THE PARABLE OF THE WHEEL
A Short Carpentry Lesson
There was once a carpenter in olden days who used to make wooden wheels for waggons. One say his young son stopped by in his work yard to watch his father work.
"Father," the boy said, "some people in our neighbourhood don't go to Church. Some say that they don't need any Church because they have Christ. And some go to Churches where they never talk about Christ. Some don't go to Church or believe in Christ. What is the proper way to be a Christian?"
The carpenter paused for a moment and then showed him some of his work.
"Well," answered the boy's father, let's take a look at the different parts of the wheel. What is a wheel made of?"
"A hub, spokes, and the rim," answered the boy, pleased that he knew the names of the different parts.
"Absolutely correct!" congratulated his father, "and each of these parts make up an important part of a Christian's life. The hub is like the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, which holds all the spokes in place. The spokes are the saints, or God's people. And the rim is the Church itself, which holds all the people together in the world." (Fig.1)
"Can you imagine, for example, a hub and one spoke working as a wheel?"
"Of course not," replied his son, "it wouldn't work at all!"
"In fact it would be quite useless," pointed out the carpenter. "But that's just like the solo Christian. He isn't any use at all" (Fig.2)
"What if we added some more spokes to the wheel? Would that be any better?"
"If you did that," replied the boy, "the wheel would turn for a bit but the spokes would break off."
"Yes, that wouldn't me much use either," said his father soberly. "But then that's just what happens if you don't have a Church organisation to co-ordinate your discipleship. The rim is what holds the whole Christian family together on the outside. (Fig.3).
"What, then, is the wheel with lots of spokes but no hub," asked his son?
"That is like the Christian who believes alot in the Church but really hasn't much faith in Christ," replied his father. (Fig.4)
"There are many churches like that in the world. The people don't know where to point but the they are united around the Church. If you put any pressure on the wheel it will collapse. Churches built on anything but Christ are doomed to perish at the last day"
"I see," said the boy. "All three parts -- the Christ, who is the hub -- the spokes, which are the saints -- and the rim which is the Church organisation -- work together as a whole. Take away any part of them and you have no Church."
"If only Christians would learn this lesson as you have," said his father soberly. "Then God would fill His Church with the Spirit and it would be as sturdy as a waggon wheel."
This page was created on 10 April 1998
Last updated on 10 April 1998
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