I thought this was a very good parable that reminds that what people need is the Word of God and that what preachers need to do is preach the word.
Behold, a cook went forth to cook. And as he cooked, his household was nourished and satisfied, so much so that they went out into the highways and hedges and brought in the hungry and thirsty, and the house was filled.
But it came to pass one day that the cook discovered a cookbook. In this cookbook were recipes and menus, and also analytical charts explaining the nutrition in various foods. There were also beautiful pictures of succulent dishes.
“I will now step aside and examine this great book,” said the cook. “It must have great value, for it was published by a cooking school that trained the three greatest cooks in the land.”
So, he read in the book day by day, while feeding his household leftovers. He became so excited about the menus, charts, and pictures, that he wanted to share them with his house-hold.
“My household is too large for all of them to see this book,” he said to himself. “What shall I do? I know what I shall do! I shall purchase an overhead projector and thus enable everyone to benefit from the wealth of material in this cookbook.”
So, he purchased a projector and began at each meal to explain where food came from, what it contains, and how it can be prepared. His household became engrossed in the charts and pictures. Before long, they began to bring notebooks and pencils to the table instead of knives and forks. But by then, all the leftovers were gone and the cook had not prepared any new meals. The household spent their time doing nothing but discussing some new menu or analytical chart.
And it came to pass that the household started to become weak and grow thin. Yea, the cook himself began to lose weight so that he could no longer carry his overhead projector to the dining room. “I will make myself a dish such as I used to make,” he said to himself. And he did. As the aroma of the meal wafted through the house, the family gathered at the table as before, but this time they came with their knives and forks. Soon it was like old times again, as they ate and were nourished. The cook had great joy as he saw the family gain weight and grow in strength.
And he said to himself, “Yea, this may be a fine book, but it is no substitute for a good meal. My household cannot thrive on menus, recipes, pictures, and the chemical analyses of the food. I will arise and go to my kitchen and spend my time preparing dishes that will feed my family.”
And he did; and the cookbook gathered dust on the shelf, while in the bookstores, it was selling like hotcakes.