Love Never Fails


Earlier this year, I published a collection of 10, first-person perspective Bible stories entitled I Was There. (Click HERE to purchase) I had such a great response to the book that I decided to write another one. The proposed title for the new one is I Believe. I plan on publishing first of next year. I still have a couple more stories to write, and then the editing process. I wanted to give you a taste of what’s coming. This story is entitled Love Never Fails. It’s not the complete story, because that would be more than just a taste. Let me know what you think. (This is not the completely edited, polished manuscript, so please ignore any errors)

 

I wasn’t sure how the day was going to end, but there was a feeling deep inside my being that would not go away. Regret, mixed with dread, churned in my stomach and clawed at my conscience. I have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, but I may have gone too far this time. The addiction had rooted itself into such a level of my soul, that I feared its hold would never be broken. I felt so ashamed.

No one knew anything when we met to break bread together. The secret I carried in my heart would more than likely destroy many people. Some of whom were my closest friends. That fact alone caused me to hesitate, but unfortunately, the damage had already been done. The money burned like hot coals inside my cloak. Even though I loathed the very thought of what I had to do, my greed claimed a larger piece of my soul.

The men I had met with earlier knew my weakness. They devised a plan that would ensnare me and render me helpless to refuse their enticing offer. I always said that loyalty could never be compromised by gold or silver. Apparently, I was dreadfully wrong. They had purchased my services and would force me to hurt someone I truly loved. By the time we met that night, it was far too late to change my mind. They owned me, and they knew it.

I wasn’t sure what the others would say if they found out. We were so closely tied together, like a family, for several years. The friendships I had formed were real, not just casual and fleeting. There were times we didn’t all get along, but that was to be expected. We were following a man who was different than anyone else. We didn’t’ always see things the way he did. We couldn’t possibly. I could honestly say I loved each and every one of them. They knew things about me that not even my blood relatives knew. Hidden things. Secret things.

If they had any idea about what I would do that night, they would be devastated. Somehow I had managed to live a double life for a period of time, and had covered my tracks very well. I would be labeled a traitor; there was no doubt about that. I would have to accept it, and somehow move past the hurt feelings and broken hearts. Somewhere down the road of my life, I would once again find peace. That was my hope.

Things had become rather chaotic leading up to our last meal together. We entered the city under the praises of most everyone just a few days earlier. We were accepted at first, but things began to take a turn for the worst. The religious leaders couldn’t stand our Teacher. On several occasions, they attempted to trap him in lies and deceit, but always failed. They began to see him as a threat and not the promised Messiah. That’s when they contacted me. I guess they could sense my wavering dedication to the man I had lived with for three years.

Shame burned through my veins as I sat there wondering if anyone knew. I had been extremely careful with my meetings. No one ever seemed to notice I was gone. Although I was confident my secret was safe, I had a sinking feeling at least one of the men at the table knew exactly what was going on. Would he say anything to the rest?

When we had all finally gathered at the table, there was an uncomfortable silence for several moments. It was hard to describe. Jesus looked troubled. He sat there looking at us as the soft candlelight danced inside his soft, brown eyes. I had noticed him in that mood occasionally during our travels over the years, but something was bothering him even more on that night. His stare met mine and I couldn’t blink. His eyes bore deep into my soul. Even though he could read my every intention like an open book, he suddenly smiled.

I wanted to feel at ease, but I couldn’t. I looked down and waited until he stood up from the table. He took a bowl and carefully filled it with water. He knelt before Thomas and began to wash his feet. There was a tenderness and sincerity in the action that nearly brought me to tears. This was God’s only son, born into the earth as a man, removed from his throne as a king, and was now honoring the men he called family. I couldn’t understand. I looked around and realized everyone else was confused as well.

He finished with Thomas, and moved over to Peter.

“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Peter asked quietly, almost in a whisper. The silence felt like a fragile vase that no one desired to break by speaking too loudly.

The guilt and shame gripped my heart even tighter as I watched the scene unfold before me. I had accepted money in exchange for betraying my Master. That was something I would have to live with until the day I passed from the earth. I swallowed the lump of emotion that had formed in the back of my throat. I was so thirsty, but didn’t dare move to get a drink.

“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand,” Jesus replied as he knelt down.

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” He shook his head and drew his feet back. I knew Peter was stubborn, but there was something else going on in that moment. Something I couldn’t explain.

Jesus reached out and rested his hand on Peter’s knee. “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me,” he said.

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. You are not all clean.”

My heart dropped after hearing those words. Of course he knew what I had done. He was Jesus. He knew our every thoughts, desires, and secrets. I bowed my head and stared at the floor. If any of the other disciples looked me in the eye, they would see my guilt and shame. They would know the Master was talking about me.

When Jesus was finished with Peter’s feet, he knelt down in front of me. The weight of the silver in my pocket couldn’t compare to the heaviness that hung over my shoulders. Darkness like no other had invaded my heart. I didn’t want to look up.

“Judas?”

 

To be continued…

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6 thoughts on “Love Never Fails

  1. BAPTISM AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? BY STEVE FINNELL

    The proponents of salvation by faith alone state that water baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. Is this a correct doctrine? Yes. The problem is in the explanation of that statement. Faith only advocates say that water baptism is simply a symbolic reenactment of forgiveness that occurred at the moment a person believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior. The Scriptures do not teach that as a fact.

    DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? YES.

    Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

    Men are baptized into Christ Jesus. Men do not believe only into Jesus. Men are baptized into His death, they do not believe into His death.

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,so we too might walk in newness of life.

    We are buried with Christ in baptism so we can walk in newness of life. We walk in newness of life after water baptism not the moment we believe.

    Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

    We are united with Christ in baptism. We are not united with Christ the very minute we believe. Water baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

    Romans 6:6-7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body, of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is free from sin.

    You are baptized in water so the body of sin might be done away with and be free from sin. If men become believers in Christ and then wait one year before being baptized, they are spending that year not having their old self crucified with Christ. They spend a year not being free from sin.

    Galatians 3:26-27 For you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    They were clothed with Christ when they were baptized into Him.They were not clothed with Christ the moment they had faith.

    Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    You are raised up in baptism, in the faith of the working God. Men are raised up by a combination of faith and baptism. Men arenot raised by “faith only” nor are they raised before they are baptized.

    Colossians 2:12-13…..When you were dead in your transgression and uncircumcision of you flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

    When are men dead in their transgressions? They are dead before they have faith and are baptized in water.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Peter had already preached Jesus as Lord and Christ. Peter had already preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They were still in their sins. They were not saved the minute they believed. They needed to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Faith, confession, and repentance precede water baptism. Water baptism is the point of forgiveness of sins.

    Water baptism is not an empty symbolic rite demonstrating what happen the very moment men believe.

    WATER BAPTISM IS THE POINT OF FORGIVENESS FROM SIN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS A BAPTISM INTO CHRIST.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE RAISED TO WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN OUR TRANSGRESSIONS ARE FORGIVEN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE FREED FROM THE CHAINS OF SIN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE SYMBOLICALLY CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND PROMISED RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.

    YES, WATER BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE! THAT GRACE OCCURS DURING BAPTISM NOT PRIOR TO IT.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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  2. Learning to try to capture the emotion and picture from the perspective of these Biblical characters is something I have always really enjoyed! I like this a lot! I have tried doing it with songs at times. Keep up the good work…looking forward to finishing this one when you are done!

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  3. I really liked it because it’s from Judas’ perspective, what went through his mind, what did he feel,… interesting and intriguing.

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