Parable of the Bus
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Dr. Max Debono-De-Laurentis,
Beit Yeshua Messianic Fellowship Edinburg, Scotland
I was trying to think of a way to describe the remnant of believers in Israel, with a picture of how the Gentiles are grafted in. It is a complicated topic, further confused by the plethora of beliefs on the topic. So, I came up with a parable to help explain it.
Once upon a time, a wealthy and generous bus driver decided to build a vehicle to take people to his estate where they could freely enjoy his wonderful kingdom in the Celestial Mountains. After many disappointments with various contractors, he finally employed a man of notable integrity to help him construct a great passenger bus. The driver promised that the bus would accommodate anyone who wanted to join them.
In order to prevent disruptions along the way and ensure a safe arrival, he and his son produced a set of rules for the journey. They wanted all the passengers to fully understand the requirements. When the bus was finally ready, the owner called it Israel. On their initial trip there were many who wanted to ride the bus, but some quickly decided they didn’t like the rules he had established. Others didn’t like the direction the driver was going, and thought they knew a better, more direct way. Some grumbled about finding a more suitable bus driver who would take an easier route. They wanted more water breaks and food stops. And why did they have to go through the parched desert? To make matters worse, more trouble erupted when various passengers decided to reinterpret the driver’s guidelines, trying to make them more palatable and convenient.
Then the most educated among them, thought they should add more guidelines around each original instruction making it extremely difficult to differentiate what was from the driver and what was from the passengers. This became burdensome to everyone because they argued that these additional instructions superseded the bus driver’s original instructions.
In their zeal, they spent all their time examining their new instruction manuals and didn’t realize they had gotten off the bus, and they were unknowingly blocking the path for others to board.
For these and a host of other reasons, many passengers left the bus and tried to find their own way to the Celestial Mountains. Sadly, they would eventually learn that there is no other way.
As time went on, very few passengers remained on this bus. Merely a small remnant enjoyed the ride, happily abiding in the driver’s instructions. The driver looked back at all the empty seats. He and his son were terribly saddened to see that there were many more people who could experience all that he prepared in the Celestial Mountains. So, to remedy this situation, he enacted a plan they had prepared long before they built the bus called Israel. The driver called his only son and sent him out amongst all the passengers who got off the bus, offering them personal teaching and examples about the way to his father’s beautiful kingdom where they could live forever if they wanted. He explained that the rules weren’t meant to be complicated, or burdensome, but a practical way to behave on the journey with his father, the driver, and to enjoy peace with others on the journey. The son managed to persuade many to get back on the bus. He also trained some of them to go out and teach others the way. News of this driver and the bus called Israel started spreading around the world. Many passengers who never considered getting on this bus were persuaded to do so. But, sadly, many of these passengers later decided to go their own way. They rejected the bus drivers’ teachings and directions and said the son wasn’t telling the truth. He was an imposter! He should be killed!
The bus called Israel and its driver were forced onto an old and undesirable road. It was narrow and full of potholes. But no matter how hard or dangerous it became, the bus driver couldn’t pick up passengers who refused to obey his rules. And the driver and his son were the only ones who knew the way to the Celestial Mountains, where the beautiful kingdom lay. No one else would ever find it if they were outside the bus.
As they got closer to the Mountains, many people tried climbing on board. They yelled to the driver, “We heard about you and even sold tickets for this bus, so please let us come in! We worked at the bus stops and we told our family and friends about you.” But the son shook his head as he stood by the door and told them sadly, “I don’t know you; you should have obeyed the rules and taken a seat on the bus instead of going your own way.”
Now, it’s time for us to examine the driver’s requirements and the son’s teaching and find out if we’re really seated on the bus or not. Are we doing things our own way, expecting the driver to accept us regardless of how we honor his instructions? Who will arrive safely and surely in the Celestial Mountains to enjoy the kingdom of the Father forever?