A Modern Parable

The year was 1968.

While writing a sermon about the Good Samaritan, a northern evangelical pastor fell asleep at his desk.

In his dream, Jesus appeared to him, and gave him license to ask any question he desired.

The Man said, “Lord, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus Replied, “What is written in the Gospels?”

He answered, “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

“You have answered Correctly”, Jesus replied, “Do this and you will live.”

But the man already knew this, and felt that, as a pastor, he had fulfilled this duty quite well. So looking for more specific insights, and wishing to establish in his mind that he was on the right track, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus Said: “A Black Evangelical Pastor was driving to a demonstration in Birmingham, when he was set upon by KKK members. They stole his car, stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A baptist minister happened to be attending a conference in the same town. When he saw the man, he drove his car on the other side. So too, an evangelical pastor came to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side.

But a secular humanist, as he traveled, came to where the man was, and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds. Then he put the man in his own car, and took him to the hospital. He stayed with the man through the night. The next day, he payed all the man’s medical expenses, and made arrangements for the man to get safely back home.

Which of these three do you think proved a neighbor to the Pastor who fell into the hands of the KKK?”

The evangelical pastor replied “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise”.

After saying this, Jesus faded from view. The Pastor slowly opened his eyes. Needing to sort out the meaning of the dream, he rose from his desk, and went to fetch the newspaper.

The headline, blazoned in all capitals, read, “MARTIN LUTHER KING MURDERED!”

The Pastor dropped the paper, walked back to his desk, and resumed the writing of his sermon . . .


(Originally posted by Darren Faber)


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