A Poor Man’s Parable

There was once a certain poor man who owned a small parcel of land that his father had left him.  One day he went into town to buy seed and food to live on.

It was the time of planting.

When he got to town, there were many merchants and farmers selling seed. Some were selling seed at different prices; one sold seed at 25 cents a bag, another sold it at 50 cents a bag, while yet another was asking $1.00 a bag.  This poor man only had $10.00 to his name. As he looked at all the different seed, he noticed a friend who owned a parcel of land very near his own.  This man was selling his seed for $20.00 per seed!  The poor man couldn’t believe his eyes. He knew this other man and trusted him more than all his other friends.  He approached him to enquire of the price.

His farmer friend told him that it was a very special seed that had been bred and produced in another country and was well worth the asking price.  The poor man said, “I only have this $10.00 to my name and I need it to buy bags of seed to plant and food to live on.”  His friend said to him, “What is this $15.00 difference to us?  We are friends and neighbors.  I will sell you this one seed at my cost which is $5.00.  Take your other $5.00 and buy food to live.  Only take this seed and guard it with your life.  For there are enemies that have come from the same far country who are not only trying to buy up all of the seed; but they are stealing that which they cannot buy.

“If you tend this seed, it will grow into a great vine and produce the choicest of grapes.  When it does, come back and pay me the remaining $15.00 with no interest.  And I will also buy your harvest at fair market value.”

This poor man went away glad and did all that the husbandman had told him.  He planted this seed deep in his garden.  He dug deep around it and put in a fence and a gate.  He took out all of the rocks and all of the thorns and thistles. He pulled out all the weeds.  He watered it with the purest of water, and fertilized it.  He watched it and protected it daily.  He drove the fouls away that came to take it.  Whenever he saw a weed springing up trying to steal the vines water, he immediately recognized it and plucked it out by the roots.  He nurtured it and pruned it .  It meant everything to him.  You see, he knew the value of what he had.

Over the process of time, it grew into a great vine and produced much fruit.  He decided to not only sell the fruit, but to build a winepress and make a bottle of the finest wine to present to his friend in appreciation of the $15.00 loan.  He went to his friends house to give him the $15.00 and the wine.  The vinedresser received him into his house and they shared of the wine.  The poor man told his friend how very difficult it was to have grown and tended this vine; but that in the end it was well worth it.  The merchant-man bought his harvest at fair market value as promised.  He was so impressed that this poor man had done exactly as he was bidden, that he said to the poor man, “You have excelled well in your planting, and in your tending, and in your harvest.  Look and behold how large my own vineyard is!  I am away on business most of the time, and if you would like, I would like to make you one of my husbandmen.  Please tend my fields and root out all that offends.  I will make you part owner and you may share in its profits.  Behold, my servants are now your servants.  Take them and teach them what you have done.”  This new-found rich man then made some of the servants vinedressers, and some of them cultivators whose job it was to take out all the weeds and rocks which were continually placed in the fields by his enemies.  He assigned some to be irrigators, some to be pruners, and some to be watchmen.  And yet others he assigned to mend the walls and the fences.

And this man rejoiced in all his labors, and in his abundance that was entrusted to him.

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Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Joel 2:1