In ancient times, weddings went on for days [if not weeks] and anyone who accepted an invitation to a wedding understood it was a commitment of time and money, for jobs were abandoned in order to be at the happening.
The custom was for the Bridegroom to decide when the wedding would take place; it could be on the first day of the festivities or even the ninth! No one knew when the Groom would appear, and Jesus related how five out of the ten brides were unprepared for their man. Some were out shopping when he came, and so they were left out of the Bridal Chamber and you can imagine how frustrated they were.
Parables are stories that invite the reader to decide who they relate to and what it means to them on the heart level. Jesus didn't hit his listeners over the head with his message; he led by example not lectures and encouraged people to allow their imaginations to lead them.
"Imagination is evidence of The Divine."-William Blake
"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." -John Lennon
Jesus was always on about trying to wake up his audience, to stay alert and read the signs of the times. No one knows when the end of time will come, and "even if the end of the world comes tomorrow. I would plant an olive tree today."-St. Francis of Assisi
Jesus was also never a Christian; the term was not even coined until three decades after he walked the earth as a man.
Jesus was a radical, social justice revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish Road Warrior who told his followers to go out and make disciples-and all a disciple is- is one who does what the Master teaches.
Jesus had very few friends inside the Temple Authority for he challenged their job security by teaching the people they didn't have to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God-for God was already within them and loved them just as they were; poor, oppressed, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans and refugees all enduring under a brutal military occupation.
The authority of God, up until 2,000 years ago, was understood to be external. What got Christ crucified was that he placed God in the very hearts of his hearers and elevated them to the same level Caesar claimed to hold.
Jesus was a story teller that presupposed that his listener already knew it all and they didn't need any outside authority to tell them what was wrong or right. His message was that the Divine authority is already in the heart of every human being; and this remains a most revolutionary concept.
The Roman Occupying Forces crucified Christ because he disturbed the status quo of the Empire which ruled by oppression. Jesus taught liberation.
The immanence of God and the Divine within the human heart throughout the ages has always inspired poets, musicians, writers, artists and prophets, even in modern times.
"If it keeps on raining, the levee's gonna break, If it keeps on raining, the levee's gonna break, some people are still sleeping, some people ARE WIDE AWAKE"- Bob Dylan, 2006 "Modern Times"
On October 13, 2009 Dylan's, "Christmas In The Heart" will be released.
I thought it numinous how another Jewish born prophet-who also rejects that title; Mordechai Vanunu, the Whistle Blower of Israel's WMD Program will mark his 55th birthday within hours of the 'birth' of Dylan's 47th album.
All royalties will go to benefit millions in need through Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to more than 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season. Dylan is also donating all of his future U.S. royalties from this album to Feeding America in perpetuity.
"It's a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone -- 12 million of those children -- often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season."-Bob Dylan