Tale of Two Friends

Collin Hansen | April 2, 2015

For three years they did nearly everything together. They were inseparable. They ate together. Laughed together. Drank together. Celebrated together. Studied together. Wandered long dusty roads together while wondering if they would ever arrive at their destination. Wondered if they would find a friendly place to stay together overnight or if they would sleep once more under the stars with no shelter from the elements. Wondered together where they would find their next meal. Worried together that they might be targeted by roving bands of thieves. Worried together that crowds might set upon them in anger and pelt them with stones, perhaps killing them together.

They stared at each other, jaws dropped, baffled by what their teacher told them as they listened together.

Both friends heard their teacher tell them, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).

Both friends scratched their heads when this man who taught with authority warned them, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you…

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