A pastor in a difficult, mostly non-Christian country was studying with a
young man who had shown an interest in knowing about Jesus. Things were going well until the boy’s father returned home from prison, where he had been serving a sentence for murder.
At first the young man’s father was impressed with the changes he saw in his son. But when he learned that his son had been studying with a Christian, he became furious. He felt he had to save his son from the dangerous ideas Christians have.
The father tried talking to his son. When that didn’t work, he yelled, then he beat his son. But the young man refused to give up his new faith in Christ. His father knew if he kept on beating his son, he would soon kill him. And what good would that do?
Then the father had an idea. He would kill the pastor instead. It would be worth another prison sentence to save his son from the Christians’ heresy.
The father staked out the pastor’s house and learned his schedule. He sharpened his long knife. When the time was right, he drove to the pastor’s house, waited for him to get into his car, and then blocked the pastor’s driveway with his own car. When the pastor got out of his car to see what the problem was, the angry father grabbed him and forced him into his own car.
The pastor recognized the man and guessed why he had attacked him. The pastor tried to share some Bible verses with the man, but the man yelled at him as he reached for his knife. Suddenly the man’s hand froze midair; his arm went numb, and he couldn’t move it.
The pastor calmly continued sharing scripture with the man until his attacker began to weep.
A few months later the father was baptized. As the members publically welcomed him into the church, he asked for the microphone. “I have a gift for the pastor,” he said. Carefully he unwrapped the long, sharp knife and said, “This is the sword I was going to use to kill you. But you have a longer, stronger, sharper sword-a two-edged one, which is the Word of God. That sword killed the old man in me. I am now a new man. Praise God!”
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Homer Trecartin is president of the Greater Middle East Union Mission.