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In 1915, Colonel T. E. Lawrence was traveling across the desert with some Arabs. Things were desperate. The food was almost gone, and the water was down to its last few drops. Their hoods over their heads to shelter them from the wind which was like a flame, and which was full of the stinging sand of a sandstorm. Suddenly someone said, “Where is Jasmin?” Another said, “Who is Jasmin?” A third answered, “That yellow-faced man from Maan. He killed a Turkish tax-collector and fled to the desert.” The first said, “Look, Jasmin’s camel has no rider. His rifle is strapped to the saddle, but Jasmin is not there.” A second said, “Someone shot him on the march.” A third said, “He is not strong in the head, perhaps he is lost in a mirage; he is not strong in the body, perhaps he has fainted and fallen off his camel.” Then the first said, “What does it matter? Jasmin was not worth ½ a crown.” And the Arabs hunched themselves up on their camels and rode on.

But Lawrence turned and rode back the way he had come. Alone, in the blazing heat, at the risk of his own life, he went back. After an hour and a half’s ride he saw something against the sand. It was Jasmin, blind and mad with heat and thirst, Jasmin being murdered by the desert. Lawrence lifted him up on his camel, gave him some of the last drops of the precious water, and slowly plodded back to the company.

When he came up to the others, the Arabs looked in amazement. “Here is Jasmin,” they said, “Jasmin, not worth ½ a crown, saved at his own risk by Colonel Lawrence.”

My friends, that is what Jesus has done for you. He didn’t come to save the righteous. It wasn’t God’s friends Christ died to rescue; it was people like you and me.

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