And it came to pass that Jesus enter the town of Bethsaida.
Immediately a crowd gathered around Jesus wanting to know news about fashions currently popular in Jerusalem (filthy robes), as well as the latest scandals involving King Herod (horse concubines).
Then someone asked Jesus, ‘Rabbi, what is the correct way to live rightously and worship God?’
And Jesus said, ‘listen to this parable and learn its lesson.’
A man got his wife a present for her birthday. He placed it in a large box, wrapped it in brightly coloured paper and gave it to her.
Delighted, she opened it and looked inside: in there was a pile of washing up her husband wanted her to do.
When she appeared ungrateful towards the gift and had steadfastly refused to do the aforementioned washing up, the husband emptied the contents of a wastepaper basket over her head.
He then made her wear the same wastepaper basket on her head for the next 30 years.
‘This is like God and his relationship to you’, Jesus said. ‘He gives you the gift of life and asks you to obey his laws: thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, etc. When you do not obey him, such as not doing his washing up, he will punish you by making you wear a wastepaper basket on your head for an extended period of time.’
‘Or sometimes he’ll punish you in other ways, like making you eat wood shavings, or having only ants as friends.’
‘God can do these things because He Loves You.’
Jesus then rose and left the area, striding triumphantly into the sunset like a young Richard Burton.
However, the effect was spoiled when he fell into a deep hole after just ten yards.
And the people could not get him out that night, so they lowered an ass into the hole to keep Jesus company.
And the people strapped to the beast various games for Jesus to play, lest he became bored with the ass’s general conversation.
But by the next morning and their time of rescue, Jesus and the ass had forged a special friendship that lasted until the ass found someone more interesting to talk to.