Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
- TITLE: And Then They Knew
By Carol Shaffron
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They all responded with excitement! And each in his way savored the special feeling that suddenly embraced them. Each of them desired to be close to the one they followed, to the one they left everything for. And now, he was telling them there would be no more secrets. Now he was telling them that he would let them know everything!
Then he began to tell them that they would be persecuted and hated. He began to tell them that they would be put out of their places of worship, and he began to tell them that they would even be killed, and he was going away.
What is he talking about they asked one another. He just told them they were his friends and now he was leaving? What kind of friend leaves you just after you become friends, they must have thought to themselves as they were asking one another what he could mean.
He went on to tell them that he would send them someone who would remind them of what he said and that someone would comfort them.
But none of this was making any sense. And not very long after they followed him into a garden where he left them in one spot and went on a little further alone. As he was praying, a horde of soldiers dressed in armor, carrying spears appeared in the garden and marched to where he was praying. And they began to tremble in fear when the ground thundered and shook under their feet. What he just told them in the past few days was forgotten in the face of the terror that gripped them.
The soldiers roughly escorted their friend back to town while they followed from a great distance. In their bewilderment they could not grasp what was happening. And when he was hanging on the cross, they wept and all of their hopes and dreams died with him.
They had forgotten everything their friend had told them. They huddled together in a meeting room above hiding from the soldiers, who had put their friend on the cross, and they began to pray and they prayed and they prayed…
Then suddenly something strange began to happen and courage filled their hearts. They remembered what he had told them. They remembered he said he would send them someone who would comfort them and remind them of what he had said, and they began to tell others of his great friendship. The more they spread the news of his great friendship the more they were persecuted, some even to the death. But they had the courage to die for him now, because they remembered he had said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”2 And then they knew they were his friends and that he really hadn’t left them at all.
1. (paraphrase of John 15:15)
2. ASV John 15:13
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