Perhaps you have heard about terrorists on
the radio and television.  They make people
afraid for their lives.  

Simon was kind of like that back in the days
of Jesus.  He loved his country and thought
he was doing the right thing to defend his
country against the foreign Romans who
ruled his country.

Sometimes Simon would go out on the
highway, hide behind big rocks, and shoot
arrows at Roman soldiers passing by on the
road.  He wanted to overthrow the power
the Romans had over his land.

One day he heard about Jesus.  Jesus had
just gone to the great Temple in Jerusalem
and turned over money tables of men
charging the worshippers too much to buy

Simon admired Jesus for having so much
courage.  He wasn't even kicked out of the
Temple for doing what he did.

Later Simon heard that Jesus was healing
people.  What power!  Was there nothing
Jesus couldn't do?  Simon wanted to meet

Jesus said he was going to be the king.  
Everyone thought he was going to be king of
Palestine, the country where they lived, and
would overthrow the foreign Romans who
ruled their country.

Simon and everyone else did not understand
Jesus wanted to be king of their hearts and

One day Simon learned his mother was very
sick.  He helped his father take her to see
Jesus.  Jesus actually healed his mother!  
Simon had just seen a healing with his own

That night, Simon went to see Jesus at his
home.  Jesus said he was going to be king
of the whole world.  But Jesus didn't have
an army.

Jesus explained that he would conquer the
world with love.  And instead of killing bad
people, he would forgive them.  He was even
willing to forgive Simon for killing people.

Jesus said he would give everyone an entire
lifetime to be sorry for their sins and ask
forgiveness.  But at the end of their life, if
they never asked forgiveness or tried to be
Jesus' friend, Jesus would no longer be
their friend.

Simon was curious about someone who
actually believed he could conquer the world
with love.  So he decided to follow Jesus
around awhile and watch him.

He never left Jesus.  He stayed at his side
until Jesus died.  But even then he did not
desert Jesus.  He spent the rest of his life
telling people of Jesus who wanted to be
king of their heart.

Do you know someone who is bad a lot and
who no one likes?  Try telling that person
that God loves them.  Maybe they won't be
so bad then and will have some friends.