A Coin, a Lost Sheep and a Dad With a Couple of Kids

Yeshua: It's like... (aside) why does everyone make this so goddamn hard. (to audience) The kingdom is like, the Kingdom of God is like... has any of you ever lost a coin?

Voice 1: What?

Yeshua: Has any of you ever lost a coin? Lost a coin and then searched and searched until you found it?

V1: Of course.

Yeshua: Weren't you glad when you did?

Voice 2: (aside) This guy's crazy.

Voice 1: Yes, I have found coins before and yes I was happy about it. Recovering what was lost is God's grace.

Yeshua: Exactly!

V2: So God makes us rich?

Yeshua: No. I mean, not necessarily.

V2: But you said-

Yeshua: How about a sheep? Are any of you out there shepherds?

V3: I tend sheep.

Yeshua: Okay, you. How many sheep do you have?

V3: A hundred.

V2: (aside) my ass he has a hundred sheep.

Yeshua: Do you care for them?

V3: What do you mean?

Yeshua: I mean...Do your sheep come when they hear your voice or do they run at the sound of you?

V3: They come. They trust me. I care for and feed them. I protect them. I am a good shepherd.

Yeshua: You speak well. What happens if one goes missing? What do you do?

V3: I go after it.

Yeshua: And when you find it, your lost little lamb, and it returns to the flock, aren't you relieved?

V3: Of course.

(Yeshua pauses, waits for response. None come.)

Yeshua: You see, if a sheep wanted to return, you wouldn’t punish it, would you? Of course not. Why would you make it difficult for a sheep to return to the flock?

V2: You should hobble it?

Yeshua: What?!

V2: Keeps it from running off again.

V1: How is a lost sheep, or a coin, any kind of 'kingdom' worth any of us worrying about?

Yeshua: Okay, okay, that’s fair, I guess. Imagine a dad, a dad with two sons. The younger son wants something different, something new in his life. He requests his inheritance, and receives it from his Dad, then he heads out into the world. But it does not go well. The world is unkind to him and he loses everything. He ends up beat, stripped and broken down in a gutter.

V2: Serves him right.

V1: That's what he gets for wasting his father's money.

Yeshua: His father would be ashamed, he thinks, might even disown him.

V3: Good.

Yeshua: But he figures, if he proves himself, he can probably come home. If his tail is firmly between his legs, he might be able to get a job working for his dad.

V1: (aside) Good for him. Only way he'll learn is by working for it.

Yeshua: But as soon as he's in the sight of Dad's house, Dad comes running. He tackles the boy, gives him a big ol' hug and starts shouting crazy, “Start the grill, we're gonna have a feast! Get my son, MY son, and give him the finest clothes in the closet, the best clothes. Clean him up, feed him, feed him good. My son, is home!”

V3: Just like that?

Yeshua: His older brother sees all the fuss and when he hears that it’s because his little brother is home, and safe, he throws a fit. He resents Dad's abundant generosity and makes up lies about his little brother. He won't even come to the Welcome Home party. Dad goes to him, says “I haven't forgotten about you boy. I'm proud of you. I'm glad you stayed home. You hold down the fort. But there ain't nothing to be hated about a person who leaves home and has a hard time of it. Ask Abram. Ask Jacob. Ask Joseph, Moses and Ruth."

V3: And...

Yeshua: That's what the Kingdom of God is like.

V3: A coin, a lost sheep, and a dad with a couple of kids?

V1: Where? Where is this Kingdom?

Yeshua: I'm trying to tell you, but it's not what you think it is.

V2: (aside) How does he know what we think it is?

Yeshua: It's not power. It's not money. It's not acclaim. It's something else... something bigger, deeper, and older.

V2: He doesn't know what he's talking about. Hey, you don't know what you're talking about. You're just another person who'd rather talk than work. We don't need another teacher giving us new truths we gotta memorize to enter a club. You claim some great and glorious Kingdom is here but can't remember where you put it.

Yeshua: You're not-

V2: Or sometimes it's here, but it kind of isn't, or it is for some but not for others.

V3: I don't get it. Who's in and who is out? You keep saying what the Kingdom is like, we want to know how to get in!

Crowd: Yeah!

Yeshua: You're already in! It's here! Now! Can't you feel it?

V1: Feel what?

Yeshua: The Spirit! The Spirit behind the words. It's something like Justice but more merciful, something like Mercy but with strength, Strength that is gentle, Gentleness that is wise, Wisdom that is humble and Humility that is patient and long suffering, It's indescribable! It's the Spirit buried deep beneath our symbols. It's the low rumble and a deep thunder of Being, the unnamably true. Don't you see it? Can't you hear it?

V2: You're drunk.