Where is Jesus?..October 11th, 2011 by Oleg Kostyuk
by Oleg Kostyuk
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)
I do not want to theorize on these questions, instead, I would like to tell you a parable which may answer some of them. My father told me this story many years ago, but this version of the parable is taken from Ravi Zacharias’ book.
There is an ancient Eastern parable titled “The Wealth Is Nearer to You Than You Think”. It tells of a wealthy merchant who had undertaken a lengthy journey, carrying with him his most valuable jewels. Along the way, another traveler befriended him, making it look like a chance meeting but with the sole intent of laying his hands on those precious stones. At the end of each day when they arrived at a local inn they would share the room for the night. As was customary, each received his mat and pillow and also a wash basin with a towel for his nightly ablutions.
The merchant, somewhat suspicious of his newfound friend’s real motives, devised a scheme to safeguard his valuables that was to leave his ill-intentioned companion completely befuddled. Before they turned in for the night, he would graciously offer the would-be thief the privilege of washing up first. As soon as the thief would leave the room, the rich man would take his bag full of precious stones and hastily hide it under the pillow of the thief. When the thief would return, the rich man would make his exit, taking his turn at cleaning up. Awaiting this moment of opportunity, with predatorial glee the rogue would plunge into the rich man’s belongings, rummaging through his bag, even ransacking in and under the rich man’s pillow, feverishly searching for the precious stones. His frenzied and fruitless attempts at every stop left him utterly frustrated, and eventually he would lay his sleepless head on his pillow, angry at his failure to locate the treasure.
Finally, as it came time to part on their last day together, the rich man began his farewell pleasantries and, to the speechless astonishment of his companion, informed him that all along he had been painfully aware of his real motives. Then came the agony–inflicting revelation: – You poured all your energies into looking everywhere – except under your own pillow. The wealth was nearer to you than you realized.
Jesus is nearer to us than we realize. Do you feel His presence?..
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 Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us from Evil: Restoring the Soul in a Disintegrating Culture (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1996), p. 3.