The Prince and the Darkness

Author’s note: Because Jesus’s parables used terms and concepts fitting the place and time in which He lived, I’ve attempted to follow the same practice with The Weekly Parable. However, I’ll admit that earlier in my life, I had a goal to become an author of epic fantasy novels, and I still enjoy the genre and related genres like mythology and legends. So this parable—more of an allegory—grew from that part of me when I wrote it in 2016. I’ve made only slight edits.

There was a king who ruled over an immense realm with both benevolence toward his subjects and the might to keep them safe. His eldest heir was in every way like his father: virtuous, strong, skilled, compassionate.

In the fringes of their kingdom lay a cavern where the richest treasure could be found. Any one of the gems contained therein was enough to make the possessor wealthy beyond imagining. These gems held many magical properties, such as the recovery of health and the extension of life. However, an ancient law lay over the cavern that dictated only one person at a time could remove a single gem. And such dangers lurked in the cave as to prevent only but the strongest, wisest, and most diligent from obtaining the prize. Long ago, the king himself had obtained one of the gems, and he lived continually enjoying its benefits.

Wanting to lift all his people, the king and his eldest son resolved that they would bring out a gem from this cavern for each inhabitant of the kingdom. As the prince was in his prime and the kingdom’s greatest and wisest warrior, he volunteered to be the one to venture into the cave, brave its obstacles, and retrieve a gem, repeating the process until everyone in the kingdom could receive one. They would collect all the needed gems before giving any away, lest they not obtain enough for the whole kingdom and some be favored above others at the end.

Into the darkness journeyed the prince, battling his way through traps and malicious creatures to claim a gem and bring it back into the light. Time after time he made the journey. Each time, he emerged with his blood having been spilled. Each time, he brought the prize back to the king. The king sorrowed at seeing his son so tortured, but due to their love for their subjects and their desire for them all to have what they themselves enjoyed, they held to their quest.

After many weeks and months, the prince brought out the last gem they needed. The king then sent a message addressed to each person in the realm. The message invited the subjects to come to the king’s palace to receive a gift of unimaginable worth. Many did not believe the king could or would give them any such thing, for why would he do so? and in their minds they refused. Others were curious what such a gift could be but never made it a high enough priority to make the journey to the palace. Still others, when they did make the journey and were introduced to a gem by the king and the prince, were so horrified by the prince’s wounds and the evidence of what he had suffered that they rejected the gift and returned to their homes.

But those who recognized the gift for what it was fell at the feet of the king and the prince, offering their gratitude and their acceptance of the rulers’ benevolence. Such were brought into the king’s household to live with him and the prince in extensions of the palace, their lives prolonged and their prosperity assured.

Photo by Pixabay on

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