Friday, January 09, 2009

Talents and Bread

We have come a long way. We now have biblical discussion via sms. Melissa and I spent the evening exchanging thoughts over the Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of Matthew. She wanted to know my thoughts with regards to the talents - what I thought they were. To me, the point of the whole parable is the kingdom of God and the talents was not the main point. We concluded that with whatever that God has given us, have we been investing them on the kingdom of God.

At the same time I was preparing for bible study on the Gospel of John. We have had too long a break since December and now back to John 6:22ff, the passage on the bread of life. We had a very animated discussion. I really love this group of bible-loving individuals. We range from an age of 40 to over 80. I overheard one of them commenting that she had fell sick but she did not want to miss any sessions. Kudos to her love for the Word of God.

Several interesting discussion points:

(1) Someone highlighted v.25: When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?" If you read the few verses before that, the more expected question would be "how did you get here?" So why did they ask Jesus "when" instead? What were their intention of question? Based on Jesus' reply who knows their hearts, we presume that they asked "when" because had they know where Jesus were earlier, they would have gotten more of his bread, which they would not have to work for. Their concern was for physical gratification, as is evident in the remaining portion of the passage.

How often in our prayers, our vision is so narrow as to only be concerned about our physical lives here on earth?

(2) On v.60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" We laughed when we came to this verse because after discussing long and hard over the previous verses, which was a roundabout discussion between Jesus and the people, we find this verse, this is hard teaching!. We were also grappling with it trying to understand what Jesus was telling them. But what I realise now is that the people did understand what Jesus was saying, about the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood. They knew that it was bringing Christ himself into their own, abiding in Him as one who was sent from God. But to them it was hard to accept, as verse 60 clearly indicate. They could not accept who Jesus said he was. To them he was only the son of Joseph and Mary whom they knew.

How often we ignore the Lord's leading because it will be hard for us to fit his plan into our lives? How often we subconsciously say: Jesus I know what you are telling me to do, but I have my life to live and it is going somewhere, I don't want you messing it up.



  1. Interesting thoughts Pearlie. I think many people even today - especially today - probably think the way your last paragraph puts it. - Dave

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these discussion points with us. Yes, the difficulty is in the "doing" not the "knowing". Ouch!! my toes hurt :o)

  3. But the truth is Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

    Not easy though since we want to bear the yoke and the burden ourselves, but Christ has borne it. No wonder we don't find it easy or light. We have much to learn.

  4. I'd love to be involved in your discussion group - you've got some real deep-thinkers there. Unfortunately, it's more than just a stroll across the street :)

    Thanks for sharing though.