Posted by: William | April 4, 2008

The Giant Carrot & the Horse

I listened to a teaching last night delivered by Tim Keller called “Preaching to the Heart”. It’s from a series delivered at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In the message, Keller laid out an illustration, originally from Charles Spurgeon. The illustration seemed poignant and thought provoking, so I decided to share it here:

There once was a good king. He had a vast kingdom and many, many subjects. One day, one of the king’s subjects, a gardener, came into his courts. He brought with him a huge carrot. He presented the carrot to the king saying, “thank you, o king, for ruling justly!” The king was impressed with the gift, and perceived that the gardener was skillful and hard working. He said to the gardener, “because I can see that you are a skillful gardener, and would be a great service to me, I am giving you the much larger land next to your garden to farm. Go and produce good fruits!” The gardener left and did as the king had commanded. Meanwhile, a horse breeder, another of the king’s subjects, overheard their exchange. He noticed the king’s generosity and favor on the gardener and so the next day, he brought one of his choice horses before the king as a gift. The king, putting together what had happened, took the gift from the breeder saying, “thank you.” Turning to leave, the king was interrupted by the breeder who said, “o king, but what about the favor you had on the gardener?” the king turning to look at the breeder said, “Ah yes, that gardener gave his carrot to me, but you have given this horse to yourself.”



  1. I LOVE stories 😀

    I guessing this illustration is not used extensively in Your Best Life Now.

    On a more serious note, I think this is where some pastor’s attempt at teaching tithing usually goes awry. In fact, I’ve yet to hear one NOT go awry. “give to God and He will open the store houses of heaven”… encouraging us to become the horse breeder.

    I think this may be because this teaching is only done when the “bills” are looming rather than when the poor are hungry.

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