In the latest chapter of his bestselling Joshua series, Joseph Girzone offers fresh inspiration in this collection of fifty never-before-published contemporary vignettes that underscore the most important lessons of the gospel.Joseph Girzone's novels about Joshua, the carpenter who transforms ordinary lives with words of peace and loving actions, have sold more than three million copies and captured the hearts of readers around the world. In The Parables of Joshua, perhaps his most powerful book since the original Joshua, Girzone distills the essence of Christian teaching in entertaining and inspiring "bite-sized" tales set against the background of current society.
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from The Parables of Joshua by Joseph Girzone
ON ONE OCCASION, as Joshua was talking to a crowd that had gathered around him, a woman spoke up and bluntly asked him what he thought of the Church. Calm and unruffled, Joshua replied, "The kingdom of God is like a man who had great wealth and power. He controlled vast territories and whole populations throughout the world. His wealth was beyond measure and, indeed, seemed without limit. He was, however, not concerned with power, or even with his wealth. His joy was in creating living masterpieces of art and sculpture. But in spite of his great possessions, he was alone, and had no one with whom to share his joy. Disguising himself as an ordinary person, he sought out those with whom he could share his life. Dressed in plain clothes and living in a simple manner, he began his search. He approached those who appeared intelligent and wise in the things of the world. "Certainly these men and women will be friends with whom I can share my life," he said to himself, and he approached them.
"What does he want of us " they asked themselves. They were suspicious and looked down on him as a person of no value or use to themselves, so they shunned him. Others he met were highly intelligent persons of science and possessed knowledge of many things. However, he soon found that they were enchanted with their own intelligence and saw no reason to allow this simple man into their lives. He would be a nuisance and could contribute nothing to their circle of learned colleagues. They too shunned him. Others were persons of great importance and had many friends in high places. He approached them, thinking they would, without doubt, appreciate his friendship, but they were ashamed even to be seen with him. They too shunned him.
"Discouraged by the shallow vision of all these intelligent people, the rich man decided to look among ordinary people. They were kind and friendly toward him and welcomed him into their friendship. Taking him into their homes, they shared with him their meager possessions and their simple food, and allowed him into their lives, without any question or concern about his status. However, even among these good people, some soon tired of him, and found excuses to avoid him. But to those who opened their hearts and allowed him to share in their friendship, he revealed his true identity and shared with them his life and the awesome world in which he lived. When the others saw what had happened, they were beside themselves with grief that with all their smug intelligence they had failed to perceive the greatness hidden beneath the stranger's simple manner. What they had searched for all their lives was nothing compared with the riches and the glory and power the rich man shared so freely with all those simple people. And that is the way it will be with those who, when the Savior comes knocking, see in him nothing of value, and so turn him away, and continue to walk in darkness."