context of the Temple sacrifices in Jerusalem and the existing tensions between Jesus and the Temple hierarchy.
[H. Yes. I remember this well.]
And I also told you a parable that Jesus used to illustrate this idea.
[H.: I remember this, too. But I could not manage to grasp the parable. It did not come through.]
Well then let’s repeat all of it now. One of the reasons why there were such fierce tensions between Jesus and especially the Sadducees, was the fact that the Master’s teachings indeed led to the conclusion that the sacrifices in the Temple were unnecessary. Of course, Jesus did not preach this idea openly, he didn’t attack the institution of the Temple, but when one started to analyze his teachings, it became quite clear that religion was undoubtedly an individual matter between people and God. No institution was necessary, no sacrifice was necessary — with respect to the slaughter of animals or the delivery of goods to the priesthood — and the only thing that was really necessary was the good will of people and their intention to come closer to God.
For us, this idea was revolutionary — and a little bit worrying, to say the least. When people grow up in a specific religious environment, they simply accept all associated institutions without questioning them. It is very difficult then, to imagine that those institutions were unnecessary, superfluous, and even harmful, because they substituted empty ritual for true delivery of people.
So, Jesus proceeded to tell us the following parable: Once there lived a rich man who had a beautiful rose garden, the most beautiful in the entire country. Every day in the morning he went out and cut flowers, which he used to adorn his house. One day, when his birthday celebration was approaching, two of his servants decided to give him a present, in order to thank him for his kindness and to find favor in his eyes. Each of them thought, “My master has all sorts of things. But what he likes most are flowers. I will give him a bunch of roses.”
The first servant cautiously sneaked into his master’s garden and cut some roses, gathering in this way a precious bouquet.
The second servant went to his own small garden, where he also grew roses. Of course, they could not be compared with his master’s flowers, but with good intention and with sacrifice he was able to pick a bouquet, which he hoped would find favor in his master’s eyes.
When the two servants finally entered the house to give their presents, the master of the house realized at once what had happened.
He called the first servant and said to him: “You have taken what is already mine, and you have tried to gain my favor. But what you have done is nothing else than to flatter your own vanity.” And he expelled him.
He called the second servant and said to him: “You have sacrificed for my sake what is yours. I will name you my steward and you will be the man of my trust.”
Then, Jesus proceeded to explain to us the parable. God is already the owner of all His creation. He does not need us to sacrifice something that is already His. But within His creation, He has separated two things for the exclusive use of men, two things they may dispose of freely: Love and free will. Therefore, when people wish to sacrifice something in order to find favor in the eyes of the Lord, they should subordinate their will under His, and they should give their love to Him. It did not turn out so difficult, did it?
Well, I am happy that we have finally managed to conclude this message. It is another small stone in the colorful mosaic of Jesus’ life we are piecing together.
God bless you,
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013