And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.…
A nobleman who had a magnificent garden was ill in bed, and ordered his butler to go into the hot-house and bring him the finest bunch of grapes he could find. He came to the hot-house, he opened the door, he examined all the clusters — he fixed on the best — he brought out his knife and cut it. Just as he did so, a cry was raised, "There's a man in the hot-house I there's a man in the hot-house!" The gardeners, young and old, dropped their spades and water-pots, and ran to the hot-house. As they glanced through the glass, sure enough, there stood the man, and in his hand the Queen Cluster — the very one which they had been watching for months — the one which was to take the prize at the Horticultural Show I They were furious — they were ready to kill .him — they rushed in and seized him by the collar, "What are you about!" they said, "How dare you! — you thief! — you rascal! — you vagabond!" Why does not he turn pale? — why does he keep so cool? — why does he smile? He says something — the gardeners are silent in a moment — they hang their beads — they look ashamed — they ask his pardon — they go back to their work. What did he say to make such a sudden change? Simply this — "Men! my lord bade me come here and cut him the very finest bunch of grapes I could find." That was it! The gardeners felt that the hot-house, the vine, and every cluster on it was his. They might call it theirs, and propose to do this and that with it — but really and truly it was his who built the house, and bought the vine, and paid them for attending to it. Just so, dear children, the Lord has a claim on all we possess; our souls, our bodies, our tongues, our time, our talents, our memories, our money, our influence, our beloved relatives. "Ye are not your own"; and whenever He has need of anything we must let it go" — we must learn to yield it up to Him as cheerfully as the owner yielded up his colt.
(J. Bolton, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.