Storying the Gospel, Part 1: The Judge and His Son

When sharing the gospel with Muslims, this story can help you illustrate the idea of sin and redemption. It shows our position as sinners before God and demonstrates the sacrifice He makes for all of us, His wayward children. To better connect with those you are sharing with, you can set this story in a location familiar to your audience. Rather than recite the story word for word, keep it conversational to engage your listener with the heart of the gospel.

Many judges in the nation were corrupt, taking bribes and abusing their power for personal gain. Out of all the judges, there was one who was perfectly honest. This judge alone was actually just, and he cared deeply about doing what was right. As a consequence, the other corrupt judges despised him and gave him the cases they did not want. Even so, this judge faithfully applied justice to every case he presided over. 

One day, the honest judge’s son was caught in a crime. The son resented his father because his father refused to make money through bribes, and so did not give his son the same advantages in life that the wealthy children of the other corrupt judges had. In order to get the things he wanted and to obtain the high standard of living he desired, the son began to engage in corruption. Until one day, he was apprehended by the police and thrown into jail for his crimes. 

When the other judges came across the son’s case, they laughed and thought to themselves, “here is the son of the judge who thinks he is so much better than us.” Thinking that surely the honest judge would bend his principles to show favoritism to his own son, they assigned the case to him.

The son appeared in court, and his father reviewed the evidence against him. The father said to him, “my son, I cannot help you. I have reviewed the evidence, and you are guilty. I sentence you to repay everything you have taken, and until you repay it all, you will be thrown into prison as collateral against what you owe.” 

And then the father took off his robes and gathered all his possessions, handing them over to cover his son’s debt. Since even this was not enough to cover everything that the son had taken, the father submitted himself in the place of his son. And the father went willingly to prison, so that justice would be fulfilled and his son would be spared from the punishment of his crimes.