The Three Strangers

Three strangers happened to meet on the way to a huge city. They had to cross a river to get to the other side. They were looking for a way to cross over while a passer-by said that a boat-man would help travelers cross the river and that he would pick-up travelers every three hours. The three travelers began to get acquainted. “I’m the richest business-man in my town”, boasted one, ”I sell clothes fit for those who live in Castles!”. The other two marveled and said, “You’re blessed!”. The second man said, “I’m the best artist in the country-side. Kings and Princes pay me gold and silver to buy my paintings!”. The other men praised his talent, “Surely God hath blessed thee!”. The third man said, “I’m the wisest man in my country and the ruler of the southern tribe. My wife is the most beautiful woman in all the country. Princes and Noble-men take counsel from me!”. The other men envied his wisdom (They had not seen his wife or they would have envied him for her beauty too!). Every man wished secretly that they had what the other men had! O but how they praised each other with their mouths. Every man continued speaking of his greatness till the boat-man arrived. They greeted the boat-man and got in. It did not take long for the three travelers to strike a conversation with the boat-man. “What do you do for a living?” one man asked, “Help travelers all day long?” “Yes!” the boat-man replied. “Wealth have I none but a heart that seeks to serve with all I that is left of me!”. The rich man could not speak any more. The second man asked him, “Where do you live then?”. “The boat is my home – humble and old. But even Kings and Princes pass by my home!” said the boat-man, beaming with joy. The artist could not speak any longer. “What about your family?” the third man asked. The boat-man was sad. “I loved my uncle’s beautiful daughter so dearly” he said, “But Alas! My uncle needed help from a clever man to save him from his debts and debtors. And the clever man took her hand in marriage in exchange for helping my uncle go free! I could never marry any girl after she was taken away from me!”. The third man could not breathe a word. All three men became silent. “Having lost my love and my property in an earthquake I found no use staying alive!” he declared. “How do you live then?” the three men asked, their hearts heavy with guilt. “When I came to know Jesus!” the boat-man said. “Who is he?” the rich man asked, “Did he help you with money?”. The second man interrupted, “Did he hire you and pay you to do this job?”. “Is He the King of your country?” the third man enquired. “None”, replied the boat-man, ”But He’s everything to me!”. “He is the Son of God”, the boat-man continued, ”And He has promised eternal life to all those who would put their trust in Him. He died on a Cross for all man-kind and rose again on the third day so that those who put their trust in Him and follow Him would be forgiven and not be held guilty after they die!”. When the boat-man had finished all that he had left to say, they had reached the other side. The travelers paid their fare and bid him farewell. “We have all that the world could give but are poor”, the rich man said to the other. “Yes”, agreed the artist, ”the beauty of the Cross that he spoke about: it surpassed all my paintings’ worth put together!”. “O what a fool I am!” cried the third man, “if only I had known earlier that the woman I forcefully married was the apple of this man’s eye!”.

So shall it be on the day when men cross the river of death ! [1]
They that heaped up wealth and boasted in their wisdom and worth
shall hang their heads in shame and call himself “cursed” !
“O the world deceived me”, they shall cry, in tears immersed !
“Too late !”, angels shall reply, “Time for ye to depart !”
And off they were thrown into the lake of fire so hot !
Friend, pay heed to what the saints of the Bible say !
Repent and turn before sin’s price you pay !

The wealth you have or the fame you hold so dear
Will never bring you into God’s presence or anywhere near ! [2]
The people whose portion, joy and desire is the Lord
shall find true treasure and life’s precious lot !
The world will call your money and name “blessed!”
It will praise your mind and your rose-strewn bed !
Beware ! My friend ! Beware ! I say thee again:
Lose thy life for Christ; else thou shalt never see Heaven’s plain !

Scripture References:

  1. Mark 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first. [WEB]
  2. Psalms 62:10 …If riches increase, don’t set your heart on them. [WEB]

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