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Authentic Christianity
The Parable of the Bull in the China Shop

 

 

 

Once there was a young bull who began his life in a beautiful garden where he was provided for bountifully by his owner. But before long, desiring to live without restraint, he leaped over the garden wall and wandered far away. Later, realizing his foolishness, he found himself hungry, dusty and alone. Coming at last to a small village, he happened upon a kind old pastor who took pity upon the young bull and led him into a pasture with plentiful grass to eat. He told the bull about the Creator who had made the far away garden, the pasture and all good things. 

The bull trusted what the old pastor told him and replied, “how can I repay Him for his kindness?” The old pastor replied, “Oh, you can’t repay him; He has already paid the price to reconcile every one of us.” But the bull persisted, wanting to show that he was sorry for wandering and appreciative of his Creator’s mercy. So the pastor took him to the manager of the china shop in the village. There he could earn a small salary while showing that he was trying to live responsibly. He went to work there the very next morning.

It was a gleaming white shop with very expensive porcelain and leaded crystal from England, France, Belgium and Denmark. Each day he would pull a cart that brought new wares to the store. He would also sweep the floors and offer a friendly welcome to the shoppers. For his efforts each day, he earned 61 cents. He worked very hard, because he appreciated the Creator’s mercy.

Two weeks later the shop manager gave him his first pay check. The pay stub noted his salary for ten work days: $6.10 and underneath was a list of expenses: $47,000.00. At the bottom his net pay was calculated: $6.10. The bull looked at the pay stub and said “I don’t understand.” The shop manager told him, “Well, in the course of your daily work you broke a lot of china and crystal, amounting to a total of $47,000.00.”

The bull replied, “then I owe you a lot of money!” “Oh no", the shop manager responded, the owner appreciates the hard work you do and forgives the debt you incur each day.  You see, he knows that you’re a bull in a china shop, and that you don’t work for the money, but in loving service to your Creator. He’s the one who owns this shop.”

That day the bull loved his Creator even more. The Creator’s kindness could never be repaid, but nevertheless, the Creator appreciated the bull’s stumbling efforts to offer his grateful service. Over the years the bull learned to be more careful in the Creator’s shop and broke fewer dishes. After work each day, as he rested under the tree in the pasture of the old wooden church, the bull would look up toward the sky and see its steeple with its cross, and he was at peace.



 


What is a Parable

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  Jesus used parables throughout His earthly ministry to teach religious concepts. The Parable of the Bull in the China Shop shows us why good works don't earn our salvation.  Like the bull, Adam and Eve thought they could do better of their own fruition, than by what God had given them, and as a result had to leave the garden and the presence of God.  However, God in His mercy, does not want us separated from Him, and sent Jesus, his Son, to pay for our sins.  Our debt (sin) has been forgiven by God, totally paid for by Jesus' sinless life, and suffering and death on the cross.  Like the bull, our good works do nothing to erase our debt, but are instead are our way of showing God how much we appreciate what Jesus has done for us.  Though we have all wandered far away, God still loves us, forgives us, and one day will take us home to be with Him.