Christ Jesus' parables taught important spiritual truths -- truths that would help listeners toward holier characters and more Godlike lives. These parables continue today to teach tender lessons to humble readers. The story of the good Samaritan n1 is one of the best known and most loved of Jesus' lessons. Its obvious purpose is to illustrate what it means to love one's neighbor.
n1 See Luke 10:25-37;
The parable for me has always carried another Christian lesson as well -- the lesson to hold fast to God in the face of severe problems. The story tells of "a certain man" who was waylaid, robbed, beaten, and left half dead. Apparently he was unable to do much for himself. But, as you or I in a similar situation, he was not helpless. He could pray, and perhaps he did, for although the first two potential helpers would not help, the third would and could and did. The injured man was blessed with tender and wise human aid that was probably far more than he ever imagined he would receive on that desolate and bandit-plagued road.
What a grand lesson for us today! We may feel at our wit's end because of a health or financial or other problem that presses down on us with what may seem unrelenting unsolvability. We may feel alone, forsaken, helpless, afraid, unjustly or even cruelly treated. Desperate.
But we don't have to give in to hopelessness or resentment. We can hold fast to God. We can pray.
Any kind of prayer that is sincere, penitent, and humble can lift our thought to God. It might be a prayer of gratitude, of genuine repentance for some mistake, or of praise to God. One of the most inspiring and uplifting prayers is the prayer of scientific reason based on simple faith that God is good and man is His dear likeness, or idea. These are the Christly truths that underlay Jesus' prayers, and they are just as effective today. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes as the very first sentence of the first chapter of the Christian Science textbook, "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, -- a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 1;
This is not cold logic. It is warm, tender, spiritual understanding. It warms us inside much more than a cup of hot chocolate after a long winter walk. It is human consciousness yielding to the tender Christ, Truth, and accepting, however slightly, more of the deep reality of a perfect God and His perfect, precious man. On the authority of this lovely spiritual insight we can deny whatever belief or evidence may be imposing some woe on us. If something is not good, God does not make it; it therefore is not actually made, and God's immortal child does not experience any part of it. These truths will awaken us from the false belief that woe is fundamental truth, and in the process make our thought and character more holy -- thereby making our bodes more healthy.
But we must press on. We must hold fast to these truths. Mrs. Eddy promises , "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." n3 In the Gospel according to Luke, a parable is introduced with these wise words: "And the [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Then is told the story of the widow who so persistently pressed her case before an independent-minded judge that he finally granted her relief, mainly to be rid of her. Our Master adds, "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him . . .? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily." n4
n3 ibid.,m p. 261;
n4 Luke 18:1-8.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.) Hebrews 10:23