Two Men and a Parachute: A Witnessing Parable
…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Below is a wonderful Parable that relates to witnessing, and sheds some light on the wrong way and right way of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
Two men are seated in a plane. A stewardess gives the first man a parachute and instructs him to put it on as it will “improve his flight.” Not understanding how a parachute could possibly improve his flight, the first passenger is a little skeptical. Finally he decides to see if the claim is true. After strapping on the parachute, he notices its burdensome weight, and he has difficulty sitting upright. Consoling himself with the promise of a better flight, our first passenger decides to give it a little time.
Because he’s the only one wearing a parachute, some of the other passengers begin smirking at him, which only adds to his humiliation. Unable to stand it any longer, our friend slumps in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because, as far as he is concerned, he was told a lie.
Another stewardess gives the second man a parachute, but listen to her instructions. She tells him to put it on because at any moment all the passengers will be making an emergency exit out of the plane at 25,000 feet.
Our second passenger gratefully straps the parachute on. He doesn’t notice its weight upon his shoulders or that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without it. When other passengers laugh at him, he thinks, “You won’t be laughing when you’re falling to the ground!”
Now, let’s understand it. The two men are two lost souls, and both are given a parachute, which represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Salvation.
The first man is told that putting this parachute on (coming to Christ Jesus for salvation) will make his flight (his life) much more comfortable and enjoyable. He puts it on, but finds it brings much trouble and lack of comfort, and the other passengers laugh at him because of it! This man puts on “Salvation” and winds up with the persecution and troubles that are forewarned to come to those who decide to live following Christ! This man after a while yanks the parachute off and decides never to put it on again, believing he was lied to about it and nothing good can come from it.
The second man is also given the parachute (salvation) but instead is told that he needs it because of the impending jump (death in life) and therefore to save him from dying (going to hell), he needs to put on the parachute (come to Christ Jesus)! The man immediately puts it on, and doesn’t allow the lack of comfort or the ridicule from others, or trouble it brings to make him take it off, because his mind is saying, “It’s worth it, without this thing, I will die!”
This is all the same as Witnessing, and represents those who witness to others by saying, “Oh, Jesus can bring you peace, a better life, you’ll really enjoy being a Christian!” and others who say, “Come to Christ! If you don’t turn to Christ, repenting from your sins and asking Jesus into your heart, following Him, you will end up dying and go to Hell! Come to Jesus before it’s too late, you can die at any moment of any day!” The two actions of the men, show what happens when they respond to the gospel presented in that particular way, and when the troubles and persecutions come that are forewarned will come. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13) And as Jesus Himself says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, the will keep yours also.”
Which of the two types of witnessing, is most effective and will actually bring someone to Christ who will stay, who will live for Christ, and who will make it to heaven? It should be obvious.
The above article, “Two Men and a Parachute: A Witnessing Parable” was written by Jackson Reed. The article was excerpted from www.workmenforchrist.com.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”