The Old Bird Cage
-Submitted by: Jeffreejon A. (Thanks Jeff!)
There once was a man named George Thomas, he was a preacher in a small Texas town. One Sunday morning he came to the church building carrying a rust, bent, old bird cage and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and as if in response, the preacher began to slowly speak...
"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a boy coming towards me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, they were shivering with cold and fright.
I stopped the lad and asked, "What do you have there, son?" "Just some old birds," came his reply. "What are you going to do with them?" I asked. "Take 'em home and have fun with 'em." he answered. "I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time!"
I was taken back and asked the boy, "But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?" "Oh, I got some cats," said the little boy. "They like birds. I'll give 'em to them."
The preacher was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds son?"
"Huh??! Why you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing and they ain't even pretty!" "How much? the preacher asked again. The boy sized up the preacher as if he were crazy and said, "$10.00?"
The preacher reached into his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it into the boy's hand and in a flash the boy put the cage down and was gone. The preacher picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened its door and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit -- but why was it there? The preacher then began to tell this story:
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden and he was gloating and boasting. "Yes sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist and I got 'em all!"
"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked. Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to hate and abuse one another, how to smoke, curse, get drunk and marry and divorce each other. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have some fun!"
Jesus sadly spoke up, "And what will you do when you are done with them?" Satan began to laugh and then he proudly said, "I'm gonna kill them all!" To which Jesus responded, "How much do you want for them?"
"Oh you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You certainly don't want those people!" "How much?" Jesus asked once more.
Satan looked into the eyes of Jesus and sneered, "All your blood... your broken heart and your tears. I want it ALL... I want your life!"
Jesus said, "DONE!" Then he paid the price in full -- so that we might find freedom and eternal life in Him!