Apparently, he had too much time on his hands; and as a result, he and his wife were soon on one another’s nerves. Tired of her presence, he stormed off to the store and returned with a can of peaches, which he began to eat in front of her.
She inquired as to what he was eating and where he had acquired it. He told her it was can of peaches, and that he had stolen it from the store. Incensed, she promptly tuned him in to the authorities, whereupon he was arrested for shoplifting.
When he went before the judge, he was asked, “What did you steal?” “A can of peaches,” the man retorted. The judge then asked him why he had stolen the can of peaches; and he shot back that he had been hungry.
The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. He stated that there had been six. To which the judge sternly responded, “Then, to teach you a lesson, I will now give you six days in jail!”
Just then, before the judge could officially pronounce his verdict and punishment, the man’s wife, who had been sitting in the back of the courtroom observing the proceedings, jumped to her feet and asked the judge if she could say something. The judge said, “What is it you wish to say?”; and the wife replied, “Your Honor, he also stole a whole can of peas!”
We all get the point of the story! It seems that this woman was determined to see that her husband got everything was coming to him! After we get done chuckling, however, those of us who are willing to be honest will likely have to admit that this story hits a little too close to home!
Granted, not everyone has shoplifted; not everyone has stolen; not everyone has fussed and fought with a spouse. But every single individual who has ever lived has sinned to some degree, and thereby come short of the glory of God!
As a result, everyone single person who has ever lived, myself included, is also guilty before the Eternal Judge, and deserving of punishment for his or her trespasses.
But that is where the glorious good news of the Gospel comes in. For the same Bible that tells us that we are guilty of sin and deserving of punishment also tells us that we can be gloriously forgiven by our Lord.
In his New Testament Gospel (chapter 3, verses 16-18), the Apostle John puts it this way:
“16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
This is precisely why the word “Gospel” means “good news”. As the Apostle Paul puts it in his New Testament Letter to the Romans (chapter 8, verses 1-2):
“1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
That my friends, is indeed good news! That is indeed a reason to celebrate!
SWINDOLL STORY: https://subspla.sh/wvp8spx.
NOTE: This is a variation on an oldie but goodie, that is available widely on the internet. See for instance: https://hotjokes.net/can-of-peas/.
NOTE: The simplest presentation of the Gospel can be found in what has been termed the “Roman Road to Salvation”. Anyone wanting to know more can read the following verses in the New Testament Book of Romans:
Chapter 3, Verse 10
Chapter 3, Verse 23
Chapter 6, Verse 23a
Chapter 5, Verse 8
Chapter 6, Verse 23b
Chapter 10, Verse 13
Chapter 10, Verses 9-10