dear diary — 7th day of nisan

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7th day of Nisan, 9:45 pm

Dear Diary,

Jesus told us another story today.  [I’ve got to write all these down, because Matthew says he might make a whole book later of all these stories.  Why he can’t do all the writing himself, I don’t know.  He never had a hard time writing down all the money we owed him when he was working for the government…]  Anyway, this story was about all these men working on a farm. The guys hired earliest in the morning got a contract for one denarius (John and I thought that was pretty fair for manual labor).  I guess the farmer had more work than he realized, though, because he kept hiring more workers throughout the day.  But these new guys weren’t offered contracts; they were just told they’d be paid whatever was right.  [Maybe because they were unskilled — after all, the farmer did just hire a bunch of guys who were standing around in the market.]  Still, they came to work, just trusting the farmer would pay them a fair wage.  Or I guess they didn’t necessarily trust him — maybe they just figured any money is better than none.  After all it was getting late in the day and they were still sitting around waiting for work.

In the end, though, all the workers got the same pay, even the ones who had only worked an hour or two.  At least that’s how the story went.  But it’d never happen that way in real life; it’s too unfair.  Jesus is always telling stories like that, things that would never really happen.  He ended this story by saying something like, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  It was really similar to what he told Peter earlier in the day.  Peter was reminding Jesus of all we’d left to come and follow him; and he wanted to know what we’d get for it in return.  JC’s answer was that we’d get 100 times what we’d left behind, plus eternal life.

John and I were trying to figure 100 times what we would have made fishing for the past three years with dad.  It’s hard to say, but it’d be a whole whole lot of denarii… or fish — depending on how you look at it.  I’m wondering how Jesus is gonna’ come through on these promises he’s making.  As for the eternal life thing, we’re all guessing it’s just another analogy of some sort… **sigh**

Anyway, after JC answered Peter about our future payment, he said something about the first being last and all that stuff.  I think that’s why he started telling the story of the unfair farmer in the first place.  But none of us really understands this last being first stuff.  We all are excited Jesus is starting to make statements, though — in the past he’s just asked questions (even when one of us asked a question first).  Really, who answers a question with a question?  I guess the guy who’s going to rule his own kingdom can do whatever he wants.  We’re still placing bets on when he’ll give us permission to start the revolt.  Me and John each put money on a different date, but agreed to share the winnings if one of us comes out on top.  I’m starting to wonder, though, if it was wise for us to let Iscariot hold all the money; dude’s got some wee beady little eyes.

I hear we’re going to Jerusalem soon.  I wonder when I’ll see Lazarus’ sister, Martha, again? Wow, did she know how to clean a house!  And she’s not bad looking either.  **dreaming**

Well, I’m tired and need to get some sleep.  John’s finally out of the bathroom, so I can use it now.  He sure does spend a lot of time on his beard and hair for a guy who basically grew up on a fishing boat.  Good night, diary.

* This post is the first in a “dear diary” series from Matthew 20.  The next post is here.


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19 responses to “dear diary — 7th day of nisan

  1. You have quite an imagination, brother! Looks like you got lots of requests for your modern-day retellings of scriptures. Would you have believed those second-columns would come in so handy?


    • i’m enjoying the 2nd-columns a great deal. i think if eugene peterson had not beat me to it, i’d be starting on a new testament translation.

      i’ve just got to make sure i don’t neglect my 3rd-columns…

      • Amen! Practicing the 3rd column is where the rubber meets the road. That’s where Holy Spirit transformation takes place!

        How is your agriculture work going? Making any progress in finding land for the demonstration farm?

        • agriculture’s been put on hold. we had the bailey family from mwanza here last week — with their interns. so that kept us busy last week and the week before in prep. it was good to have visitors come through, though.

          we can’t possibly plant until late october, so i’ve decided the field can wait — which allows me to focus more now on some time-sensitive things. it’s my plan to send you an email later this afternoon. [monday is supposed to be my email return and computer business day, etc. but we ran out of water and have other visitors coming tomorrow, so i’ve been taking care of getting more water.]

          i’m on my way now to borrow a mattress from the mcneals for our guests, and plan to shower and write emails after fixing up a bedroom.

  2. Barb

    A “good eye” is a valuing eye, a discerning eye, a treasuring eye. It doesn’t just see facts about money and God. It doesn’t just perceive what is true and false. It sees beauty and ugliness, it senses value and worthlessness, it discerns what is really desirable and what is undesirable. The seeing of the good eye is not neutral. When it sees God, it sees God-as-beautiful. It sees God-as-desirable.

  3. Daniel

    Did you find this hidden with the letter to the Laodiceans?

  4. I love reading your blog! I have to admit it is one of my favourite ones these days. 🙂

    Am looking forward to more diary posts!

    • wow. thanks, sarah. as for your blog, i can only understand half of it…

      another diary post tomorrow (monday). it was supposed to be today, but i wanted help “recreating” my blog reader after the “crash.”

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  11. “dude’s got some wee beady little eyes.”

  12. Pingback: not to bring a sword, but a piece | aliens and strangers

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