On many occasions the disciples, knowing that they were not as mature as they would like, asked “what must I do to grow as a disciple?”
Jesus said to them: “to what did I compare being a disciple?”
“Building a tower and a king about to go to war”, they offered.
“You have answered correctly”, He replied. “And what was the meaning of these parables?”
“From that we understand”, the disciples replied, “we must consider our ability to finish before we choose to start on the path of discipleship. But we, having already considered these things, have chosen to be your disciples. We are concerned that we are not progressing as we ought.”
Jesus answered them thus.
“Growth is like a man who wants to entertain his guests and treat them to a BBQ feast. He called forth his cooks. To each one he gave several briskets. Then he went away to prepare the guest list.”
“The cooks went about preparing their smokers and cooking their briskets. After a long time the master of the cooks returned to check on things.”
“The master approached the first cook. This cook was concerned about how the meat was progressing and continually opened the lid of the cooking chamber to check on it. As a result of continually checking the meat progress was hindered and the meat would not be ready for the feast.”
“The master approached the next cook. This cook had a good start. He measured the internal temperatures of his briskets and there was steady progress. But he was not diligent about continually managing his fire and ensuring it produced good coals that were neither too hot nor too cold. As a result his fire went out. This meat would also not be ready.”
“The master approached the third cook. This cook also had a good start. He measured the internal temperatures of his briskets and there was steady progress at the beginning. But the brisket stalled and started dropping in temperature. Losing patience and panicking the cook pulled the brisket off too early resulting in a tough and chewy product.”
“The master approached the final cook. This cook had managed his fires well and wrapped his meats when they hit the stall. He showed the briskets, which were resting, to his master. The meat did not look fit to eat but rather to be thrown out. The master knew not to judge the meat by the blackened exterior so he had the cook cut off a slice. On the inside the meat had developed a very deep smoke ring. The master ate the slice which was tender and had been infused with succulent smoky flavors.”
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been diligent and patient with a meat that is very difficult to cook. Come and join the party and share in your master’s happiness!’”
“Growth may also be compared to the type of meat that is placed in the cooking chamber. There are a variety of meats yet each will require a different approach if one wants to achieve the desired results. Does a brisket cook as fast as a turkey? Would mesquite wood pair with salmon?”
“Salt is good for brining, but if the cut of meat already came in a saline solution it may be too much. How can you make it less salty again?”
Aware of the disciples discussion, Jesus asked, “Why are you talking among yourselves about having no corn bread? Whoever has fires to tend let them tend.”
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