Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A preacher was asked a tricky question during a convention: “Does the New Testament condemn the practice of a man having two wives (bigamy)?”

He could not recollect a relevant reference. So he used his sense of humour and quoted a verse from the Bible, though it was from a different context, “No servant can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other” {Luke 16: 13}.

Actually this verse and the similar verse {Matthew 6:24} refer to the teaching in the next line- “You cannot serve both God and money.” Here, Jesus presents the miserable and ridiculous situation when one tries to serve two contradictory forces simultaneously- God and money.

There is a story of an old king. He was sad that half of his hairs were grey. His attempts to darken his hairs failed. He was equally worried about his queen whose hairs were fully grey. He married a very young and fashionable girl with fully black hair. He built a new palace for the younger queen. He spent alternate nights with each queen in her palace.

Whenever the king slept with the younger queen, she tried to improve the king’s appearance by plucking one grey hair from his head every night without his knowledge.

The next day, when the king sleeps with the old queen, she would remove one dark hair from his head, hoping to make his hair match with hers. By this, she hoped to regain his attention.

The two queens continued their silent operation. By the time the king learned about this, he was almost bald!

This story illustrates the miserable climax of bigamy. Any attempt to satisfy two opposite conditions will fail. As Jesus taught, a person cannot serve both God and money with equal sincerity.Godliness and worldliness are contradictory ways of life.

A rich young man approached Jesus requesting His advice about attempts to attain eternal life. Jesus could read his mind. He was ardently attached to wealth. Hence Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me” {Matthew 19:21}. On hearing these words, he went away sadly because he loved money and was reluctant to part with it even if it would open the path to eternal life.

Many Christians, including eloquent evangelists may become victims of Satan’s temptation to love money above everything. We should practise what we preach.

This is story No. 126 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories in this site.

By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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