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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2004

Stop Theif

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

Kenneth had always wanted a Nintendo GameboyTM, and there sitting on his classmate’s desk was a brand new one. He was supposed to be outside with the rest of his class, but he was leaving early today with his mom. No one would ever know if he took it. He looked out into the hall, and then he looked at his backpack. It would easily fit inside. What should he do? He knewthat he might never get one, and he certainly would never have a chance like this again.

As Kenneth walked over to the videogame he recalled the lesson they discussed in his Bible class last week. They were discussing Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. If that weren’t bad enough, Kenneth learned that Judas was also a thief. His job was to hold the money box for all the disciples, and without their knowledge he had been taking money from it. Yet, Kenneth knew Jesus taught that stealing is wrong! [In fact, the Bible teaches we’re to be content in whatever state we find ourselves in (Philippians 4:11)—with or without a videogame.]

On one occasion, Mary poured expensive oil on Jesus’ feet. Judas asked: “‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii [about a year’s salary] and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:5-6). Judas wasn’t concerned with the poor, or with what Mary was doing; he was jealous and wanted the money. Judas was a thief who eventually “sold out” Jesus for money! How bad can you get?

As Kenneth stood there alone, he realized that, yes, he could very easily steal that videogame. But he knew that even though no one at his school would know, God would know. He realized that picking up that game would make him no better than Judas. He turned his back and walked away from the videogame. Walking out of the classroom, Kenneth smiled as he thought about how he’d passed this test, and could hold his head up high. How about you?

Copyright © 2004 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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