It was said that Shah Abbis, the king of Iran was very loving to his people. One night, he had an idea to take off his royal cloths and wear a cheap and tattered gown. With these cheap cloths, he went in the night to meet with the poor in the street. There, he talked with them and befriended them.
He snuck out of the back door of the castle, so that no one would identify him.
With a kind smile the king greeted him and sat beside him and started talking with him. The fisherman was reassured by his conversation. The conversation extended late at night, the fisherman asked if the disguised king would eat with him from the fish. The king showed his gratitude to the fisherman and accepted his invitation; they talked together as they ate the small fish.
The fisherman talked with him about fishing and the king listened to him with great interest. The fisherman told the king stories from his life as well as the life of his friends. At times, the fisherman told the king of the nation’s economy and its international policy. The king was listening to him the whole time and commented in a way that attracted the fisherman’s heart and thoughts and corrected much of his understandings.
At the end, the fisherman said to the king, “I admire you my dear friend. I’d like to spend the whole night with you but I have to return to my family. I believe you too have to return to your family. I’m pleased with your friendship and love. I also learned a lot from your wisdom. I’d be very happy if you find the time for us to meet again and talk with each other.”
The king thanked him saying, “I thank you my dear brother for I’ve enjoyed talking to you and getting to know you. Now I’ve a friend who is pleasant, wise, generous, open-minded and kind. I’d like to see you everyday and have a good conversation with you.”
The King returned to his palace happily and continued meeting with the fisherman till they both became very intimate friends.
One night, as the king was on his way to the fisherman, he said to himself, “It’s time to reveal myself to the fisherman so that if he needs a particular service or money, I’d help him, his family or his friends. Undoubtedly, it will be a joyful night for this friend to have much of what he dreamt of. It will also be a joyful night for me to please this man along with all those around him.”
The king revealed his identity to the fisherman. The fisherman, as a result, was astonished and troubled, but the king calmed him down. He then asked the fisherman to ask for whatever he or his acquaintances need.
The fisherman looked at him surprisingly and said to him, “I’ve heard much about you, your highness. I’ve heard of your love to your people and your generosity. Yet, I wouldn’t have imagined that you’d come down to live with me like this, these pleasant moments. You’ve offered a lot of services and gifts, a plenty for many. I’m the luckiest of them because you’ve given me yourself as a friend and a brother. My request to you is that you don’t withdraw your friendship from me.”
The king was surprised because the poor fisherman did not ask for anything of the king’s wealth but he asked for the king himself as a friend to him.
This is what our Lord Jesus Christ did with us, The King of Kings that left His glory and His heavenly palace and descended to us. He was born as a child in a manger for us to surround Him, talk to Him and listen to Him.
Thank You for descending to my earth.
You became a child talking with the children,
Lived with them in their world O Creator of all creation.
Thou descended from Your heavens to take us with You to it.
We do not ask for anything.
We want You O heavenly one.
We want You O amazing Friend.
Do not withdraw Your friendship from us.
(1) Green, See M.P. Illustrations for Biblical Preaching. Baker Book House, 1992. 48-49.
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