Big Tom and Little Timmy

November 7, 2022

In I Corinthians 6:19-20 Paul writes some amazing words, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” We were bought at a price. From the beginning of time God created this world good, but as we know all too well, sin, death, and evil permeate this fallen world. A perfect sacrifice must be offered up to pay for the sins of the world. That is the way God created the universe. It is a central part of God’s perfect justice that a price must be paid for our sins. There is no cheap grace.

That is what Jesus did. He paid for our sins by taking them upon Himself on the cross. He allowed his enemies to nail Him to the cross. The nails didn’t hold Him on the cross, His love for us did. It is difficult to understand, but this simple story illustrates the power of Christ’s death on the cross for us.

It takes place at school where a young teacher is hired to teach a class so bad that numerous teachers have already quit. The young man says a prayer, and then agrees to be the teacher if the principal will allow him to run the class his way. The principal agrees.

The next morning the young man starts class saying, “Young people, I came here today to conduct school. But I realize I can’t do it by myself. I must have your help.”

In the back of the class Big Tom whispers to his buddies, “I won’t need any help. I can lick that little bird all by myself.” Everyone in the back of the class laughs.

The young teacher continues by pointing out that there must be some rules to go by. He wanted the class to write the rules. This was certainly different. One young man suggested, "No stealing.” Another one shouted, “Be on time for class.” Pretty soon they had ten rules listed on the board. The teacher then asked the class what the punishment should be for breaking these rules because rules are no good unless they are enforced. The class agreed the person should receive ten licks with a rod across their back with their coat off. Everything went along pretty good for two days. Even Big Tom was curious about this system. The third day Big Tom came into class very upset. Someone had stolen his lunch.

After talking with the students, they realized that little Timmy had stolen Big Tom’s lunch. Little Timmy said to the teacher, “I am guilty, and I am willing to take my punishment, but please don’t make me take off my coat.” The class showed no mercy. As the little fellow took off the old coat he didn’t have on a shirt and it exposed a frail bony frame. When asked about his shirt little Timmy said, “My daddy’s dead and my mother is very poor. I don’t have but one shirt, and my mother is washing it today. I wore my big brother’s coat so that I could keep warm.”

The teacher knew he needed to administer the punishment, but he wasn’t sure he could. Just then Big Tom stood up and came down the aisle. He asked, “Is there anything that says that I can’t take little Timmy’s whipping for him?” The teacher thought about it and agreed. With that Big Tom ripped his coat off and stooped and stood over little Timmy at the desk. Hesitatingly the teacher began to lay the rod on that big back. When he finished the teacher buried his face in his hands and began to sob. He heard a commotion and looked up to find not even one dry eye in the room. Little Timmy had turned and grabbed Big Tom around the neck apologizing to him for stealing his lunch. Little Timmy begged Big Tom to forgive him. He told Big Tom that he would love him till the day he died for taking his whipping for him.

Jesus is Big Tom, without all the flaws. Jesus is perfect. We are little Timmy. How much do we love Jesus for taking our whipping for us? We were bought at a price. The cross represents that price. Can you take a few minutes today to write Jesus a thank you note for the price He paid for your sins? I guarantee it will change the way you look at the rest of this day, and maybe the rest of your life. (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see