Jesus and the Talmud - The Parable.
September 27, 2006
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB.
I am here, Jesus.
I come to continue my discourse on the relationship of my teachings to the Jewish Talmud.
I want now to discuss the parable. As everyone knows, this was a favorite method of mine to teach the spiritual Truths to the people, who were not educated, as the Talmudic rabbis were, in learned investigation.
What is not generally known is that the parable was also a favorite device of the Talmudic writers.
Here is a famous parable of mine.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”(Matthew 13:45-46).
Compare this with the following Talmudic example.
“Disdain it not, the parable. Remember that when a pearl of great worth is lost, we search after it with a candle that costs but the smallest coin. So the lowly parable takes us home to the great teachings of the Torah.” (Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah 1:1).
Here are two other famous parables of mine.
“A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’” (Luke 14:16-24)
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridgegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, saying, ‘no, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered and said, ‘truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25 1:13)
Now compare these two with this Talmudic parable, by Rabban Johanan ben Zaccai.
“A king once invited his servants to a banquet without indicating the precise time when it would be given. Those who were wise remembered that things are always ready in a king’s palace, and they arrayed themselves and sat by the palace gate attentive for the call to enter, while those who were foolish continued their customary occupations, saying: ‘a banquet requires great preparation.’ When the king suddenly called his servants to the banquet, those who were wise appeared in clean raiment and well adorned, while those who were foolish entered in soiled and ordinary garments. The king took pleasure at the wise, but was full of anger at those who were foolish, saying that those who had come prepared for the banquet should sit down and eat and drink, but those who had not properly arrayed themselves should remain standing and look on.” (Shabbat 153a)
It is obvious that they are very similar.
In my time, the great spiritual Truths had to be taught through the parable. Even though my teachings have been frequently distorted and misunderstood these last two thousand years, nevertheless humanity is ready now to hear them anew freshly, and without resort to the indirect method of the parable.
These parables are the Truth, but the greater Truth resides in those souls who follow my teachings by bringing the Divine Love into their soul through sincere prayer and faith.