When JT left the last town, he took a walk through the countryside. The weather was lovely and he wanted to be outside and enjoy the scenery and wildlife. He was overtaken by a rich caravan. There were camels dressed in finery as they carried their cargo of royalty.
Later in the day, JT caught up with them as they had stopped by the roadside. Just as he came up he was privy to a strange scene. There were a group of beggars that were entreating the rich caravan to bring them to the big city in the east.
The richly dressed man leading the caravan said, “Why should I help you? How shall it profit me? Maybe I should just round you up and sell you for galley slaves at the next port.” He leered menacingly at them and then sat back on his rich silks waiting for a reply.
“Don’t you recognize me, most gracious sir? My father and I traded goods with you last year.” One ragged young man blurted out, “We were attacked by bandits and barely escaped with our lives!”
The sheik looked closer at him, then recognition shone upon his face, “But of course, your father is quite well-to-do and a good friend of mine. I’ll be happy to bring you along with me.” He motioned for a servant who led the young man inside his own tent to care for him.
“As for the rest of you, I’ve decided to sell you all as galley slaves.” He gave a wave of his hand, and armed men surrounded the beggars.
“But I am the son of a king!” One bloodied and particularly dirty urchin cried. He wore no shoes, no rings and was barely clothed at all.
“Sure and I am the Queen of Sheba,” He waved the young man away and the armed men took him away as well.
JT stayed on the outskirts of the action, he did not want to be caught up and taken away as a slave. One of the cooks came by, looked at JT and said, “You want to be a kitchen boy or go with them?” he hooked a thumb in the direction of the retreating beggars being tied up with strong rope.
JT gulped, “why a kitchen boy sir! What would you have me do?” He stood there waiting for the cooks’ orders and followed him. The next few days had him scrubbing pots and fetching anything the cook wanted. This did not take up all of his time and he spend some time, as they traveled along, exploring the camp. He did his best to make sure all the captives were fed well with the help of the cook.
When they reached the big city by the ocean, the sheik lined up the captives and inspected them. “Now that we are here, I will drop you off at the port and be rid of you.”
The same lad began to protest again, and the sheik pulled out his knife, “Another word young Prince,” he said sarcastically, “and you will be sold without a tongue.”
The young man stopped talking and looked downcast. Slowly but surely the caravan made its way through the city and trod slowly but made it to the port as the noon day bell rang. Once again they were lined up while the ship captains’ inspected them. One of the ship captain’s came forward dressed in the uniform of an Admiral.
He looked up and down at the line of possible sailors and stopped short when he passed the young man who had proclaimed he was the King’s son. “Tobias? Is that you? The King has been worried about you.” He turned and made a motion to all the sailors in the vicinity. “Arrest them all, especially HIM,” and he pointed directly at the Sheik.
In short order hundreds of sailors surrounded the caravan quickly. The Sheik’s armed guards were overwhelmed and quickly dropped their arms. Soon they became the prisoners and the would-be galley slaves were soon free.
JT protested that he was a prisoner of the cook, but he was taken to see the king as well. JT had been kind to the captives and had tried to feed them as well as he could. The other captives were all part of the Prince’s entourage. They all trooped their way to the King’s palace, who greeted the dirty urchin as his son.
He asked his son who had been kind to him and who had not. JT, the cook and a few of the stewards were pointed out and moved to one side. The king graciously bowed to them, thanked them for their kindness and said, “What you did for my son was the same as if you did it for me. He appeared a poor beggar, yet you were as kind to him as if he were a prince.” He smiled and gave each of them a small bag of gold and sent them on their way.
The King then turned his attention to the others, “As for you, what you did for my son was the same as if you did it to me.” The prince leaned over and whispered in his fathers’ ear. As he did so, the Kings’ countenance grew darker and his complexion turned to full red.
He pointed at the Sheik, “You threatened to cut out the tongue of my son for telling the truth.” He stopped a moment, and then continued, “As you did for my son, was the same as if you did it to me.” He ordered the Sheik taken away and as for the rest, they were sentenced to be galley slaves for 10 years. “Maybe this will make you think again before you take innocent people and make them slaves.”
QOTD: Is it easier to be kind to those who are more like us? How can we change that type of thinking?
The answer to last weeks’ story: Jesus Trek – Chapter 18 – The Greatest Gift (Luke 21: 1-4)
To read the introduction to this series please click HERE