Thursday, March 31, 2016


Some years ago while in conversation with students on campus, a student from India said that back home he had a Mercedes sports car which he loved to drive fast. I asked him if he was concerned that the police might stop him. He said that they did stop him. I asked what he did. He smiled and told me that he simply showed them his I.D. and then his father’s photo, and because his father was the chief of police, they smiled and always waved him on. This man had immunity from speeding tickets because of who his father was. He seemed to be saying that he took full advantage of it. How sad.

Not long after, I met Issa, a Muslim attorney from the Middle East. His wife was working on a Ph.D. here and he spent his days caring for their son and so has little pressure. His home country is ruled by a king who has real authority. One day I asked Issa what would happen if his king’s son raced his Mercedes through the capital city—would the police give him a ticket. He laughed at me, saying that he was the king’s son and so was above the law and could do what he wanted. I suggested that he could run over old ladies in crosswalks. He said that was true. He also said that everyone in the country wished to have this special relationship with the king so they would not have to be under the law. He said that it was his impossible dream. I then asked how it would affect him if his king paid the fantastic and unheard of price to adopt him into the royal family, giving him that privilege. He smiled and said that he would be so thankful that he would always drive carefully watching out for the safety of others. He then added that he would never ever do anything wrong again out of thankfulness for what the king had done for him. I suggested that there would be a time where he might do something wrong. He said that would be impossible. I kept pushing and finally mentioned that if he forgot the price the king had paid, he could do something wrong. Issa smiled and agreed.

Two men above the law. The first had no motivation of grace since he naturally was a son above the law. And so without the threat of punishment, he was careless about the law, being motivated by his own whims. The second man also had no obligation to law—and an even greater certainty of freedom. But he knew that his awareness of the king’s love for him and the fantastic price paid to buy his adoption, was the obvious and sufficient motivation to always do good and not do evil. The gift was so great that he didn't consider that he could ever not be thinking about it. Remembrance of the king’s grace would move him to always do good.

My Muslim attorney friend knows the heart of true Christianity. When I told him such and had him read Isaiah 53 and Hebrews 2 in a bilingual Bible, he smiled and asked if I could get for him such a Bible. He gladly took the one we were reading together. Sadly it seems all too common for us Christians to fall into the thinking of the man from India--that no threat of consequences means little or no motivation to do what is good.

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