In many of the parables, Jesus speaks of a time span completing some event.

Examples include:

Mark 13:34: For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Math 25:14: “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. Math 13:33 The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.

Luke 13:06: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”,

If God is out of time, how is he waiting to return from heaven?

  • He's not outside of time from our perspective, only His own.
    – LCIII
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 12:07

3 Answers 3


Keep in mind that there is a difference between a parable and an allegory. In an allegory, there is a very close correspondence between each point of the story and the situation the author wishes to explain. If, for example, the story you point out from Luke were an allegory, then not only would the owner of the vineyard represent someone specific, but the vine dresser would represent someone else, the vineyard would represent someone or something very specific, the three years would, the manure would, and so on. I don't think that's the case for this story. Instead, the point of the story is simply that God has patience with those who do not follow him, but that this patience is not unlimited (perhaps because it will cease on Judgment Day, or on the person's death).

Similarly, as with all parables, the other ones you point out are intended to focus on a specific point; the story does not require that every single one of its elements refers to some specific real entity.

Thus, the question of whether there is time in Heaven or not is not addressed by the parables—they use images of time to get a point across, and the point is largely about what our behavior in time ought to be, not how God is affected by time.


God is not Limited by Time

When people say things about God and time, they do not mean that there is no chronology with God. They only mean that he is not bound by time in any way. Everything he knows1, he already knows in advance, long before it ever happens. Any any point, he already has all the information he needs to make decisions. In addition to this, God is immortal and cannot die. We say that he isn't limited by time because he knows everything he needs to know and isn't in any sort of hurry.

1 The traditional understanding of God is that he knows everything, past, present, and future. Some argue that God only knows what can be known (i.e. not everything), though the necessity of this premise is only required for certain understandings of predestination and free will.


Your question is actually a request for a synopsis of the entire Bible. Let's break down each Scripture and compare it to the Bible in it's entirety.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation.

The first two Scriptures you quote concern only the New Testament and the Great commission.

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

What Jesus is saying here is that he is going to return to the Father in Heaven, and while he is gone he has given the care of his Church, unto those he wants to spread the Gospel, and he has appointed his Disciples do that. and finally he has appointed Peter as the head of his flock to ensure that it is accomplished. just before this verse and immediately following it he warns them to not be slack in their tasks, because they do not know when He will return.

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

This is basically the same message as in Mark 13:34 and again just before that he warns them not to be lazy about spreading the Gospel. The difference here is that in the following verses he says that he is giving different amounts of responsibility to each one, as well as each of us. The true lesson of this lies in verses 24 and 25

Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

This is almost the same as saying to Jesus yes you gave me something, but what you were expecting is to get the benefit from my hard work.

Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

So I did nothing with what you gave me here it is just as you gave it to me.

Much can be learned from Jesus in the next verses.

Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

This may be the most telling Scripture concerning Salvation. Here Jesus is saying, You lazy bum, you knew that when I gave you salvation my intent was that you share it with souls, whom I have not yet saved.

Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

You should have least invested some time and money into the Church so that they could carry on my work, and at least they could have saved some. And the final part is the hardest part of his accusation.

Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Those souls which you could have won now will be saved by the ones who are actually doing my work but those souls that are not saved which would have been saved by you will be to your discredit.

And in the remainder of this chapter is his point of this parable, that we have no way of knowing when he will return, but when he does return it is his to judge each one according to how that person followed his great commandment.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

These Scriptures give meaning to:

Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And in:

Luke 13:6 through 9 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

This is really the summation of the whole Bible:

  1. In verse six Jesus is comparing this to the Old testament in that God created mankind with the express purpose of having companionship with him:

Genesis 3:8 and 9 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

  1. In verse 7 it is God saying that he has given man all of that time to return and worship him , and yet all they do is just take up space in his creation.

  2. In verse 8 it is compared to the New Testament in that Jesus is saying well let's give it a little more time and let me go and offer Salvation, and I will give them a final chance to become the children of God, and show them the way to return to grace.

and finally in verse 9 Jesus is saying then if they do not return you can end it.

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