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Knowing the Judge
Photo: Verapol Chaiyapin
Pastor Kelly tells of an experience he had in jail. It happened as a result of one unpaid traffic ticket. Just how it had remained unpaid, he didn’t say. No doubt, he intended to pay it, but one thing after another in his busy life continued to come ahead of taking care of that little detail.

One day as he was driving through an area where road construction was taking place, Pastor Kelly made an illegal turn. Consequently, he soon spotted flashing lights in his rear view mirror. Pulling over, he waited for the man in uniform to approach his window.

“Good morning,” the officer said. “Did you realize you just made an illegal turn?”

Pastor Kelly began stating his case, explaining his logic in making the turn due to the abnormal driving conditions created by the road construction. Pastor Kelly made a good case, and the officer actually decided to let him off.  But when the officer did a routine license check, he then discovered the unpaid traffic ticket.

“I would be willing to overlook the violation of today due to the construction,” said the officer as he returned to Pastor Kelly’s window. “But I can’t forgive the traffic ticket that I just discovered in your name. You’ll have to go to jail.”


Pastor Kelly' face dropped, knowing there was no defense for this one. He would have to go to jail. It was Sabbath, which made it even worse. But what could he do? When the law has been broken, the offender has to make it right. As Pastor Kelly approached the jail, however, he wondered when he would ever get out. Bail would need to be set, and the judge wouldn’t be available on Sunday. Then Monday happened to be a holiday, so that was out. Pastor Kelly realized that he would be in jail from Sabbath until Tuesday. Unless he could somehow get through to the judge.

After making a couple of nonproductive calls, Pastor Kelly called a pastor friend of his, who happened to also be a friend of the judge. After explaining the situation, Pastor Kelly’s friend made a call to the judge. Soon bail was set and Pastor Kelly would  be released before Tuesday.

Naturally, Pastor Kelly was relieved and immensely grateful to his friend for speaking to the judge in his behalf.  And as he shared the story with those of us listening, his point was that as powerful as the judge was, the important thing was to know someone who was a friend of the judge.

In the case of our own eternal destinies, we are going to make mistakes along the way. But the critical thing for us to remember is who to call when we are in need of forgiveness. There is One named Jesus who knows the Judge personally and who is ever ready to plead our case.

"If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father (Judge), Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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