Sermon Illustrations

Joel Gregory told a story of a blind, poor and hungry Indian beggar who sat beside a road, starved from the scarcity of travelers and how much rice they could give him. One day he heard the thunder of a chariot in the distance. It was the grand entourage of the Maharajah, who was known to have performed miracles for the poor. This was a moment that had never come before. Surely the Great One would stop and give him baskets of rice.

Indeed, the golden chariot of the Maharajah stopped before the poor beggar. The Great One stepped down and the beggar fell before him. However, the beggar couldn’t believe the stinginess of the Great Maharajah, who said to him, “Give me your rice.”

An unpleasant, a repulsive, dark scowl masked the face of the beggar. He reached into his bowl and flung a grain of rice toward the Maharajah. The Great One said, “Is that all?” Next, the beggar spat on the ground, cursed and, in disgust, threw him another grain of rice. The Great One turned, entered his chariot, and was gone.

The beggar – angry, moody, and grouchy - fingered the remaining rice he had in his bowl. He felt something hard, glistening, something different from rice. He pulled it out. It was a grain of gold. He poured out his rice, caring nothing for it now, and found another grain of gold. The poor beggar regretted what he had done. If only had he trusted the Great One, he would have had a grain of gold for every grain of rice (Adapted, Pulpit Helps 2/93)

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