WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

THE TWO MARATHONERS

An 3-part allegory of 2 men and a marathon. The decision to race. The training. And finally, the race itself.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

In 1992, when I was but a 3 year old Christian, the Lord stopped me as I was nearing the end of reading the Bible right through – at Revelation 12:11 to be precise.

“They overcame him (meaning satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

As clear as you are reading this, He explained basically what the verse meant, and told me to base my life’s work for Him upon it.

Now, for a relatively new Christian, this came as a bit of a surprise! However, I was prepared to give it a go. So the next day, I can still clearly remember sitting on the couch in our lounge, wondering what to do and where to start.

While sitting there, the Lord gave me this allegory of ‘The Two Marathoners.’ I hurriedly wrote it down, not wanting to forget, fully understanding my notoriously poor memory. The following day He gave me the interpretation. Of course, it took a couple of weeks to flesh out the outline and make the grammar acceptable to you, the reader.

The allegory was given in three parts, relating both to the three parts of the key verse and of our walk with Jesus. Over the next 18 months the three-part ‘Walking With Jesus’ course evolved. One part of the allegory was included with each part of the course. However, it wasn’t until I had just about completed writing the course, or more correctly, holding the pen while the Holy Spirit wrote it, that I realised that the allegory lined up with the course perfectly. It had to be God, for I had no idea of what was to come when I was first given it.

The 30-hour ‘Walking With Jesus’ course, consisting of 3 booklets and 18 hours of tapes, has been used by over 10,000 people over the past 10 years or so. Many people have found it helpful to a better understanding their walk with Jesus while others have found the Lord for the first time through it.

I trust this story will inspire you too, to find or deepen your walk with Jesus.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

ALLEGORY: Dictionary Definition.

ALLEGORY: Biblical use.

HISTORY OF THE MARATHON: 2,500 Years of Heroic Running...

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
Full Background Here

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

SCRIPTURES RELATING TO 'RUNNING THE RACE'

 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice
goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:1-6)


22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:22-24)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. (Galatians 2:1-2)

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. '
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. (Galatians 5:6-10)


6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

All from The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.
 

 

PART 1 of 3

 

 

THE TWO MARATHONERS

 

Note: The gaps between the brackets (___________1) are there for you to write in the underlying ‘spiritual’ meanings of the CAPITALISED words that proceed them. The letters and numbers in Italics refer you to the answers that are found, along with the interpretation, are interspersed throughout and summarised at the end of each of the 3 parts. The first two are given for free, so you can get the idea. Have fun – and get the Lord’s message too! 

 

Part 1: The Decision (_____________a)

 

Two friends, Jeremy Jogger and Roger Runner were watching the Olympic Marathon on TV. As they relaxed on the couch with an ALE (worldly pleasure 1) in their hands, they chatted to each other about life as good friends do. Roger remarked to Jeremy how the RUNNERS (Christians2) in the RACE (___________________3) appeared to be focused, to have a purpose in life. Jeremy agreed and upon reflection, both conceded that the MARATHONERS (___________________2) had a source of inspiration and motivation their own lives lacked, a worthwhile GOAL (_________________4) to strive for.  

 

Allegorical Explanations a,1-4

 

 

The race leader and eventual WINNER (_______________5) impressed them most of all, inspired them even, for the way in which he led, and the manner in which he won the RACE.(___________________3) The obvious sacrifice and pain he suffered, particularly over the LAST KILOMETRE, (_____________________6) was far in excess of the other competitors, but the joy of victory, coupled with his obvious humility, seemed to make all the pain and suffering worthwhile.  

 

Allegorical Explanations 5-6

 

 

At the end of the RACE (_________________3) a FRIEND OF THE OLYMPIC CHAMPION (________________7) was interviewed. He talked about the amazing of the WINNER, (_________________5) how he was a great guy, of the places he had been too, his good health, the money he had earned, and how good marathon running was for his whole life! Both Jeremy and Roger were enthralled and inspired. Jeremy was so excited with the emotion of the moment that he could already see himself on the podium, being presented with the GOLD MEDAL. (____________________8) In his excitement he missed hearing the WINNERS FRIEND (__________________7) mention, almost in passing, that the CHAMPION (___________________5) had had to spend many hours training before he had reached the STANDARD OF FITNESS (___________________9) required to win the race. Roger was also very enthusiastic, but he listened intently, in order to hear everything the OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS FRIEND (______________________7) said, not wanting to miss a word that might help him to emulate the VICTOR’S (____________________5) feats.  

 

Allegorical Explanations 5-9

 

 

Our two intrepid TV sportsmen, COUCH POTATOES, (_______________10) were finally convinced when the CHAMPION’S FRIEND (___________________7) told them that all they had to do to become successful marathoners, to become like the OLYMPIC CHAMPION, (___________________5) was to believe in their hearts that they could do it. While perhaps they might not be able to run the race as fast as him, but BELIEF (____________________11) in their ability to complete the COURSE (____________________3) would enable them to do it. As the interview with the CHAMPION’S FRIEND (____________________7) concluded, Jeremy and Roger looked at each other, amazed by the enthusiasm the INTERVIEW (____________________12) had generated in them.  

 

Allegorical Explanations 10-12

 

 

Our two COUCH POTATO (____________________10) mates realised that they didn’t look at all like the MARATHONERS (_____________________2) they had seen on the television. In fact both were amply endowed with ROLLS OF FAT (___________________13) around that mythical, middle area. In spite of this, they turned to each other and made THE DECISION (____________________14) that they were going to become MARATHONERS. (___________________2) In line with the CHAMPIONS FRIEND’S (_____________________7) positive self motivation suggestion, they declared to each other, “We are now MARATHONERS.” (__________________2) Both felt on top of the world! 

 

Allegorical Explanations 13-14

 

 

In line with the CHAMPIONS FRIEND’S (__________________7) positive self motivation suggestion, they declared to each other, “We are now MARATHONERS.”(___________________2) Both felt on top of the world!

The enthusiasm of the moment was dampened a little however, when Roger thoughtfully asked, “Jeremy, when are we actually going to run this RACE (___________________3) to prove that we really are MARATHONERS?” (___________________2) Jeremy was stopped in his tracks! “Well Roger, I guess you are right. I was having so much fun imagining myself on the podium receiving the GOLD MEDAL (____________________8) that I hadn’t given the race itself a thought!”

“I know,” said Roger, “the other day a MARATHONER (____________________2) friend of mine was telling me that the next ROTORUA MARATHON (___________________15) is on the 2nd of May next year. I guess you know that it is New Zealand’s biggest marathon and there will be plenty of OTHERS (___________________2) to run with, which should make it easier for us. What do you say?”

“I guess you’re right Roger,” said Jeremy, we will have to run THE MARATHON (__________________16) some day.” (To himself he quietly thought, “that doesn’t sound too bad – it’s still 9 months away!”) “O K Roger,” Jeremy spoke aloud again, “we’ll meet in Rotorua on RM DAY.”
(______________________15)
 

 

Allegorical Explanations 15-16

 

 

So both of them went their separate ways, amazed at the events of the day, while wondering what they had let themselves in for. 

 

UNDERLYING SPIRITUAL MEANINGS FOR WORDS IN ‘THE DECISION’

 

ALLEGORY WORDS.....SPIRITUAL MEANINGS
a. The decision.....Of life’s direction
1. Ale, Christmas spirit.....Worldly pleasure, Satan’s deceit
2. Runners, Marathoners, Friends.....Christians
3. Race, Course.....Race of life
4. Goal.....Eternal life
5. Winner, Olympic champion, Him, Jesus, Champion, President, Victor.....Jesus
6. Last kilometre.....The Cross
7. Champions friend, His friend, He.....The evangelist (pastor or teacher)
8. Gold Medal.....Eternal life
9. Standard of fitness.....Death on the Cross
10. Couch potato.....Worldly
11. Belief (& derivatives), Knew.....Faith (& derivatives)
12. Interview.....Crusade, Meeting
13. Rolls of fat, Flab, Kilos.....Worldly pleasures
14. The Decision, Will do it.....Decision for Christ
15. Rotorua Marathon, Marathon, Judgement Day, RM day, The day.....Judgement Day
16. Run the marathon.....Face Judgement
 

 

INTERPRETATION OF ‘The Decision’ (of Life’s Direction)

 

The allegory compares two men, both of whom realise they need a new direction in life, ‘coming to Christ’.

The first, Jeremy Jogger, sees Christianity as a religion. He believes in the theory of Jesus as shared by the evangelist. He is sold on the benefits he expects to receive. He believes in the evangelist. He realises that he will have to face God’s judgement one day, but it still seems a long way off. He is prepared to fit religion into his lifestyle.

The second, Roger Runner, however, accepts Christianity as his new life. His conversion is focused on Jesus and the cross, not on the evangelist. (pastor or teacher) He realises that there will be costs as well as benefits in attaining his goal of eternal life with Christ. He believes in Jesus.
 

 

<i>NEXT WEEK:</i> THE TWO MARATHONERS - Part 2

 

Life decisions, like New Year's resolutions, are easy to make, but harder to keep. Ask my waistline!

Next week we will see how our two intrepid marathoners, to be, got on with their training programmes.
 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

The world is into 'good resolutions', particularly at the beginning of the year! We are all seeking 'new beginnings', aren't we?

In the Parable of the Sower, which we recently looked at, Jesus highlighted this. Much of the seed , for one reson or another, didn't grow or continue to grow. That reflects our human nature!

Let's rather, be people of committment, ones who follow through on the decisions we make.

NEW ZEALAND

Many people ask about New Zealand, and where we live. New Zealand is about 2,000km (1,200m) south-east of Australia. It consists of 2 main islands, not very imaginatively being called the North Island and South Island.

We live in a city of 60,000 people (a village in India!) called Napier, on the East Coast (RHS) of the North island, in the bite, about 60% down from the top. It is named after Sir Charles Napier, a British official in India during colonial times. Napier is a very pleasant seaside place in which to live.
 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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A DAVID'S DOODLING

79. The difficult takes time, the impossible a little longer.

David Tait         

 

 

 

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