Jesus Trek – 3 – A Debt Forgiven

JT trudged down the dusty road as quickly as he could. The last town that he left appeared to value the law much more than mercy. That was something he just did not understand.

After a while he grew tired and found a tree beside a river. He lay against the tree, in the shade, and stretched out for a nap. His dreams were troubled with all he had recently gone through with the house falling into the sea and the indifferent crowd letting the man drown in the quicksand.


It seemed that sounds were breaking through to him in his sleep. The sounds became louder and awoke him. He opened his eyes to find a well-dressed man on a raft floating down the river. “Can you assist me? Can you throw me that rope?”

JT looked around and found a rope that was tied to a nearby tree. There was a stick tied to the other end of the rope. He was quite a small boy and he wasn’t sure if he could toss the stick that far, but he would sure do the best he could. He dragged the heavy rope to the riverbank and grasping the stick he threw it with all his might.

He threw it so hard he almost fell into the river. “That’s not far enough you silly boy, try again and be quick about it,” the well-dressed man in brightly colored robes with beautiful metallic threads of gold and silver in it yelled at him.

JT quickly pulled the rope back as fast as he could and then swung the stick around in a circle faster and faster, and then he heaved and let it loose towards the raft. He lost his balance and fell over into the mud near the riverbank face down.

boy face mudThe man on the raft grabbed the stick and pulled himself and the raft to the shore. As JT pulled himself out of the mud, his face and clothes totally covered with mud and river water, he was quite a sight. The man on the raft arriving at the river bank laughed at JT and tied the raft to the tree.

“You should be more careful next time boy!” With that, the imposing man grabbed a cloth bundle from the raft and trudged off down the road.

JT couldn’t believe it! He had helped this man, got himself all dirty and all he got was an insult! Well, that sure did not make him want to help anyone else. He took off his shirt and tried to wash it as well as he could in the dirty river water. After quite a long time of washing and rinsing, he looked a little better, but was still quite dirty, before he trudged off down the road again.

He heard quick footsteps running behind him, and turned around to make sure someone was not going to attack him. JT recognized who was chasing him, it was the man who had been sinking in the quicksand. And following close behind him was the well-dressed man from the raft, as well as many other finely dressed men.


JT wasn’t very glad to see the man from the raft, but he was glad the man from the quicksand was ok. He stopped and waited to see what would happen next.

“Thank you, young man!” The man from the quicksand cried. He was even more elegantly dressed than the others. “How can I ever thank you for saving my life?” He bowed to JT and added, “Whatever you want, I will give it to you just ask; anything at all!”

The man from the raft, looking annoyed blurted, “Why are you grateful to this little boy. He is obviously a urchin or a tramp. See how he is dressed? See how dirty his clothes are?” And with that he smirked at the little boy knowing exactly why the little boy was so dirty. The other man didn’t see the smirk as he was still bowing to JT.”

“Rise good sir,” JT said, “I hope someone else would do the same for me.” He was obviously very embarrassed at all the attention. He had just been doing the right thing, why should he be rewarded for that?

The man rose to his full height, he was very richly dressed, and stretched out his hand. The man from the raft deferred to him and handed him a richly decorated stick (or scepter) he was not sure, it was very pretty though.

“Thank you very much, how did you get so dirty? You were very clean when you left the town a short while ago?” He looked at JT and then at the man from the raft, who seemed to turn red and fidget. He directed his question to him, “Do you know something about this, out with it! I expect my servants to be truthful!”

“Um, he sort of fell in the river rescuing me when the pike pole got stuck in the mud and left me drifting down the river,” the man sheepishly replied.

“So, let me get this right. He rescues you. You leave him dirty and don’t even reward him for saving you?” The man’s voice rose higher and louder as he spoke to the cringing man from the raft.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal, the river was slow and someone else probably would have helped me further down the river. He was also very clumsy and that’s why he fell face first in the mud.” He retorted with his hands held out in explanation.

“I’ll have you know that in the last town we left, I stepped into quicksand, and none of the townspeople would help me. They would have left me to drown. He helped me when no one else would. They even threatened him and so he had to leave town because he helped me. I owe him my life.” The imposing man said as he grabbed his staff from him, he seemed to be cringing back.

JT touched the sleeve of the staff-holding man and said, “It is ok. He is right, I was clumsy and someone else probably would have helped. Not in that town though. “

“I owe you my life, what can I do for you?” said the staff-holding man.

“Help other as I have helped you,” JT said quietly. The man stopped talking, and looked thoughtful as JT walked down the dusty path continuing his search.


QOTD: What scripture verse does this story illustrate? Have you ever been indebted to some and was not grateful? Did you owe them a lot or a little?

{The answer to last week’s story question of the day was John 5:1-17 (The healing at the Pool)}

To see what this story series is about click here


  1. Such a thought provoking story!! I was most interested in the reaction of the man who was drowning and stupefied by his remarks to JT. It does remind me of how we often take “good deeds” for granted and react to situations in an inappropriate manner.

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