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Chapter 9: Let the Dead Bury Their Dead

Luke 9

57 And it came to pass, that,
as they went in the way,
a certain man said unto him,
“Lord, I will follow thee
whithersoever thou goest.”

58 And Jesus said unto him,
“Foxes have holes,
and birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of man hath not
where to lay his head.”

59 And he said unto another,
“Follow me.”
But he said, “Lord, suffer me first
to go and bury my father”.

60 And Jesus said unto him,
“Let the dead bury their dead:
but go thou and preach
the kingdom of God.”

61 And another also said,
“Lord, I will follow thee;
but let me first go bid them farewell,
which are at my house.”

62 And Jesus said unto him,
“No man, having put his hand
to the plough, and looking back,
is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Once a man owned a very big pond. A small lily plant was growing in it. The man was very happy; he had always loved white flowers of lilies. But then he became concerned because the plant was doubling itself every day: sooner or later it would cover the whole pond. He had trout in the pond and he loved to eat those trout. Once the pond was covered by the lilies all the life from the pond would disappear, including the trout.

He didn’t want to cut the plants, he didn’t want his trout to disappear - he was in a dilemma. He went to an expert. The expert calculated and said, “Don’t be worried. It will take one thousand days for the lily to cover the whole pond. The plant is very small and the pond is very big, so there is no need to worry.” Then the expert suggested a solution which appeared almost absolutely right. He said, “Wait, and when half the pond is covered with lilies, then cut the plant. Always keep it only half-covered so that you will enjoy the white flowers and your trout will not be in danger. Fifty-fifty - half the pond for the lilies, half for the trout.”

The solution looked perfectly right, and one thousand days - there was enough time, so there was no need to worry. The man relaxed. He said, “When the pond is half-covered, then I will cut the lilies.”

The pond was half-covered - but it was half-covered on the nine hundred ninety-ninth day. Ordinarily you would think that it would be half-covered after five hundred days - no. The plant used to double itself, so half the pond would be covered on the nine hundred ninety-ninth day and only one day would be left. But that would not be sufficient time to cut the plant or to keep it to the half.

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